JOHNNY Ashman says he is seeing the direct benefits of the chance to work alongside manager Mark Ashford at Witham Town.

The 22-year-old former Bowers & Pitsea and Cheshunt forward is enjoying an excellent season at the Village Glass Stadium, having been brought to the club by Ashford last summer.

The quality of his strike in the team's 1-1 draw against Barking last weekend was evidence of the way that he is developing and Witham will be looking to extend a run that has seen them lose just once in the last ten games when they host Tilbury on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Ashman said the opportunity to work with the Witham boss was a big reason behind his decision to come to the club and he is pleased with the progress that he has made so far this year.

He said: “I’m definitely learning from working with Mark and that’s what I’m here for.

“I’m from London so you’d have to say that Witham wasn’t a natural club for me to come to, but Mark is a big part of the reason why I’m here.

“He speaks very highly of me and I’ve always wanted to work with him.

“So when he gave me the opportunity, I was quick to take it.

“I had other offers, but I thought if there’s someone who can develop me as a player, it’s Mark.

“He’s been brilliant and has brought me on a lot.

“One part of my game that I really wanted to push on was my goals; I’ve always played well but never scored too many goals and that’s one thing he has been trying to drill into me.

“I have five now so far and I’m hoping that more will come.

“So I was pleased to see the one go in against Barking."

Ashman's goal came with a stunning curled effort that flew into the top corner of the Barking goal from the edge of the area and he admitted that it was his boss' coaching that had a part to play in it.

He added: “I had a similar chance at Grays the week before and I put it over the bar, but Mark was saying to me ‘take the power off, take the power off’.

“So as I was about to strike the ball this time, I had him on my shoulder with his voice in my ear going ‘take the power off’.

“Luckily I took his advice on board and put it into the top corner.

“His knowledge is second to none.

“He’s an A licence coach so he knows his stuff and when you are working with someone like that, it’s only going to develop your game.

“I was glad to get on the scoresheet against Barking and hopefully there’ll be many more to come."

Ashford, meanwhile was grateful that his words of wisdom were heeded by Ashman and said the way he took his goal against Barking was another example of how his players were listening to and learning from advice given to them.

Ashford added: “Johnny had a great chance when we were one-nil up at Grays the week before where he skipped brilliantly around the centre-half and, from 14 yards out, tried to take the leather off the ball.

“I’m constantly on at them, when you are in the box, try to caress the ball in, don’t try to force it and that’s what Johnny did against Barking.

“He curled it but didn’t try to take the leather off the ball and he said to me straight away when he came over that he had it in his mind not to smash it.

“That shows that it is going in with these players.

“It is a constant process with them but they are learning."