Pearce upbeat despite Rocks giving up 2-0 lead

James Crane is taken away on a stretcher after dislocating his shoulder
James Crane is taken away on a stretcher after dislocating his shoulder

Bognor boss Jack Pearce was upbeat after seeing his side draw 2-2 with Gloucester – but lamented the defending that allowed the visitors to claim a point.

Pearce was encouraged by the team’s display and many individual performances and said they’d continue to work hard to make sure victories arrived.

Ollie Pearce and Jimmy Muitt put Bognor 2-0 before the 70-minute mark but City pulled it back to 2-1 straight after the Rocks’ second and equalised in injury time.

Bognor have also suffered a new injury blow - James Crane suffered a dislocated shoulder in an awkward fall and is set to be out for several weeks.

He had a long wait for an ambulance that didn’t arrive and had to be taken to hospital by car.

Pearce was in a positive frame of mind after the draw, which keeps the Rocks 18th in the table, and said: “I’m quite pleased. I’m pleased at the performance but disappointed at the result. As I’ve said for ages, this is a very hard league and the dividing line between success and failure is very small.

If it had finished 2-1 it would have been a fair result and we’d have moved up the table. As it is that hasn’t happened so we’ve just got to get on with it, work hard and keep doing the right things.

Jack Pearce

“I thought we were the better team and thought we looked more dangerous. I thought we created enough chances.

“Scoring two at home should be enough to secure three points. But we are not very good at defending in certain situations. They were self-inflicted goals. That’s what really hurt.

“I’d be happier if they’d scored two really good goals in open play through good movement and everything.

“The first goal came from a throw-in from us not dealt with properly and that led to an own goal. And you know then your luck is out.

“They hadn’t had a shot second half and as we know, goals do change games, and suddenly they went from having to get three to win to getting one back and being in with a chance.

“Then we come to the second goal into injury time. The ball goes to the best ball retainer we have in the club on the edge of the box. He’s got nobody near him. Other players move, thinking we can pass it. He just bangs it forward, they bang it straight back in behind where our players are and they score. You can’t legislate for that. But I’m sure I’ll get the blame!

“But I was genuinely pleased with a lot of the things we did today. There were some good performances and I’ve always been a believer that if you have fit, young players trying to do the right things in the right areas at the right time, eventually results will come.

“If it had finished 2-1 it would have been a fair result and we’d have moved up the table. As it is that hasn’t happened so we’ve just got to get on with it, work hard and keep doing the right things.”

Pearce was pleased by the debut of loan left-back signing Kristian Campbell, who was highly impressive in the first half, teeing up Pearce for the opening goal. The manager said: “He did ever so well but then he tired.”

He was also pleased to see Pearce and Muitt score, saying their goals were vital all the time especially with the club were trying to strengthen the frontline.

“Hopefully we’ll have another striker in this week, and to be fair to Jimmy and Ollie, they’ve been out for a while and aren’t as fit as I’d like them to be. But that will come and I was pleased with them,” Pearce added.

Bognor go to Eastbourne Borough next Saturday in the FA Cup and head to high-flying Dartford in the league the following Saturday.

STEVE BONE

Rocks 2 Gloucester 2 - full report