Bognor vow blunders will be eradicated

Bognor skipper Harvey Whyte tracks his man at Bishop's Stortford / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Bognor skipper Harvey Whyte tracks his man at Bishop's Stortford / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Rocks coach Robbie Blake has vowed to eradicate the backline blunders that proved costly for Bognor in the 3-1 defeat at Bishop's Stortford in the opening game of the Isthmian Premier League on Saturday.

Manager Jack Pearce and Blake get the chance to help the Rocks bounce back when they welcome newly-promoted Horsham to Nyewood Lane on Tuesday evening for an enticing West Sussex derby clash.

Both bosses will want to redouble their efforts to inspire better all-round play after watching on as the visitors controlled decent passages of play without threatening to punish the hosts -- and then allowed errors to creep in to gift goals to the Blues.

Striker Dan Smith, who scored the Bognor consolation goal from the spot after he was upended in the box, missed two glorious chances and jinking Jimmy Muitt also squandered an opportunity with just the keeper to beat.

But it was the fragility of the rearguard that would have been most concerning, with the catalyst for periods of poor defending coming when young keeper Petar Durin, on loan from Pompey, gifted Luke Callander the ball and he gleefully opened the scoring.

Blake took to Twitter to pledge to try to stop the mistakes when supporters questioned certain tactical aspects of the Rocks approach. When asked if he thought the team had become predictable, in terms of their passing game, he replied: "If we’ve come predictable and teams are catching us out why did we have quite a lot of chances in the game? Individual errors cost us that’s what we need to change. I take it on board and we have to stop the errors, we know that. Hopefully on Tuesday we can have a good performance and get three points."

Rocks will know later today if central defender Joe Dandy will be fit for action after a sickness bug laid him low and meant he missed the opening game with Hadji Mnoga, also on loan from Fratton Park, replacing him and showing some promise.

Keeper Charlie Searle will no doubt be looking for his chance to show his competence against Horsham with Blake and Pearce having to decide if Durin's confidence is such that he may be better off missing out.

* Bognor Regis Town are iissuing U16s' season tickets free for the new season - they can be picked up at the football club from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday.