Manager pleasantly surprised by Hornets’ good form

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With his side sitting fifth in the latest Thurlow Nunn League First Division form table, Mark Benterman has conceded he did not expect to have such an instant impact in the Debenham LC hotseat.

Just four teams have picked up more points over the last six games than Benterman’s charges, who made it back-to-back wins on Saturday with a 1-0 victory at Cornard United.

Such results mean that, were the 14th-placed Hornets to make it three triumphs in a row at home against bottom-of-the-table Leiston Reserves tomorrow (3pm), they will have surpassed last season’s points tally with nine fixtures to spare.

That was Benterman’s first target when he took on the job back in January and while he believed it to be a realistic aim, the boss is surprised to be on the verge of achieving it so quickly.

“Football does throw you up surprises and this is a pleasant one,” he said.

“It has gone better than we imagined, but the lads deserve a lot of the credit for that because they have taken on board what we are trying to do from day one.

“We wanted to change the mentality and the mind-set and that seems to be happening.

“There is still plenty of work to be done, but we have already achieved plenty. Gates are going up and people are talking about us.

“It is laying down good foundations for next season, when I expect us to be very competitive.”

Experienced goalkeeper Steve Fenner (unavailable) will miss the clash with Leiston’s second string, while defender Lewis Kemp is suspended.

After that match, Debenham make a swift return to action on Tuesday when Team Bury will be their visitors (7.45pm).

n Benterman has also confirmed that the club intends to apply for a place in next season’s Emirates FA Cup.

A top-10 finish is likely to guarantee it, but while that appears tough for Debenham to secure, Benterman is ruling nothing out.

“It does look a long way off, but if we win our next two games and other results go our way, we could be in the mix,” he added.