BOWERS & Pitsea boss Rob Small is relishing the chance to go up against one of the Isthmian Premier League’s promotion favourites this weekend.

Small’s side are set to visit Kingstonian tomorrow.

And, although the K’s find themselves 16th in the standings having made a slow start to the campaign, Small believes Hayden Bird’s outfit are already turning their season around after registering back-to-back wins.

“Kingstonian are one of the favourites to win promotion this season and you cannot read into their current league position too much,” said Small.

“They have a manager who led his Merstham side to the play-offs last season and a lot of that team are now representing Kingstonian.

“I think they have a really strong squad and they have won their last two games without conceding a goal.

“There is absolutely no doubt that it will be a difficult game.

“They have players in their squad like Sean Clohessy, who was the first choice right-back at Southend United not too long ago, and that shows how far we have come as a club.

“Games like this is what winning promotion was all about and this is the challenge we wanted.”

While Kingstonian head into the clash following two successive victories, Bowers have been consigned to back-to-back Isthmian Premier League defeats.

But Small is keen to remain positive.

“You can always look at your form in different ways,” added Small, whose side clinched the Isthmian North title last term.

“We can’t get away from the fact that we have lost our last two games, but we also have seven points on the board from our first five games at this level and I think that is a reasonably good return.

“We are not looking any further ahead than our next game against Kingstonian and, by the same token, we are looking behind us.

“If we keep reaching the standards we have made over the last few years, we know we will continue to pick up points.”

Small also believes Bowers’ future is bright after the under-23s sealed a 3-1 win over a strong Grays Athletic side to progress in the Essex Thameside Trophy.

“It was an unbelievable result,” admitted Small.

“I shouldn’t be surprised because we have a lot of faith in the players and what (under-23s manager) John Guyton is doing.

“I’m glad that we made the decision to give the under-23s the chance to play and they took their opportunity.

“They went up against a strong Grays side.”