Thurlow Nunn preview: Smith is determined to cement top five finish for the Willows

SHARE OF THE SPOILS: Match action from Team Bury's 2-2 draw away at Cornard United as defender Sam Last (left) looks to regain possession from United winger Scott Davis
SHARE OF THE SPOILS: Match action from Team Bury's 2-2 draw away at Cornard United as defender Sam Last (left) looks to regain possession from United winger Scott Davis
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Walsham-le-Willows manager Paul Smith has challenged his players to end their season on a high to help secure a fifth place finish.

With the current Thurlow Nunn Premier Division season drawing to a close tomorrow, the Willows head to eighth placed Godmanchester Rovers (3pm) looking to put a current bad run of form behind them.

A disappointing 5-0 rout away to Dereham Town two weeks ago was followed by another emphatic loss, this time at home as they went down 5-1 to Haverhill Rovers, Ryan Foster grabbing the consolation for the hosts.

And after a campaign that saw the Smith’s charges flirt with a possible title challenge at Christmas following a nine-game unbeaten run, the manager is determined to end a successful season on a high note.

“I think we have surprised everybody with just well we’ve competed this season” he said.

“We found ourselves top for a little while and although we couldn’t see that through, it is fantastic to still be at the right end of the table come the end of the season, I couldn’t have asked for more.

“To claim a top five finish would be a massive boost for this club and would stop people looking at us as if we are just in this league to make up the numbers, we’re now a force to be reckoned with.

“It will also make my life easier as a manager because players will want to stay and help this club go better next season and challenge again.

“It would be to finish on a positive note. It feels a little like everyone is on holiday already, management included and we’ve taken our foot off the gas.

“We know we are better than we have shown in the last couple of weeks so it is up to us to prove it and end this season on a high.”

Meanwhile, league rivals Mildenhall Town will be looking to consolidate a top six finish as they end the campaign at home to Felixstowe and Walton United (3pm).

Christian Appleford’s charges had to settle for a share of the spoils in their last encounter against CRC as the sides played out a 1-1 draw, Allicion Blake scoring for Town, and the manager will now be hoping to end the season on a winning note.Another side who could do with a positive result to end the season is Thetford Town.

Mark Scott’s men have endured a torrid season on and off the field which resulted in relegation.

Currently sitting in 19th place, the Brecklanders will be looking to bounce back from three consecutive defeats, including a 4-1 defeat to Ely City last time out when they travel to Woodbridge Town tomorrow (3pm).

Elsewhere, in the First Division, Team Bury still have three games to play before the end of the season as they come to the end of a congested fixture period.

Ross Wilding’s men have faced three matches in the last week alone, with a 2-2 draw away at Cornard on Saturday being followed up with a 3-1 win away at Halstead Town on Monday night, before a 2-0 defeat at home to Brightlingsea and Regent just two days later.

The Ram Meadow based outfit now face a trip to Braintree Town Reserves tomorrow (3pm) before entertaining Halstead Town on Tuesday (7.45pm) and Downham Town Thursday (7.45pm).

And finally, Stowmarket Town will be looking to put a run of two straight defeats behind them and finish on a high when they host March Town United tomorrow (3pm).

A 1-0 defeat away at Braintree Town Reserves on Saturday was followed up with a 2-0 loss at home to Fakenham Town on Tuesday but the Greens Meadow based outfit will be hoping for a positive reaction.

n Meanwhile, in the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League, Walsham eased to a 2-0 victory over Hadleigh United courtesy of two second-half goals from Lewis Cooke.