THE old adage of 'catches win matches' was never more true for Witham Cricket Club as they suffered a second consecutive disappointment in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one.

Skipper Jake Wakelin felt his team had been the architects of their own downfall, but has been buoyed by a confident response this week from his players.

Having lost their first game of the season to Hadleigh the week before, Witham went down to a four-wicket defeat by Halstead last weekend.

That latest setback left Witham sat seventh in the table and they will now hope to get back on track when they head to third-placed Coggeshall tomorrow.

Wakelin said: "The response from the boys since the defeat by Halstead has been great.

"A few of them played on Sunday and then on Bank Holiday Monday to get a bit more match practice and we'll be working hard in training this week as we're all eager to right the wrongs of a bad couple of weeks.

"It does happen but we know the table is tight and we can get back up there.

"I think this year, more than any other, you are seeing how tight it is and people are beating each other week-in week-out.

"Having two games rained off didn't help us, but the way things are shaping up, I think it could be the league won by the least amount of points because the way teams are taking points off each other and anyone could finish anywhere in the table.

"If anyone can get on a run, that is what it will take and that's what we have to look to do."

Wakelin expected Shaun and Carl Bragg to return for Witham after both were unavailable last weekend.

Michael Godwin continued his superb early-season form for Witham as he carried his bat to underpin their innings with an unbeaten knock of 101 at the top of the order against Halstead.

But Wakelin was in no doubt where the latest game had slipped away from his team.

Wakelin said: "In all honesty it was a disappointment; we should have got something and it came down to missed chances.

"We dropped four catches in the game and that cost us 90 to 100 runs, which, in a tight game of small margins, you can't afford to do.

"We posted 222 for seven, which was a par score on that wicket and we knew we had to bowl well.

"I felt we did, but dropping someone on 20 and then on 50 when they go on to make 95 was costly.

"The old saying was exactly true - catches win matches.

"No-one means to drop a catch; you see it at Test level, but they can be costly.

"We are all big enough to stand up and take responsibility, but we had a chat at the end and we knew that they had cost us the win."

The defeat was doubly disappointing for Witham because it meant the innings from Godwin did not come in a winning cause, but Wakelin was quick to lavish praise on the opening batsman, who has continued his development at the top of the order this season.

"It was a wonderful innings from Michael Godwin, batting all the way through," added the Witham skipper.

"He is looking like the real deal.

"I've seen him come on as a player since he was ten years old and come through as a young player.

"It was not an easy wicket to bat on as it was a bit two-paced, but he just grafted and it was a brilliant innings.

"It was just unfortunate for him after such a good innings that we couldn't get the win."