Casuals battle gives cause for optimism

Familiar face: Corinthian Casuals' former Ks midfielder Jamie Byatt hit the winner on New Year's Day

Familiar face: Corinthian Casuals' former Ks midfielder Jamie Byatt hit the winner on New Year's Day

First published in Sport Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Walton Causals boss Danny Carroll is confident 2013 can only get better for the Ryman Division One South strugglers.

The former Waterside Drive first team coach only took over from Mick Sullivan in November and already has a 7-0 defeat to Faversham Town under his belt as boss.
 

It meant the Stags had conceded 11 goals in his first four winless league games in charge to leave Carroll’s side  rooted to the foot of the table prior to Saturday’s trip to  Crawley Down Gatwick – which fell foul of the wet weather – and the New Year’s Day 1-0 home defeat to  Cornithian Casuals.
 

Commendable 1-1 draws away to title-chasing Maidstone United and at home to Herne Bay suggest Walton have the stomach for the fight and the manager believes his men have the bottle to beat the drop.
 

“I was coach before I took over as manager, so I knew the situation and that things were not going brilliantly,” he said.
 

“I was given the job out of the blue really and once you take over you professional pride kicks in and you want to do your best and that is what I will do.
 

“We’ve got some good players and have got a really good team spirit here.  We’ve made some changes so it will take a bit of time to gel.
 

“But this is a very tight league and three or four wins can get you straight up the league.
 

“We are not pressing the panic button.  There is a very long way to go.”
Two faces Carroll has brought in are striker Greg Andrews – on loan from Leatherhead – and returning hero Danny Buckle, who has switched from Harrow Borough.
 

“To first get Greg in was fantastic, but then to get a second player who has played at a higher level, is going to be massive for us at this stage of the season,” added the manager.
 

“Like every other team down at bottom we do not want to be relegated.
“We cannot look any further ahead than taking it each game as it comes.  All we can do is aim to get as many points as we possibly can.”
 

The Andrews and Buckle combination had little effect on Tuesday as an 87th minute strike from former Kingstonian midfielder Jamie Byatt gave Corinthian Casuals the win.
 

And the result left King George’s Field chief Kim Harris dreaming of a top ten finish.
 

The win gives Harris’ side, who had lost their previous three league games, a seven -point cushion between themselves and the Ryman Division One South drop zone at the start of 2013.
 

“That was our most important win of the season so far,” said the manager.
 

“I believe we have the potential to now beat anyone in the league.
 

“If you look at all the teams in the league, every team is very similar in terms of their levels of footballing ability.
 

“It will be tough, but I believe that we can now go on to secure a top 10 finish.”
 

Harris’ men face a tough trip to league leaders Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday followed by the visit of ninth-placed Worthing.

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