WITH just over two weeks to go before the start of his team's campaign, manager Marc Benterman feels Witham Town's players are reaping the rewards of a busy pre-season schedule.

Witham are getting ready for a first BetVictor Isthmian League division north season with Benterman at the helm and it has been a hectic summer so far.

The campaign gets under way on August 17 and the new boss has had to assemble a squad almost from scratch, but he is pleased with the progress that has been made.

Witham beat Benterman's former club, Halstead Town, in a pre-season friendly last weekend as ex-Colchester United striker Jamie Guy scored the only goal in a 1-0 win.

They then went to Haverhill Rovers, where they drew 1-1, on Tuesday and they are due to step up preparations again with another fixture on Saturday.

Benterman is set to take his team to Herne Bay and he is pleased with how his squad is shaping up in their busy run of summer games.

He said: “We are not too far short of where we want to be.

“We’ve had a lot of game time; we had four games in seven days last week – I don’t care who you are or whatever level you play at, that’s a big schedule.

“But the boys have dealt with it and they’ll be fitter for it and we go again.

“After every game we are a little bit closer to where we want to be."

Jamie Guy scored the only goal of the game at Halstead after linking up well with striker partner George Bugg and, after seven wins and two draws, Benterman is pleased that his players are building a winning mentality in their pre-season preparations.

He said: “I was really happy with the first half at Halstead, but second half, after looking OK for five to ten minutes, we then made seven changes and you always have a disjointed effect from that.

“But that was four games in seven days for us and that’s a tough schedule in the weather we had last week.

“We looked a bit tired and a bit disjointed at the end, but it took our pre-season run to seven wins and a draw.

“What pleased me at the end was the way the boys were putting their bodies on the line.

“Momentum is massive in football and they don’t want to lose a game; they’re willing to grind out a result and that was quite pleasing to see.

“I was pleased with how we looked before the changes were made.

“They couldn’t live with us in the first half, but we had to show another side in the second."