ROB Small believes his Bowers & Pitsea side face a ‘gargantuan challenge’ when they visit Brightlingsea Regent tonight.

Bowers recorded a 1-1 draw with Wingate & Finchley as they got their first ever Isthmian Premier League campaign underway at the weekend.

Although he would like to build on the opening day point, Small is aware that coming away from the Taydal Stadium with a positive result will be far from easy.

“It’s good that the games are coming thick and fast because there is a lot for us to improve on,” said the Bowers boss.

“We will get another go to show what we can do, so I’m looking forward to tonight’s game.

“Although we both started off with a draw at the weekend, I think their result was better than ours because we were at home and they were at Margate, who are likely to be among the promotion challengers come the end of the season.

“Brightlingsea provide a bit of a blueprint for us because, like us, they are a small club at this level but this is now their third season in the division.

“This is a gargantuan challenge for us.”

Small will be forced into making at least one alteration to the side which started against Wingate as Jamie Dicks has been ruled out through injury.

The winger went down unchallenged early in the second half and needed assistance in leaving the artificial Len Salmon Stadium turf.

However, Small has been boosted by Max Cornhill being back in contention.

“Jamie has sent me a picture of his ankle and it looks very nasty,” added Small.

“It’s quite aggressively swollen and it blew up straightaway.

“We need to wait until the swelling goes down before we can do any tests on it, so I’m expecting us to have to wait for up to a week.

“I knew it was a bad injury because Jamie isn’t the type of player that will roll around or go down unless he is genuinely hurt.

“I’m worried about his injury, but Max Cornhill is back from holiday.

“That means we have lost one midfielder but have another one to replace him.”

David Knight, who scored 36 times as Bowers romped home to the Isthmian North title last term, grabbed the first ever goal in the club’s history in the third tier of non-league football.

But Small felt Bowers were nervous against Wingate.

“Our second half performance gives us more confidence,” admitted Small.

“We deserve to be at this level of football now and we have earned the right to be in the Isthmian Premier League.

“Despite that, there were some nerves in the first half against Wingate and that resulted in a performance we have not become accustomed to.

“It will be interesting to see over the next half a dozen games whether there are any underlying issues that we need to address.”