GAVIN Johnson says the success of Walsham-le-Willows this season has taken him by surprise.

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But he believes Walsham will have to improve on their last two performances if they are to get a result in today’s top-of-the-table clash at Mildenhall Town.

The former Ipswich Town and Colchester United midfielder or defender has been sidelined during Walsham’s six-match winning streak in the Thurlow Nunn League while he waits to have an operation.

That maximum haul of 18 points has propelled the village side to second place in the Premier Division – their highest-ever position.

Johnson, who will undergo keyhole surgery on his left knee on Wednesday, is hoping to be among the crowd at Recreation Way this afternoon.

He said: “It is a very difficult game, and we will have to play better than we have in the last couple of games to get a result.

“Our next game is Wisbech at home, and it is nice for the club to be involved in these sorts of games.”

The 42-year-old, who returned to Summer Road in pre-season after spending last season at Ryman League Division One North Needham Market, said organisation had been the key to Walsham’s success.

“We have been far more organised thanks to (assistant manager) John Taylor this season.

“You could tell in pre-season that we would be okay, but I didn’t realise how well the team would do.

“We have done really well, although we have not played so well in the last couple of games but we have sill got results. In seasons gone by I think Walsham would have got beaten, but we have dug in and got results.”

Johnson damaged his knee at Diss Town at the start of October and has not played since the FA Vase tie at Hadleigh United on October 13.

“Depending on how the operation goes I hopefully won’t be out for too long, but I don’t know the timeline for my return,” he added.

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