Benterman hails strength in depth in Halstead squad

Mark Benterman.
Mark Benterman.

Mark Benterman has said Halstead Town’s strength in depth will give him a selection headache for this weekend’s trip to Leiston Reserves.

The Humbugs welcome back Luke Banner, James Regan, Lee Clowsley and Tom Holdstock to the squad ahead of their visit to Victory Road on Saturday (3pm).

And even though their returns gives Benterman tough decisions to make in his starting line-up, the Halstead boss is pleased to have those problems to solve again.

“Strength in depth has been an issue for us,” he said. “When you don’t have it you can start to struggle when you have players missing.

“We had it a couple of years ago when we were in the top three all year round, but we’re now getting that back.”

Benterman’s side returned to Thurlow Nunn League First Division action at the weekend, with Cameron Storie netting the winner in a narrow 1-0 victory at home to March Town United.

It was Halstead’s first league game in three weeks, with their last outings being in cup competitions, where they suffered defeats in both the FA Vase and League Challenge Cup earlier this month.

Saturday’s win moved the Humbugs back into the top three, and with games against the likes of King’s Lynn Town Reserves and Ely City coming up, Benterman knows how valuable three points would be to their promotion aspirations this season.

“We’ve got a very different team from last year,” he said. “We’re gelling quickly and have won seven out of our 10 league games so far.

“We’ll go there on Saturday with confidence and hopefully the players can get a bit more understanding of each other, and get better as a unit.

“To have five players missing and be in the top three is a great achievement.”

Following Saturday’s win against March, Halstead announced two new arrivals to the management team to replace former chairman/assistant manager Jim Holder.

Luke Nash (Barnston AFC) and Liam Aves (Tiptree Jobserve) have joined as Benterman’s assistant managers.

n Elsewhere, Long Melford will put their Premier Division credentials to the test when they host last season’s champions, and current unbeaten leaders, Norwich United on Saturday (3pm).

The Villagers, who were set to visit Walsham-le-Willows in the Suffolk Premier Cup last night, were beaten 4-1 at Stanway Rovers last Friday.

n For fixtures and results on all our Thurlow Nunn League teams turn to page 73.