Rocks Review: Great start in Ryman premier means nothing... yet

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The Rocks’ bosses surveyed an unbeaten start to life in the the Ryman premier – then warned: It means nothing yet.

Jamie Howell and Darin Killpartrick are anxious to stop anyone getting carried away by an opening-day 3-1 win at Concord Rangers and a solid home goalless draw with highly-rated Met Police.

A four-point haul from the first two games put the Rocks eighth in the table and delighted fans, but the management say no-one can tell how the season will pan out until at least ten games into the campaign.

Ashley Robinson, new boy Mu Maan and James Crane were on target in the win in Essex on Saturday.

And the Rocks ended up having the better of the chances in Tuesday’ night’s tussle with their old Ryman one south rivals Met Police.

Maan and midfielder Lewis Stockford are settling in well but the Rocks want to add a couple more loanees to their ranks.

Killpartrick was delighted by the performances of the whole team against Concord and the Coppers but said: “These two results tell us nothing in the grand scheme of things.

“All we’re thinking about now is Saturday’s game, then after that we’ll just be thinking about Monday. Just because we’ve started with a win and a draw, we can’t get ahead of ourselves.

“It’s a reasonable start but that’s all it is.”

Killpartrick said one thing the Met Police draw showed was the need to be more ‘aggressive’ in the final third.

But he praised the defence – in particular young full-back pair Darryl Wollers and Jon Marzetti – for the way they had hit the new season running.

“I thought if anything we were worth the three points against the Met,” he added.

“It was fantastic to see a crowd of more than 500 here for the game, which bodes well for the support we look like we’re going to get this season.”

Howell agreed there was nothing to get exicted about yet, although he was happy with the two performances and results.

“It’s very early days and we can’t judge too much yet.

“It’ll take ten games and we can see where we are in the league then.

“You have to look at results and performances over a longer period.”

One concern for Howell is the cautious starts the Rocks are making to games.

Against Concord and Met Police, they surrendered a lot of the early possession and seemed to take time to find their rhythm and passing game.

“That’s been okay so far but if we continue to start like that, there may be a team who will punish us with a couple of goals,” said Howell.

“It’s something to address.”

The addition of Maan and young former Whyteleafe striker Omar Folkes to the ranks gives the bosses healthy competition for places in attack.

They had the luxury of being able to bring on three forwards – Folkes, Steve Harper and Terry Dodd – on Tuesday.

But a lack of cover at the back remains a major concern, with Tim Bond still no nearer knowing when he will be over groin problems that have kept him out of the Rocks team since last November.

Although the first-choice back four of captain Ben Andrews, Stuart Axten, Wollers and Marzetti are operating well, there is little cover should one of them pick up an injury or suspension

Howell said: “We’re looking around for loans and defence is a priority area.”

The season will be full of games against sides the Rocks and their fans know little about and this weekend brings two more.

East Thurrock – who are also known as the Rocks – visit Nyewood Lane on Saturday, before Bognor make the long trip to Suffolk to face Leiston on bank holiday Monday afternoon. Both games kick off at 3pm.

East Thurrock have started with two draws while Leiston have just one point on the board after two games.

Get Rocks match reports first at www.bognor.co.uk