KENZER Lee and Max Cornhill are set to step up their return from respective injuries when Bowers & Pitsea take on Merstham this weekend.

Lee and Cornhill, who have endured lengthy spells on the sidelines, made substitute appearances in the late defeat to Carshalton Athletic in midweek.

And boss Rob Small believes having the duo back in contention is significant as Bowers look to climb the Isthmian Premier League table.

“Kenzer and Max got half-hour on their road to recovery without having to ask them to do too much too soon,” said Small.

“It’s exciting for us to have them back moving forward.

“Having Kenzer and Max on the pitch, we will be a much stronger outfit because they bring so much experience and leadership qualities.

“They are unbelievable players to have in and around the squad and it was a big positive to see them come through half-hour on Tuesday.”

While Lee and Cornhill were on the bench against Carshalton on Tuesday, exciting youngsters George Wing, Tyrone Baker and Pedro Silva-Barbosa were included in the starting line-up.

And, despite the defeat thanks to an 84th minute Jordan Cheadle strike, Small has no regrets about his team selection.

“When you are taking some big players out of the team, a lot of managers would have put Kenzer and Max in the starting line-up so there are less youngsters in the side,” added Small.

“A lot of people would have thought I had to play Kenzer and Max ahead of those coming through at the club.

“But I am proud of keeping faith with the youngsters and they showed they deserved their opportunity.”

Bowers are 15th in the Isthmian North standings and seven points clear of 18th-placed Merstham ahead of tomorrow’s clash at the Len Salmon Stadium.

The two sides locked horns only a month ago, with Bowers running out 3-1 winners, but Merstham’s form has improved since.

“Merstham have kept four clean sheets in a row,” admitted Small, whose side are enjoying their first ever campaign in the third tier of non-league football.

“They have taken some big points and gone on a good run recently.

“I would say they are very much in-form, whereas we are very much below par.

“It’s going to take a big effort from everyone to get any sort of positive result.

“But I believe in what we have got and that we are improving.

“We are not a million miles away and, when the penny drops, we are more than a match for anyone in this division.”