BOWERS & Pitsea boss Rob Small is looking forward to his side being involved in yet another top-of-the-table clash.

Table-topping Bowers are four points clear of second-placed Aveley ahead of tomorrow’s Isthmian North meeting between the two sides at Parkside.

And Bowers boss Small is relishing the challenge.

Small said: “Who would have thought that little old Bowers would be involved in first-versus-second games at this level?

“But these are the games we want to be involved in because if you want to be the best then you need to beat the best.

“A lot of people think that Aveley are the best team in the league and I have got a lot of time for their management team.

“They have achieved great things in the past and it’s only a matter of time before they will enjoy success again.

“Aveley have still not lost at home, but we have a good record overall and so we will prepare in the same way as we approach each game.

“We will try to find ways to stop their potent attacking threats hurting us and also look at ways for us to impose ourselves on them.”

Bowers started the campaign by playing home fixtures at Aveley’s Parkside while the Len Salmon Stadium was renovated.

Like Parkside, Bowers’ home also boasts a 3G pitch and Small believes playing on an artificial surface is beneficial in non-league football.

“I think that some teams overthink going to play on a 3G pitch if they don’t have an artificial surface themselves,” added the Bowers chief.

“Artificial pitches offer a perfect playing surface, which you don’t get when playing on grass in January.

“We play on 3G pitches most weeks and we also used their ground earlier in the season.

“It’s a lovely set-up at Parkside and it’s impossible to not enjoy going there.”

Aveley go into the encounter having come from behind to seal a 4-3 victory over Grays Athletic on Wednesday.

The Millers were behind with 10 minutes to play but scored two late goals to secure the three points needed to move up to second place in the standings.

But Small believes Aveley’s lack of recovery time will not affect James Webster’s side.

Small admitted: “The manner of their win will have given them plenty of energy.

“They will be dining out on a win like that for some time.

“I’m sure they’ll be full of adrenaline as well, but hopefully we can pick up a positive result.”