ROB Small says tomorrow’s clash with Horsham will show how far Bowers & Pitsea have come after wanting the ground to swallow him up in the reverse fixture.

Bowers suffered a 4-0 defeat - their heaviest of the season - at Horsham in November.

But Small insists his side are better prepared for what they will face this time around.

“Horsham are one of the best teams we have played this season,” said the Bowers boss.

“Not many teams have pulled us apart like they did and we struggled there.

“It was one of the only times in my six years at Bowers where I wanted the ground to swallow me up because they were so good and a well-oiled machine.

“They have a clear identity and we got a bit of a lesson.

“That was a wake-up call and this weekend will be a good measure of how far we have come because we are definitely a different beast now.”

Bowers will welcome Horsham to the Len Salmon Stadium with the visitors just five points adrift of the Isthmian Premier League play-off places.

Small’s charges are 14th in the standings and succumbed to another late goal as they lost 1-0 to Margate last time out.

But Small was keen to put a positive spin on the setback.

“If we had scored a goal to beat Margate late on, it would have papered over the cracks,” added Small.

“It would look like things are moving along nicely.

“It’s good to lose a game like that because it drives you to take action and improve.

“I know it sounds odd, but it’s good in the bigger picture.”