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Hilton resignation leaves Yachtsmen facing tough battle against relegation

Damian Hilton will not be the manager in the home dug-out at Trafford Park for the rest of this season.

 Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Damian Hilton will not be the manager in the home dug-out at Trafford Park for the rest of this season. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

Wroxham are not ready to admit defeat in their battle against the drop despite the resignation of manager Damian Hilton.

Losing 4-0 at home to fellow strugglers Waltham Abbey on Saturday left the Yachtsmen joint-bottom and 12 points from safety with 13 games to play in Ryman League Division One North.

Former FC Clacton boss David Coyle steps up from his role as assistant and will be assisted by reserves manager Kaine Challen until the end of the campaign.

“It’s difficult really, from 23 points and with Soham fourth from bottom on 35 points, that’s a big gap if you’re being realistic, so it’s going to be a challenge,” chairman Kevin Attree admitted.

“We’re always persisting, everyone behind the scenes, players and coaches, we’re all ambitious and we don’t see dropping down to the Thurlow Nunn – although that’s still a good level – as an option.

“We’re a Ryman League club and although we have struggled we feel that we have supported Damiian financially, more so than managers in other years. So there have been a lot of players leaving and a lot coming in and we’ve not had the results we had hoped for.”

Hilton returned to the club midway through last season after success with Norwich United at step five of non-league. However, the Yachtsmen were afforded a relegation reprieve after finishing 22nd and had lost eight of their last 11 matches this season.

“To bring him in was a great achievement for us as he could have stayed at Norwich United but it hasn’t worked out,” Attree continued. “I’m sure he’s as disappointed as we are, for an old player who played over 400 games for the club, but he’s a great guy and we wish him well. Now it would be really good if the supporters can get behind David and Kaine as we could really do with more support at this time.”

The Yachtsmen travel to King’s Lynn Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals tonight before returning to league action on Saturday when they travel to 10th-placed Phoenix Sports.

“We’re away, nothing’s expected of us because King’s Lynn are doing well at a higher level and we’re not doing so well,” Attree added. “We’ve hopefully freed the minds up of the players but not forgetting that these guys are playing for their position under new management.”

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