Will 18 points from 11 games save the Rocks?

Keaton Woods scores in Bognor's first meeting this season with Concord - they face them again this weekend / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Keaton Woods scores in Bognor's first meeting this season with Concord - they face them again this weekend / Picture by Tommy McMillan

The Rocks have been set an 18-point target for their final 11 games – but have been warned even that may not be enough to stay up.

Jack Pearce’s team have 11 games left to save their National League South status, starting with a trip to fellow strugglers Concord Rangers on Saturday.

It’s hard to judge but I think if we were to get 18 points from here on in we would have a chance of staying up. That would give us 42 points but even that might not be enough – you just don’t know.

Jack Pearce

They go into the weekend eight points from safety and manager Pearce now believes three of the current bottom four will go down.

That would mean only one side out of Whitehawk, Bognor, Poole and Chippenham surviving – and Pearce admitted the survival fight was going to be anything but straightrforward.

Six of the Rocks’ final ten games will be at home but that is not necessarily much of an advantage as they have struggled for results in front of their own fans.

They were denied a chance for a second home win on the bounce last weekend when their scheduled clash with St Albans fell victim to the wintry weather.

Pearce said: “We got an extra training session in on Saturday and the players worked very hard so it was not a wasted day.

“The atmopshere remains very good in training and that’s one thing to come out of this season that has pleased me.

“We have 11 left games and I’m realistic and know it’s going to be very difficult.

“It’s hard to judge but I think if we were to get 18 points from here on in we would have a chance of staying up. That would give us 42 points but even that might not be enough – you just don’t know.”

It would take six wins, or five wins and three draws, for Bognor to meet Pearce’s 18-point target, which would leave them with 42 points.

Their record so far shows them having won only four games from 31, it’s a clear a sharp upturn in fortunes is needed.

Pearce said it was the team’s number of draws that had hit them.

“We’ve drawn 12 games and I’d say that in eight of those, the opposition could not really have complained if we’d won. But too often we’ve not converted our possession into chances and goals. We know where the problem has been and it’s frustrating.”

The Rocks head to Concord, who are only ten points better off then them, without three long-term injury victims – defensive trio Chad Field, Corey Heath and James Crane – and with midfielder Dan Beck still recovering from a broken wrist.

Also still unavailable is full-back Calvin Davies, who still has to serve two matches of a four-game ban, imposed after his red card at Hungerford.

But one player now over his red-card ban is teenage Icelandic striker Stefan Ljubicic, sent off in his first game after being brought in on loan from Brighton.

That means Pearce can choose between Ljubicic, fit-again Ollie Pearce, Jimmy Muitt and Ibra Sekajja up front.

STEVE BONE

See this website on Saturday evening for the first report from Concord v Rocks