Sam Cripps and Jordan Heath (left) celebrate the latter's winning goal at Brightlingsea Regent Reserves Picture: Chris Smith

HARWICH and Parkeston striker Jordan Heath believes his side can muscle their way into the promotion picture - despite making a stuttering start to the new season.

The Shrimpers have only won one of their opening five Thurlow Nunn League first division south fixtures - Saturday's 1-0 success at Brightlingsea Regent Reserves.

They have drawn two and lost two of the other four and slipped to another defeat on Tuesday night, when going down 2-1 at Holland FC.

Skipper Heath admits it has been a frustrating start but fully expects his team to start firing soon.

"With the group of lads we've got, we know that if we turn up, do the basics well and work hard, we're going to win games," he said.

"Unfortunately, in some of our opening games, those qualities haven't been there.

"We're honest and know that defensively, we've been giving away too many cheap and avoidable goals.

"We've paid a price in certain games but it's important to get over that and learn from out mistakes.

"We expect to be right up there.

"With the players we've brought in, we have to believe that.

"People are tipping us to challenge for promotion and we have to live with that expectation.

"We have to deal with it and show everyone that they're right to back us.

"In a way, you can't read too much into these early-season results but it was important to get that first win last weekend."

Heath scored the winning goal at Brightlingsea's Taydal Stadium on Saturday.

He admitted it was a good feeling to win for the first time, albeit being disappointed that it didn't lead to another victory at Holland.

"In addition to winning last week, we also kept a clean sheet so it ticked certain boxes and it was great to get that buzz back in the dressing room," said Heath, who also scored on Tuesday.

"There's no better feeling than coming away with a hard-fought win.

"We knew we had to graft and it didn't matter how the win came or how we played. We just wanted to come away with the points.

"In the end, I thought we deserved it.

"Brightlingsea gave us a bit of a scare at the end but we defended a lot better and, in the end, it was probably the right result.

"It was an important win.

"We weren't panicking because of the start we'd made. It was more disappointment."

Harwich are at home to early leaders Halstead Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).