Bognor winning race against time to host Pompey

Jack Pearce
Jack Pearce

BOGNOR answered Pompey’s SOS after Eastleigh’s pitch failings.

And Jack Pearce is winning the race against time to ensure Nyewood Lane will be ready for duty.

The National League South outfit were not scheduled to host their first friendly until July 26, with the visit of Crawley.

As a result, they started this week without pitch markings, with no goalposts and a clubhouse out of bounds because of a wedding.

But, as ever, Pearce has led from the front in preparing the Rocks’ home for the Blues on Saturday (1.30pm).

It has been a tough schedule, but they will be ready to entertain Kenny Jackett’s side.

The 68-year-old Pearce said: ‘We have been delighted to step in, providing Pompey with a game of football and us much-needed revenue.

‘But it has been a hectic week for us because our first home game was meant to be in more than two weeks time.

‘It has been all hands to the pump.

‘The goals were put up yesterday, we cut and marked the pitch today, and with the clubhouse not available on Saturday, we’ve had to transform the car park into a beer garden.

‘We also had to rearrange tomorrow night’s friendly at Chichester – and that will now be played Wednesday.

‘We’ll be ready, though, and I’m sure everyone will have an enjoyable day.’

Pearce is an instantly recognisable figure on the non-league circuit and in his 47th year at the Rocks.

Since retiring from his 31-year stint as Bognor’s boss, he has spent the past decade as general manager.

But he will be acting boss for Pompey’s visit following Jamie Howell’s exit.

He added: ‘I will be taking responsibility as manager at this moment in time.

‘Gary Charman and Darin Killpartrick are also involved, but the final decision will be mine. We’ll see how it goes, it could be over for me after Saturday!’