Bognor's poor start: Fans not happy - and what about players?

Bognor's indifferent start to the season has turned into a poor one with two defeats inside a week. And although they are just five games into a 42-match league season, there is unrest among fans - and unhappiness from at least one player at the way things are going.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 4:26 pm
The Rocks at Worthing / Picture by Tommy McMillan

A 2-0 home defeat to Carshalton on Saturday followed a 3-0 loss at Worthing on bank holiday Monday and some supporters fear a long season of struggle ahead.

It's a far cry from pre-season when a string of signings increased hopes of a serious promotion bid being mounted. That may still happen of course - there is plenty of time ahead and football to be played - but the early signs are not good.

The early departure of a couple of players, midfielder Freddie Read and forward Stu Green, have added to more defensive setbacks - with Chad Field and Calvin Davies now both looking to be out for the season, Gary Charman having left as he tries to recover from a shoulder injury and other niggly injuries being picked up.

At half-time in the Carshalton game goalkeeper Charlie Searle was substituted, replaced by young Pompey academy goalie Petar Durin, who himself had been dropped after the first league game.

After the game Searle went on Twitter to say: "Never felt so embarrassed in all my life." He added that he could not imagine what would have happened if he had actually made a bad mistake.

Searle was regarded as being at fault for Worthing's opening goal on Monday and, by some, for one of Carshalton's goals on Saturday, though it is still very unusual to substitute a non-injured goalie during a game.

Meanwhile skipper Harvey Whyte felt he needed to defend himself on Twitter on Saturday night after one fan called him a liability.

On the club's unofficial messageboard, a stream of fans expressed their discontent at the past couple of performances, which have left Bognor 18th.

As I said at the outset, it's very early days. An FA Cup tie follows next week and a win in that and a couple of league victories would get things moving in the right direction. But at the moment, things are not right at Nyewood Lane.

Coach Robbie Blake has come out - also on Twitter - and said he would never stop working hard to get things right. Blake also denfeded Whyte, saying he had been different class.

Blake and manager Jack Pearce will be scratching their heads trying to work out why the past couple of displays have been poor and what needs to be done to improve things sharpish.

The return of Brad Lethbridge from Pompey is a boost and the frontline looks strong, and with options. But in midfield and at the back, the balance is not yet right. Another new recruit or two seems likely and it wouldn't be a surprise to see one or two players being let go in return. Hopefully the winning formula is not far away - at least not as far away as it seems to some right now.