WITHAM Town manager Mark Ashford insisted that his team's bounce-back win at Grays Athletic had answered a lot of questions that may have been posed both from within and outside their club.

Ashford's side saw a seven-game unbeaten run in Bostik League division north ended by a 2-0 defeat at Mildenhall Town the week before, but he felt any thoughts that their resurgence, after a testing start to the league campaign, had been brought to a conclusion by that result were put to rest by this win.

Kevin Coyle's 66th minute strike proved the difference in a 1-0 victory and the way his players had responded to a setback was almost as important as the three points earned for the Witham boss.

"First and foremost, it was important that we bounced back after Mildenhall with a win," said Ashford.

"All of a sudden now, people are saying that we’ve had six wins from the last eight games, which is a tremendous haul for any team at any level at any time.

“That’s a great situation for us to be in, but had we not bounced back and because of the performance at Mildenhall, then people may have considered our run as just a purple patch and confident may have gone a bit.

“So I think the way we bounced back was important and we answered a lot of questions both internally and externally."

It wasn't a straightforward success for Witham, though, and they had to overcome early pressure from their hosts.

However, Ashford was pleased to see players rising to the challenge as they laid the foundation to go on and get the win in the second half.

He added: “It was a tight game.

“Grays were the better team for the first 30 minutes and they played really well as we struggled to cope with their system.

“But we had some outstanding performances down the spine of our team.

“The two centre backs – Pat Ahern and Kevin Coyle – were both excellent, Finlay Shorten, the goalkeeper who was standing in for us again, had a really good game, Sam Owusu was a real powerhouse and got better and better and Ayo (Odukayo), who did not have a great game the week before, was brilliant as he led the line against some experienced centre-halves.

“Those players really helped us stay in the game in that period and gave us enough to ensure we did not concede and could then finish the half strongly after making a few tactical tweaks.

“We had a good conversation at half-time about where we needed to be better in the second half and I thought we were the better team over that second 45 minutes.

“To score from a set play is always good and I was so pleased to see Kevin Coyle on target, but we had a number of other really good chances and could have won by more than what we did.

“Any of those would have killed the game off had they gone in so I thought we were well worth our lead at the end."