Smith’s hoping new faces can help Walsham rise

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PAUL Smith hopes new signings Ryan Foster and Will Brown can lift Walsham-le-Willows out of the Ridgeons League Premier Division relegation zone after impressing on their league debuts.

The Willows’ boss raided Needham Market and Stowmarket Town respectively to sign Foster and Brown in the last 10 days, and they were both involved in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against fellow-strugglers Felixstowe and Walton United.

That was Walsham’s third consecutive draw in the league, the last two being at home against teams Smith feels his side need to be beating to stand a chance of surviving the drop this campaign.

“The last three we have gained a point in each, but we would have been better off winning one and losing one of those,” said the Summer Road outfit’s manager.

“We can keep it tight, we just need to create opportunities at the other end and with Will and Ryan in the team hopefully we can start doing that.

“Will holds the ball up well, while Ryan is very good on the ball and makes things happen in midfield.

“We knew we had to do something and to bring in a couple of fresh faces lifts everybody else.”

Brown — who has played under Smith at Walsham before — scored on his league debut to put the Willows in front against Felixstowe on Saturday, while Foster impressed in midfield.

However, United pegged Smith’s charges back when ex-Debenham LC forward Jamie Cole came off the bench and fired home from 25 yards.

The Willows’ next assignment is a trip to a resurgent Hadleigh United tomorrow (3pm), before hosting CRC on Wednesday (7.45pm), both sides currently occupying mid-table slots in the Ridgeons Premier.

Smith added: “We have played a lot of harder teams in the league, but not the likes of Great Yarmouth or Wivenhoe yet.

“We have to play a lot of teams from halfway up the table and down in the next few weeks, and that’s when we must pick up some points.

“If we could get three wins in a row, all of a sudden we would be sitting halfway up the league.”