Rocks Review: Bosses frustrated as they rebuild again

The Rocks are rebuilding their team for the third time this season and admitting they’ve done well to stay in the thick of the promotion race.

In-form centre-half Chris Breach is the latest to rock the dressing room by moving to another Sussex club – leaving bosses Jamie Howell and Darin Killpartrick frustrated at having another void to fill.

Breach’s move to Lewes is the second time this season he has left Nyewood Lane.

He’s the ninth first-team regular to depart this season. The departures aren’t because the Rocks camp is not a happy one. Players have moved on to clubs who can pay better or are at a higher level, or have retired.

And yet, with 14 games left, the Rocks are top and again in with a great chance of promotion.

The departure of Breach is particularly ill-timed for the Rocks. It was confirmed less than 24 hours after a hamstring injury suffered in the Sussex Senior Cup defeat to Brighton by Sonny Cobbs, who was the last fit potential central-defensive partner for Stuart Axten.

With Tim Bond likely to be out for the season and Ben Andrews still a few weeks away from being fit after knee surgery, Breach had been filling in well alongside Axten.

Now his loss and Cobbs’ injury has sparked a bid to bring in a young centre-half from a Conference South team.

The Rocks may also sign another young midfield prospect from Brighton to boost the numbers available to Howell and Killpartrick.

Howell was not too upset by last Saturday’s visit to Eastbourne being frozen off.

“The break has probably done us good,” he said. “We played five league games in January then had the cup game with Brighton on Wednesday, and the postponement will have given one or two injuries the chance to clear a little.”

Cobbs, who has played in three different positions since signing last month, is likely to be missing for two to three weeks, while Andrews – despite starting stretching and light running at Tuesday night’s training session – is still about three weeks away from a return to the matchday squad.

Darryl Wollers looks to be over the groin strain suffered at Faversham 12 days ago and forward Steve Harper is getting fitter by the game.

It leaves the defence as the main worry for the bosses, who were sorry to see Breach leave.

Howell said: “It’s very, very frustrating for Dabba and I. Chris had been playing really well and we will miss him.

“It seems to be a theme of the season. Players have been moving on and it’s not easy to replace them.

“We’ve done well to stay in the promotion race.”

The Rocks host Merstham visit on Saturday before Walton Casuals visit a week later.

Howell said: “Although we won 4-0 at Merstham in November, they won 4-0 at Folkestone the other week, which you don’t do if you are not a very good side.”

The trip to Eastbourne has been rearranged for March 13.