WHILE Witham Town were left to rue missed chances on their trip to Great Wakering Rovers, manager Marc Benterman was buoyed to see his team show they can be competitive against another side who he believes will finish well in BetVictor Isthmian League division north this year.

Witham created plenty of scoring opportunities - especially in the first half - as they headed to Great Wakering, but came away with a 2-0 defeat and Benterman was disappointed that they left with no reward from another encouraging performance.

The defeat came on the back of another frustrating result after Witham had been pegged back to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Romford in their previous game, when they were again unable to make more of scoring opportunities they created.

The Witham boss said: "Tuesday ran into Saturday as, like in the second half against Romford, we just weren't clinical enough.

"We went behind after about 11 minutes at Great Wakering, but by that time we'd already had three or four chances to go ahead.

"Not half-chances, clear-cut chances, but we weren't clinical enough.

"We had a few boys out but no excuses and at this level, you are going to get punished.

"We missed opportunities and they go down the other end and score - that's how tough this level is.

"So we are frustrated but you do have to be realistic.

"Sometimes players need to gamble and we are looking for players to be the winner; to be the hero for us, but it is fine margins."

However, Benterman felt it once again demonstrated that his new-look team are being competitive in division north despite having only been brought together over the summer.

Great Wakering's win took them into the play-off places and Benterman said he, his players and the club should be enthused by knowing that they are regularly going toe-to-toe with sides at the top of the division.

He added: "I think we have competed in all the games - other than the Maldon one (that was lost 5-0) - and that is what excites me at this moment.

"I didn't expect us to be competing like we are against sides like this so soon and I think that's why the club are pleased.

"Great Wakering went fifth by beating us on Saturday but we have come away disappointed from that game and knowing that we can compete against clubs like them, who will be finishing in the top eight this year, is a good thing.

"People said to me after the game that when we went one down, they weren't think that we'd go on to lose by three or four, they were thinking instead that we'd win 2-1 and it was just frustrating that we didn't take the chances we created."