Witham Cricket Club’s players need to get over their early-innings malaise if they are going to give themselves a chance of staying in the top flight of the Marsall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

As has happened too frequently this season, slow starts with the bat and ball hampered them again in their division one 55-run defeat by Maldon last weekend.

The loss left Witham fourth from bottom in the table and while they aren’t in the drop zone at the moment, they know they need to start winning games to not get dragged in – starting with their trip to fourth-placed Wivenhoe on Saturday.

Skipper Leroy Facey said: “It’s got to be a bit of a mental thing with not playing well in the opening spells of innings and we’ve now got a few guys struggling for runs and wickets.

"It hits confidence and when you lose a few games in a row little things don’t go for you.

“It’s fine margins, but, as I’ve said before, this is an unforgiving league and you have to get all parts of your game right to do well."

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