WITHAM Town manager Marc Benterman feels his team's last two BetVictor Isthmian League division north outings highlight the strides forward that they are taking.

Having drawn 3-3 at AFC Sudbury and come away disappointed that it wasn't a win, Witham channelled that frustration when heading to Soham Town Rangers last weekend when a dominant performance saw them claim a welcome three-point haul.

It moved Witham up to 14th in the league table and they will hope to build further when they head to 17th-placed Basildon United on Saturday and Benterman is pleased that his team are gathering pace heading into a key part of the season.

He said: “After the second half we had against Cambridge City and then the game against Sudbury when we were disappointed to not come away with more than point, we wanted to carry on that momentum in the league.

“So it was fantastic for the group that we managed to do that with a very good display at Soham.

“That’s four points we’ve taken from the last two games and shows the good work that we’ve been doing off the pitch.

“It’s certainly paying dividends.

“I wanted us to use the momentum going into the Soham game as I saw it as a big three points for us against a team who are in and around us.

“We have now taken 15 points and that’s good after 14 games; at the same point in the season last year, the team had taken six and this squad can be proud of what they’ve done.

“What’s really important is that we’ve been taking points off sides who are in and around us in the table and that’s what you really want.

“You have to be competitive in those games and win them and then hope you can pick up points in the games against sides at the top of the league who are putting a lot of money into it.

“So going to a Soham side that had only lost 1-0 to Tilbury and had held Coggeshall 1-1 and to be in total control of the game was very impressive.

“We controlled it from the start and I know it can be difficult playing against ten men, but we continued and were good for the three points.

“The only disappointing thing was not keeping a clean sheet."

Benterman feels a key factor is the greater consistency he is now seeing from his team.

He added: “Last year, Witham had only taken six points after 14 games, but we have taken 15 and I think it’s remarkable when you look at the teams below us in the table.

“We could take another step towards the top ten after Saturday if we can beat Basildon, so I think everyone can take a lot of credit for that – not just myself and the players, the whole club.

“What has hurt us so far, though, are the cup competitions because we have had so many cup tied and have not been able to be consistent.

“But we have them out of the way now and I feel we can grow and grow.

“I’ve noticed that the side is starting to pick itself now.

“We had just two changes from the Sudbury game to the one at Soham last weekend and what we did at Sudbury was carried on."

Witham were due to return to action last night when they were set to face Maldon & Tiptree at the Simarco Stadium in the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup in a game that played after the Times went to press.

Meanwhile, Benterman added that he was attempting to extend the loan deal of Luke Ige from Colchester United after being impressed with the youngster in his first month at Witham.

“We are trying to extend the deal with Luke Ige and we are in talks with Colchester United about that," said the Town boss.

“It would be lovely of we were able to agree it and they have been very happy with how we have been playing him and with his progress.

“He has also said he’d like to stay longer as he loves it with us and he is playing well."