ROB Small admitted to feeling proud as Bowers & Pitsea showed promise in their opening pre-season friendly.

Second half goals from Louis Dunne and Luke Norris resulted in the Isthmian Premier League newcomers suffering a 2-0 defeat to League Two side Colchester United.

But Small felt there were plenty of positives to come from the clash, which attracted a decent crowd to the Len Salmon Stadium.

"It was a good workout," said the Bowers boss.

"We had nothing to lose, worked hard and acquitted ourselves well so I'm very proud.

"When you're playing against a good League Two side that will be pushing for promotion and who have selected a very strong side, you understand you will be spending a lot of time out of possession.

"With that in mind, you have to be very organised without the ball and we have obviously worked very on hard on that over the years.

"What was most pleasing was that a lot of the stuff we embedded in the players last season is fresh in their minds still.

"That gives us half a chance to build on that moving forward."

The friendly gave Small the opportunity to start summer signings Callum Chafer and Kenzer Lee, while fellow arrivals Marlon Agyakwa and Dan Trendall came off the bench.

And Small was pleased with the quartet.

"Callum made some really good saves as we got tired, but in the first half he didn't have to make many saves because we defended well," added Small.

"Kenzer was phenomenal for us, while Dan and Marlon had exciting moments.

"They were direct and that is exactly what we are looking for from them.

"All four of them have shown good personalities and although they have some work to do in terms of getting up to speed, I was very pleasing with all four of them."