Rocks legend Prior back at Nyewood Lane

Jason Prior in scoring form at Bognor in 2011   Picture by Chris Hatton
Jason Prior in scoring form at Bognor in 2011 Picture by Chris Hatton

JASON PRIOR is back at Bognor.

After a long-running effort to sign him on loan, the Rocks have got their man - for a month.

The striker became a goalscoring legend at Nyewood Lane, scoring nearly 100 goals at a rate of well over one every two games betwen 2009 and early 2012.

He left for League Two outfit AFC Wimbledon after missing out on a sensational move to Newcastle, who gave him a trial after Eastleigh’s interest alerted other clubs to his talents.

But Prior suffered a broken leg early in his Dons career and struggled to get back into regular first-team contention. He has since played for Dartford and is now with Margate, who are flying high in the Ryman premier and have decided they can afford to loan him out.

The Rocks had to negotiate a deal they could afford and are delighted to bring the fans’ favourite back to the club. He seems certain to go straight into the starting line-up at Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday.

Bognor boss Jamie Howell has been searching for the spark that will get their season moving and will hope Prior, and the buzz his return will create, will do the job for them.

They have been struggling for goals, especially at home, where they have won just once in seven games so far.

Although Alex Parsons and Ollie Pearce have been playing well up front and scoring goals, Howell feels the Rocks need another option - ie an out-and-out goalscorer - up front.

They have recently brought Ashley-Paul Robinson back to the Lane but he played only one game before declaring himself unavailable for the next match, the home loss to AFC Hornchurch last Saturday.

Prior’s first appearance in front of the home fans is likely to come at home to Hampton and Richmond on Saturday week.

Rocks secretary Simon Cook said: “Margate and Bognor have been discussing this possibility for some time and it has now come to fruition, with Jason going straight into contention for Saturday’s match at Dulwich Hamlet.

“This deal provides Jason with an opportunity to gain some match practice as he has not managed to start on many occasions since joining Margate in the summer.”

Howell has also added 21-year-old Omarr Lawson to his squad. Lawson began his career as a member of Dulwich Hamlet’s very successful youth team some years ago and played in the 2012 play-off final against the Rocks.

He earned trials at Watford, Cardiff City and Portsmouth. When these did not lead to a full-time opportunity, Lawson decided to concentrate on his studies and is now at university in the area. He is a midfielder but also enjoys playing as a striker.