Rocks boss: Let’s keep the rediscovered winning form going

Sub Ollie Pearce scores against Leatherhead / Picture by Tim Hale

Sub Ollie Pearce scores against Leatherhead / Picture by Tim Hale

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BOGNOR have secured 18 points and 19 goals since their FA Trophy semi-final loss at Grimsby - that in nine matches all in the space of 19 days.

A curious but nevertheless impressive run of results in that spell has comprised four straight wins, three straight defeats and now two more back-to-back wins.

Our whole season was suddenly down to a load of games being crammed into three weeks and I had visions of us not making the play-offs.

Jamie Howell

A 4-0 victory at Burgess Hill last Wednesday got the Rocks back on track after defeats in a five-day spell at Enfield, Sulwich Hamlet and Kingstonian - while Saturday’s 5-0 home romp over Leatherhead has strngthened their position in the play-off zone.

The Rocks go into Tuesday night’s home game against Wingate and Finchley in third place knowing a win will make sure of a play-off spot.

Decent form in the final few games - they have the positively laid-back schedule of just four to play now in the final 12 days of the league season - would see them make sure of a home play-off semi-final first leg.

The title seems beyond them with Hampton needing only four points from their final two games to make sure they finish out of Bognor’s reach.

Bognor boss Jamie Howell is hopeful his side can finish the season on a high and go into the play-offs in a positive frame of mind.

“I was a bit concerned after we lost three in a row,” he admitted. “Our whole season was suddenly down to a load of games being crammed into three weeks and I had visions of us not making the play-offs. That would be unfair on the players after the extreme circumstances of our fixture backlog.

“So I’m delighted we’ve got back on track by beating Burgess Hill and Leatherhead. I expected a hard game at Burgess Hill so to be 3-0 up in half an hour was superb.

“Then against Leatherhead, their red card was perhaps fortuitous for us but we have been playing well, especially at home, and I’d have backed us to win that one.”

Mid-table Wingate provide Bognor’s next test and even though the north London side have nothing to play for, Howell is not expecting an easy game.

Centre-half Craig Robson and midfielder Gary Charman have been struggling with ankle and groin problems but otherwise Howell has a full squad to choose from and has vowed to carry on resting players where he can.

“We’ve had a lot of games and we have quite a few still to play. You’ve got to manage the squad game to game and use people to get the best out of them,” he said.

STEVE BONE

Get the first report from Rocks v Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday night on this website - and goal news throughout the game from @stevebone1 on Twitter

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