FOLLOWING two wins on the bounce, director of rugby Charlie Maunder says that Otley are a team to be feared in National League Two.

They followed up their 17-14 victory at Hinckley with another narrow 18-17 triumph at home to Chester.

The twin successes have lifted Otley to ninth, and Maunder said: “We are on a tough run of fixtures on paper with Stourbridge, Hinckley, Chester, Caldy, Loughborough Students and Hull, but we have been picking up points and people should fear us.

“We were fantastic. It was one of our best team performances. We played well last week at Hinckley and we have done the same again and we just build on it.”

He also praised the impact of his replacements as the Cross Greeners won a thoroughly entertaining contest against the fifth-placed visitors.

Brett Mitchell (absent for the Hinckley match because of a wedding), Ben Steele, Josh Hall, Callam Sanderson and Will Rigg all boosted the hosts when they came on in the second half.

Maunder added: “We have a really good squad from one to 30.

“Brett was away last week so it was hard to bring him straight back in. He was on the bench and has done a job and Steely has come and also made a difference.

“The difference at this level is having a bench that can make an impact and we have boys across the board that can do that.”

The club’s start over six matches mirrors the beginning that they made in 2018-19, and Maunder said: “After seven games last season I think we were one off relegation and we flirted with the top for the rest of the season.

“It is a proper division and it has a balance.”

This Saturday Otley will face their toughest test yet when travel to the Wirral to take on table-topping Caldy.

Caldy, who have yet to be beaten this season, dropped into the league after being relegated from National League One

Promoted Scunthorpe are currently bottom with five points but Maunder warned: “By the time we get to play them (away on December 7) they will have learnt at this level and adapted and they will be tough to beat.

“There is no given and if you don’t turn up at this level then you get turned over.”

Chester are a case in point and Maunder added: “They are a very tough side – not easy to beat – and as soon as you switch off . . .”

Otley sprinted into a 10-0 lead via a first-minute try by Max Johnson and a penalty and a conversion by Joe Rowntree before going 12-10 behind.

Rowntree nudged them ahead with a penalty but Chester benefited from a high-tackle ruling to score a try early in the second half and Otley won it with a 73rd-minute Alex Beaumont try.

Maunder surmised: “I thought that we retained possession better than we have done in previous weeks and we controlled it well in the end and kept it in their half once we had got the lead for those last seven minutes.

“On reflection we deserved it. We go through phases where we do start well and then we don’t start well and it was frustrating to go behind.

“We gifted them it a bit but their try in the second half was probably a high tackle in touch (on Henry Roberts) and the ball has gone to their seven who scored, but that is rugby.

“The kid had him by the back of the collar and you cannot do that.

“The officials were three metres away from him.

“If we stop gifting teams then we will start putting people to bed more.”