Bognor disappointed as Seaford pull out late from Sussex Cup game

Mason Walsh on the ball for Bognor at Leatherhead / Picture by Darren Crisp
Mason Walsh on the ball for Bognor at Leatherhead / Picture by Darren Crisp

The Rocks have expressed disappointment at Seaford withdrawing from their Sussex Senior Cup visit to Bognor - less than 24 hours before the game was due to start.

The SCFL division-one side said they had too many players unavailable and could not raise a team. It means Bognor automatically go through to round three.

Bognor manager Jack Pearce said: “It is unfortunate that a game in this competition has to fall by the wayside because a club can’t fulfil the fixture and there is no escaping the disappointment we feel.

"Perhaps the timing of them pulling out of the game is the most disappointing aspect of the failure to fulfil the fixture. But, having said that, of course we have a degree of sympathy for Seaford if they are struggling to get a team to play us.

“Our players and fans were looking forward to the game but it is gone now. Instead the players will come to training tonight with a good mindset ahead of the important game on Saturday against Walton Casuals in the FA Trophy.”

Bognor secretary Simon Cook said: "The Seaford secretary rang me at 9pm last night (Monday) to advise me that they could not raise a team and therefore could not fulfil the fixture."

It was because their players had work commitments and would not be able to get away early enough, with some working in London, he said.

Cook added: "The Sussex County FA have confirmed Seaford have been removed from the competition, and that we now progress into the third round."

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A statement issued on Seaford's website by Brian Amos said: "Sadly tonight's cup match v Bognor has been cancelled. Bognor will be declared winners as Seaford cannot field a team.

"With the hectic schedule we have faced recently there are seven potential first-team players out through injury plus one cup tied. Due to work arrangements others cannot get to the ground in sufficient time, with players working in the city, St Albans and across the border in Kent.

"This is just my opinion but with them playing at Hassocks last Tuesday (much nearer) and Midhurst on Saturday, sometimes work and family do need to be considered. For clubs like Bognor, Lewes, Whitehawk, Brighton under-23s etc they are on a different level. Their players in many cases are semi if not full time professionals and for them midweek travel is expected and no doubt in many cases supplied as normal.

"That is not the case at our level but sadly many do not seem to understand that players do have lives, family, jobs and mortgages to pay.

"The county league could make things easier, for example grading the draw so that in, say, the first two rounds the lower-league clubs get the home draw. Not only would that help with travel, it may well mean a decent crowd at the matches."