Smith’s sights set on survival

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WALSHAM-LE-WILLOWS manager Paul Smith is confident of climbing away from the Ridgeons League Premier Division relegation zone ahead of his side’s Boxing Day derby clash away to Diss Town (11am).

A vital 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Wivenhoe Town on Saturday, courtesy of goals from Tom Fenner, Charlie Robinson and James Tatham, halted the Willows five-game winless streak and reduced the gap to Town, a place above Walsham in the league, to just two points.

The result still leaves Paul Smith’s men in the relegation zone but after claiming a much needed three points, the manager is confident of a repeat in the derby game with Diss, a team he used to play for, as he targets back-to-back wins to kick-start their stuttering season.

“The Wivenhoe result was a huge one for us as a defeat would have left us eight points adrift but now we are only two points behind them and it drags them closer to us,” he said. “It will exciting to face Diss because I used to play for the club and it will be the first time the two sides have met in this league.

“We have some tough fixtures coming up so the Diss game becomes even more important. We have got to get three points and start climbing the table. It is a local derby and we certainly want to win it.

“If we can beat them then it would drag them back into trouble and would put more pressure on them.

“Back-to-back wins would give us something to build on in the new year and we could start climbing out of trouble.”