SEEING his team’s performances in two excellent FA Trophy displays has given Witham Town manager Marc Benterman confidence that they can get their league form back to where they want it to be.

Although they were eventually edged out 2-0 after extra-time of their replay on Tuesday, Witham went toe-to-toe with Ashford United over two games in the preliminary round of the FA Trophy.

They were two performances against an Ashford side flying high in BetVictor Isthmian League division south east that left Benterman feeling proud.

However, he knows they must now carry that on as they return to BetVictor Isthmian League division north action at Heybridge Swifts on Saturday.

Witham have taken just a point from their previous three league games, but Benterman is certain of the key thing that his players will have taken from their Trophy excursions.

“It is inner belief,” he said.

“I keep saying to the players that we are a good group that is only 16 weeks together and performances like we’ve seen against Ashford only echoes the inner belief we have.

“If you keep losing games then you shouldn’t be able to put in performances like the ones we did over two games against Ashford.

“So it shows you how strong we are in our belief.

“We are never down and that showed how we were still fighting to create chances until the end of that FA Trophy tie.

“That’s a good trait to have and there are good characteristics in the group like that, but what we must do now is to get points on the board in the league.

“If we can perform like that when we head to Heybridge at the weekend, then there is every chance that we’ll give them a difficult game.

“If we have that belief in ourselves then we’ll start climbing the table.”

Heybridge are sat fifth in the division north table and will be buoyant after their Essex Senior Cup triumph against Colchester United in midweek and Benterman knows his team will be underdogs at Scraley Road.

However, he has just seen his players push an Ashford side who are going even better in their respective league, so sees no reason why they shouldn’t be confident.

He added: “Heybridge are going to be up there among the top contenders in our league.

“But then Ashford are up there in a similar way in their league and we went toe-to-toe with them.

“We had a plan against them and from what we saw of them, I’d say they are up there with the Maldon & Tiptrees and Coggeshalls of our league.

“We did a fantastic job against them for 185 minutes; we just came up a little short at the end, but I was so proud of the group.

“It’s a good point to start from and everyone has to push on from here.

“If we get that right then we won’t be too far short of where we want to be.”

Benterman said George Bugg would be back available after being out due to personal commitments on Tuesday.

Benterman also revealed that Witham captain Pat Ahern had turned down a seven-day approach from Essex Senior League side Walthamstow to stay at the Simarco Stadium.

Following the trip to Heybridge on Saturday, Witham head to Hashtag United in the Essex Senior Cup third round on Wednesday.