ROB Small was full of joy after leading Bowers & Pitsea to the first Isthmian North title in the club’s history.

Bowers were crowned champions after sealing a 4-0 win over Dereham Town at the Len Salmon Stadium.

David Knight racked up his third hat-trick of the season, while Lewis Clark was also on target.

And Small believes Bowers are following a similar path to Concord Rangers, who climbed through the pyramid to reach the National League South.

The Bowers boss said: “Being crowned champions still doesn’t feel real.

“I can’t believe we’ve done it when there are so many bigger clubs in the division.

“I shouldn’t be surprised because this group of players are phenomenal, but I’m lost for words.

“It’s going to be quite something to see us competing in step three of non-league football.

“I watched Concord many years ago climb up the leagues through the years and each time I thought ‘they can’t do that’ but they kept doing it.

“I’m proud to be on a similar journey here and we will start getting to work on finding a way to compete in step three.”

The hosts broke the deadlock midway through the first half as James Thomas, enjoying his 100th appearance for Bowers, latched onto a loose ball and Isthmian North top goalscorer Knight was on hand to convert the dangerous cross from close range.

Bowers doubled their advantage just two minutes later as Knight’s header bounced up and into the top corner of the net after meeting Quentin Monville’s cross.

Clark nodded home five minutes after the interval as Bowers continued to dominate.

And Knight rounded off a day for the club to remember by completing his hat-trick – and scoring his 35th Isthmian North goal of the season – late on.

The final whistle sparked wild celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.

Four fixtures of the Isthmian North season remain and, although Bowers have already claimed the title, Small insists his side will look to extend their 14 match winning run.

Small admitted: “We’ll be professional. David wants to score as many goals as he can and he will be spitting feathers if we start messing around with the team.

“We’ll show the league the respect it deserves. We’ll try to win every game as well as scoring as many goals as we can.”