Kirkley & Pakefield aiming to maintain remarkable transformation

PUBLISHED: 00:05 16 December 2017

Action from Kirkley & Pakefield's 4-0 win over Ipswich Wanderers. Picture: Bryan Grint

Action from Kirkley & Pakefield's 4-0 win over Ipswich Wanderers. Picture: Bryan Grint


Kirkley & Pakefield manager Mark Willis has paid tribute to his players after watching them turn around the club's fortunes in spectacular fashion.

The Royals looked to be facing a long hard slog after taking just six points from their opening 12 fixtures in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

But since the beginning of October they have suffered just two defeats in 14 games, with an impressive haul of 28 points helping them reach the heady heights of 12th in the table.

They will be looking to extend that impressive run at Long Melford today and Willis says it’s a game everyone connected with the club is looking forward to.

“There is a real buzz around the place at the moment, the atmosphere is really vibrant,” said the Royals’ boss, whose side beat Ipswich Wanderers 4-0 at Walmer Road last weekend. “We are doing well at the moment and there is also a lot of good work going on behind the scenes too.

“The important thing now is to maintain the momentum we have built up and keep moving up the table. From what we understand as many as seven teams could be going down this season in a league reorganisation so we are still looking over our shoulders.”

He added: “It was a very difficult start to the season but everything started to change after we called a team meeting to discuss what was going wrong. Everyone had their say and we decided to play a different way – play to our strengths if you like – and things gradually started to click. The lads knuckled down, showed an excellent attitude and we started to win games. It’s basically the same set of players, with one or two back from injury – and they have shown what they can do.”

Willis is hoping striker Kyle Baker will be available soon after being forced out by appendix surgery.

Great Yarmouth Town and Wroxham are the only local Premier Division teams at home tomorrow, against Newmarket and Wivenhoe respectively. Gorleston are at Haverhill Rovers while Thetford Town travel to Ipswich Wanderers boosted by successive 9-0 and 6-2 home wins.

Norwich CBS have a tough game at unbeaten leaders Woodbridge in Division One while second-placed Swaffham are at home to Debenham LC.

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