BOWERS and Pitsea boss Rob Small was pleased with the result rather than the performance after his table-topping side beat Grays Athletic 1-0.

Lewis Manor bagged the only goal of the game as Bowers went three points clear at the top of the Bostik North standings.

But Small was not completely satisfied with his side’s display.

“It wasn’t the most fluid Bowers performance you will see so I’m more satisfied with the result than anything else,” said Small.

“We’ve got work to do on the training pitch and we need to improve.

“That said, we were good without the ball and restricted Grays to one or two chances in the whole game which, against some of the best attacking players the division has to offer, is a big positive out of the game.

“I also feel like 12 months ago we would have dropped points so there is a marked improvement of the mentality in our group and the ability to stick in games that are difficult and find a way to win.”

Bowers were presented with the first chance of the game when a half-cleared cross fell to Ben Sartain, but his strike was deflected just wide of the post.

Andy Wilton then showed why he was the worthy winner of January Golden Gloves award when he produced a sensational save to deny Grays’ Dennis Oli at the back post.

The two sides continued to exchange chances with Bowers’ David Knight forcing Bogard Clarke into a smart save, after being played in by Brad Warner, before former Bowers winger Correy Davidson scuffed a volley attempt wide.

Bowers were looking particularly dangerous on the break, and they came close to scoring through one such counter attack. Lewis Manor put in Quentin Monville and his cross was placed onto the head of Knight, but Clarke saved well to deny Bowers the lead.

After such a fast start it was hardly surprising that the frantic pace came to an end, with neither side able to create a chance until the last minute of the half when Knight put in Monville, but his shot was straight at Clarke.

However, Bowers made the breakthrough when Manor netted at the second attempt in the 56th minute to secure a valuable victory. Grays’ hopes of a comeback were hit by a red card shown to Zak Henry three minutes later for violent conduct.