SHEERWATER gaffer John Comer said his players performed superbly to avoid relegation after the club made a dreadful start to the season.

The Sheers guaranteed their survival in Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division South with one game to spare.

And they finished in 16th place following a 5-1 defeat to Tadley Calleva in their final match, on 25 April.

Comer was appointed in late November following a walkout by the club’s previous management team of Michael Herbert and Darryl Jelly. And Comer took over with the side in a perilous position. 

He told the News & Mail: “The team had scored only six goals and had eight points [when I joined], so it was going to be a difficult task. But I was confident from the start that we could get out of it.

“It was a case of assessing early doors what the club had, and then bringing in new players. 

“We basically rebuilt the whole team – and we’ve got a good, young, local-based side now. The biggest thing this season was staying up.”  

Asked if the 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Banstead Athletic, which ensured Sheerwater’s safety, was the biggest game of the season, Comer said: “It was – but we had some memorable victories against Knaphill at home and Guildford City away.

“We took four points off Guildford and six off Banstead and Frimley Green. You’ve got to make the most of those games against your rivals down at the bottom, and we did that on quite a few occasions.

“It’s all down to the players. I must stress that. The players took on board what I was trying to do, and they were all superb.”

Sheerwater secretary Trevor Wenden said: “Overall, we’ve done very well. The players, the manager and the staff have kept us in step-five football for next season, which is good stuff.” 

For more on the Combined Counties League, see the 4 May issue of the News & Mail, in shops now.