Walsham-le-Willows boss Paul Smith delighted after 11-0 derby day triumph

Walsham boss Paul Smith

Walsham boss Paul Smith - Credit: Archant

Walsham-le-Willows boss Paul Smith has admitted that he was astounded at his side’s record-breaking and thumping 11-0 win over close rivals Diss Town on Boxing Day.

Chairman Mike Powles described the victory as a ‘freak result’ and one that is on par with Ipswich Wanderers’ 12-1 demolition of Downham Town recently.

The emphatic triumph comes as a welcome Christmas present to Smith, whose side have endured an inconsistent season so far.

“I didn’t expect that when I woke up on Boxing Day,” said Smith.

“I’ve been involved in football for a long while and I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like that.

“To be 6-0 up at half time was unbelievable and every time we went forward we looked like scoring, we never looked back.”

Walsham chairman Mike Powles agreed with his manager.

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He said: “I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like that.

“Local derbies are normally quite close and fierce affairs so it was totally out the blue.

“We’ve played against Diss on countless occasions and there’s normally only been one or two goals in it so to win that heavily really is a freak result, we were unbelievable.”

Andrew Wood led the charge for Walsham with four goals while there was also a hat-trick for Jack Brame as well as goals for Lee Simm, Andrew Cusack, Tom Debenham and an own goal.

Despite being thrilled at his side’s ruthless display, Smith had a great deal of sympathy for his opposite number - Chris Tracey.

Smith said: “I’ve known Chris for a while after our Sudbury days together as players so I do feel a bit sorry for him.

“I was getting a little embarrassed for him but we were fantastic.”

What made the result even more of a shock was that it came on the back of a surprise 3-0 defeat to struggling Stanway Rovers.

“The Stanway game was most frustrating because we were five unbeaten going into that and were just starting to put a little run together.

“We still wouldn’t have scored now if we were still playing, it was one of those days.”

Earmarked as many people’s title favourites, Walsham have succumbed to the expectations in front of them so far this season.

Largely inconsistent results sees them sitting in ninth place as things stand.

“We’ve been up and down,” admitted Smith.

“Losing three on the trot in September didn’t help and we’ve been playing catch-up ever since then.

“We’re slowly getting there though and if we can win as many games as we can in the new year and improve on last season’s sixth-place finish then great.”

One thing Walsham will have to improve if they’re able to fulfil their aims this season is their home form.

The Willows have lost five out of nine league games on their own patch so far and despite holding a terrific away record - where they’ve only been defeated once - they must sharpen up on their own turf if they are to replicate last season’s achievements.

“I don’t know why but for some reason we’ve been far better away from home this year,” said Powles.

“It’s funny but now that we’re out of all the cups, we can concentrate on putting this right and climbing up the league table.”

Smith’s men have a welcome break from action now, with their next game not until January 4 against Brantham Athletic.

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