New management team at North Walsham FC
New North Walsham manager Kevin Cruickshank is convinced his players have got what it takes to keep their club in the top flight of the Anglian Combination.
The former Yarmouth Town boss took charge before Christmas in tandem with Kevin Smith after the resignation of Daniel Cork, which followed a painful 5-1 drubbing at the hands of fellow strugglers Sheringham.
Games have been in short supply since then because of the weather but Cruickshank has already seen enough to be optimistic as the Angels attempt to pull away from trouble.
Walsham lost narrowly at in-form Dersingham in the two Kevins' first match in charge and followed that up with a battling 3-3 draw with St Andrews that featured a last-minute equaliser from club stalwart Steve Lawrence.
They remain in the bottom two – but haven't been cast adrift and have the likes of Sheringham, Loddon and St Andrews firmly in their sights.
'When we first took over we told the lads we wanted to give everyone a chance to show what they could do – we didn't just want to bring new players in for the sake of it,' said Cruickshank.
'To be fair their response has been really good. They beat Hempnall in the match before we arrived (when a caretaker boss was in charge) and could easily have won the next two as well.
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'They played really well against Dersingham and St Andrews and didn't really get what they deserved.
'From what I have seen so far I am sure we can keep this club up – it's just a shame that we have had so few games since we arrived. We were looking forward to getting back into action this weekend but our game against Wroxham Reserves has been postponed because of a county fixture. We just want to play, and so do the players.'
Cruickshank is delighted to be back in management at Greens Road.
'I loved the game when I was a player and I still love it now I am a manager,' he said.
'I was delighted when Kevin and I were asked to take over because there is a lot of potential here. It's a really exciting challenge.'
The Angels may not have to worry about the weather this weekend but they will be watching other matches closely, with the sides in and around them all playing, conditions permitting.
Of particular interest will be Sheringham's home match with Mattishall.
Before the icy weather set in the Shannocks were showing considerable improvement after a desperate start to the season, with the returning John Kowalyk guiding them to consecutive wins, including that success against Walsham.
As a result they are two points above the Angels, having played two fewer games, and could be in touch with Loddon and St Andrews if they picked up another victory at the weekend.
At the other end of the table Cromer Town will be desperate to return to action after a lengthy spell of league inactivity. The Crabs, who have played just 11 of the 30 Combination fixtures so far, are due to be at home to Dersingham, who are now two points ahead of them, having managed to get their game in last Saturday.
A lack of fixtures has seen the champions drop down to eighth in the table, seven points behind leaders Acle United with three games in hand.
In Division One Aylsham are due to play host to Horsford in a mid-table encounter on Saturday while Holt United have a tough assignment at fourth placed Poringland Wanderers,