Wick boss O'Toole refusing to get carried away after winning start

Wick celebrate a goal earlier in the season. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Wick celebrate a goal earlier in the season. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Bryan O’Toole made a winning start to life as Wick manager on Saturday - but is refusing to get carried away.

Debutants Jamie Cradock and Tom Gannon both netted as did frontman Terry Dodd and Kieron Playle-Howard in Wick’s 4-0 SCFL Division 1 win over struggling St Francis Rangers at Crabtree Park.

It was a perfect start for boss O’Toole, who took over from former joint managers Ady Baker and Lee Baldwin earlier this month, but he feels there is still plenty to do at the club.

Wick climbed two places to fourth in the table following the win over St Francis, though, O’Toole was not overly pleased with the performance.

He said: “It was an okay start. They lost their goalkeeper in the warm-up and had to put an outfield player in goal.

“You could argue that their keeper should have done better with all four goals but we got the win and it’s a start.

“It was not much better than a pub team performance and I made the players aware of that.

“I’ve given the team six weeks where results don’t matter, it’s about getting everything right at the club.

“If results don’t go well we could be out of the promotion picture by then, but this will be almost like a pre-season within a season.

“We’ve got some big games to come and it’s going to be a real test. We worked on the defensive side of things in training and I asked for a clean sheet, so to keep them out was a pleasing aspect.”

Playle-Howard opened the scoring after 12 minutes then Dodd added a second nine minutes later

Debutant Cradock made it three on the half-hour before substitute Gannon rounded off the scoring on his first appearance for the club five minutes from time.

Cradock, Gannon, Jack Manton and Michael Damario - three of whom featured in the win over St Francis - joined the club last week while Danny Hand and Alex Kew left for Littlehampton.

O’Toole is particularly pleased with the acquisition of Cradock and said: “I worked with him at Shoreham and I’d say he’s one of the most technically gifted players in the County League.

“There are areas where he needs to improve and he was way off his best against St Francis, but it’s great to have him here.

Wick are set to face the current top-two - Bexhill United and AFC Varndeanians - in their next two fixtures. And O’Toole is wary of the tests his team will face.

He added: “We’ve got to go into these games and see how we go. We’re just taking it one game at a time, it’s still early days for me, so it will be interesting to see how the team copes with the challenges to come in the next few weeks.

Wick make the trip to second-placed Bexhill United on Saturday.

WICK: Belcher; Chaplin, Ediker, Cox, J.Bingham; G.Bingham, Playle-Howard; DaMario, Cradock, Crouch; Dodd. Subs: Gannon (G.Bingham), Hope (Playle-Howard), Northeast (DaMario), Manton, O’Hagan.

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