FC CLACTON captain Wayne Chapman believes the spirit and friendship within the Seasiders' camp has been a big part of their success during an explosive start to 2019.

The Rush Green Bowl outfit have won their opening three Thurlow Nunn League premier division matches this year, building on the wins against Ely City and Long Melford by defeating Norwich United 2-0 on Saturday.

Chapman and Adam Hampson scored their goals and an added bonus was a second consecutive clean sheet.

"It's been a great start to the year," Chapman told the Gazette.

"I was a bit worried when Jake Plane left (for Brantham Athletic, on January 6).

"Everyone loved him and rightly so.

"But Jake Clowsley has joined us since and, thankfully, things have gone from strength to strength.

"We've won three in a row and kept back-to-back clean sheets, which isn't something we've achieved too many times.

"We're doing really well and part of the reason is the fact we're all mates.

"We stick together and that's one of the reasons we've had the character to get back to winning ways, after a little blip before Christmas."

Clacton have games in hand on all bar one of the sides above them in the table (second-placed Histon).

They will hope to put more points on the board this weekend, against Whitton United.

The Suffolk side start off two places and three points behind them.

"We've got a few games in hand and if we can take advantage of them, and keep putting points on the board, there's no reason why we can't push into the top six or seven," added Chapman, who recently turned 31.

"If you look at our next three matches, for a start, they're all winnable.

"It's quite close in the table and it's amazing how quickly things can change when you put a run together."

Saturday's match was the last for striker Matt Eve, who made his farewell appearance for the club before departing the UK and moving to Australia.

Meanwhile, Clacton's reserves and veterans also won on Saturday.

The reserves were also 2-0 winners, at Wormingford Wanderers.

James Gregory and Bradley Pile were on target in the Essex Suffolk Border League contest.

The vets made it a clean sweep by defeating Rowhedge 4-1 at Rush Green, thanks to a brace from Paul Hillier and further strikes from Sean Hillier and Peter Kirk.