BOWERS & Pitsea boss Rob Small insists goalkeeper Callum Chafer has not been made a scapegoat.

Chafer, who rejoined Bowers from Hornchurch in the summer, was dropped for the 2-1 defeat to Bognor Regis Town in midweek after Colchester United youngster Callum Coulter signed on loan.

The move came after a testing month which saw Bowers drop into the Isthmian Premier League relegation zone and eliminated from the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

But Small believes competition for the goalkeeper’s jersey will drive Chafer on.

Small said: “We just felt we needed a fresh pair of hands in there to take a little bit of pressure off Callum Chafer after what has been a tough couple of weeks for the whole team.

“By no means is Callum a scapegoat because he is a brilliant goalkeeper but we just felt it would be prudent to bring a new goalkeeper in.

“I thought Callum Coulter did really well on his debut.

“His distribution is excellent and he is very confident. He commanded his box well so he made a really good start.

“It was an impressive performance from a lad who only met his team-mates on the night of the game with Bognor.

“We now have some healthy competition, which we perhaps didn’t have in the goalkeeping position. That will help us in the long run.”

Coulter is likely to retain his place in Small’s starting line-up when Bowers make the trip to Merstham for an Isthmian Premier League clash tomorrow.

While Bowers are currently in the relegation zone, Merstham are only two points better off than Small’s outfit in 18th spot.