Simon Walton proves that stepping back can help Havant & Waterlooville move forwards

Simon Walton. Picture: Dave Haines''''''Hawks vs Chelmsford City  - Vanarama National South, Westleigh Park, Havant. Photo by Dave Haines/Portsmouth News
Simon Walton. Picture: Dave Haines''''''Hawks vs Chelmsford City - Vanarama National South, Westleigh Park, Havant. Photo by Dave Haines/Portsmouth News
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The versatility of Simon Walton has proved invaluable in recent weeks for the Hawks.

With injuries biting hard the 32-year-old has shown his adaptability by moving into the back line and bolstering the defence.

Walton played most of his career in midfield but the defensive role isn’t totally new to him.

He said: ‘I have played at the back before so it isn’t something that is totally alien to me.

‘It isn’t something that has come totally out of the blue and I find it pretty natural.

‘I have played in a few positions and I am quite prepared to fill in where needed.’

Walton played an influential role in helping the Hawks reach the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup and also in picking up three vital points at Wealdstone in the league.

He believes the team are starting to improve on some of their early season results.

‘We are starting to get on a bit of a roll,’ said Walton.

‘The bottom line is that we were drawing far too many games.

‘They were games we should have been winning.

‘In those games we failed to capitalise on the pressure we were putting on opponents.

‘Recently we have started to put our chances away and have still only lost once in the league.

‘Our draw at Maidstone is the only game where I felt we were fortunate to come away with something.

‘We have a good run of important games coming up and we have to make sure we are 100-per-cent focused.

‘Our win at Wealdstone set a proper marker for us.

‘Though we didn’t start too well for three-quarters of the game we put them to the sword.

‘The win was an important one because it stopped them opening up a bigger gap at the top.

‘It gave us a huge confidence boost.’

Walton who spent time at Maidstone last season is one of a group of former Sutton United payers at the Hawks.

They are all aiming to push on and get promotion.

He added: ‘Without beating about the bush I came here to help the Hawks make a push for promotion back up to the National League.

‘The expectations are that we want to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

‘It is no secret we want promotion. It is not always that easy though and it is vital we keep driving forwards and keep standards high.

‘In our league if you drop your standards then you will get punished.

‘It is still only October and it is early days but so far we have done okay.’

The Hawks are back in FA Cup action next weekend when they host National League South rivals Dulwich Hamlet in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.