It’s smiles better at Woodbridge Town

PUTTING a smile back on players’ faces has led to a revival at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Woodbridge Town.

The Woodpeckers suffered an horrendous run of seven defeats – five consecutive league games plus exits from the FA Vase and Red Insure Cup to lower league opposition.

But since stopping the rot they have won three and drawn two of their last six games and are currently unbeaten in four.

Manager Mark Scopes said that players returning from injury had made a positive impact, but that they also needed to start enjoying playing again.

“I had to tell the players they needed to start enjoying their football again and everything else would fall into place,” said Scopes.

The returns of Jay Hubbard, on loan from Needham Market, and fellow striker Ross Gilfedder, following a broken foot, are big positives, especially as Allicion Blake still remains on a dual registration and is playing for Ryman League Premier Division Bury Town.

“I would never stop anyone playing at a higher level, but Allicion knows he is always welcome here, although if he comes back he is not guaranteed a place in the side,” said Scopes.

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On the downside Darcy De’ath, recently signed from Needham Market, continues to be sidelined by an ankle injury and won’t return until the New Year, while midfielder Paul Berry is due to have a hip operation soon.

“Losing Paul will be a big, big blow not just on the pitch but also in the changing room. He will make a good coach or manager at some point in the future,” said Scopes.

Woodbridge have always prided themselves on giving youngsters an opportunity and goalkeeper Tom Sills is keeping out the experienced Glyn Dixon, who is going on loan to Grundisburgh.

This season has seen the emergence of Jono Fryatt, Max Hutchings and Aaron Greenwood, who are all still eligible for the club’s Under-18 side.

Speedy striker Fryatt has just returned from a four-day trial at Norwich City while centre back or midfielder Hutchings was released by Ipswich Town at the start of the season.

After thrashing Brantham 4-0, Woodbridge beat bottom-of-the-table FC Clacton 5-2 last weekend and tomorrow visit Norwich United, who are two places and one point below them.

“Clacton, to their credit, were a good side and tried to play football. I have to sympathise with them because we scored some quality goals,” said Scopes.

“Norwich United will be a hard game. It is a difficult place to go with a narrow pitch.”

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