Men's First Team
Friendly Wed 19 July Snows Stadium
Bognor Regis Town

Bognor boss Blake was disappointed with his charges’ first-half display but the visitors were always in the game and enjoyed decent spells of attacking possession, with Lucas Pattenden posing a constant threat to the Stags rear guard.

Jimmy Ball’s side took the lead after 23 minutes, cashing in on an error by Josh McCormick that allowed their trialist to slot home superbly. Matt Burrows made it 2-0 on 80 minutes when Isaac Olaniyan uncharacteristically lost possession and the attacker raced away before dispatching a clinical finish beyond Ryan Hall.

The Rocks can count themselves unlucky not to get something from the game and with some fortune in front of goal could have easily nicked a draw against their well-drilled Southern League Premier South opponents.

Now Blake will step up his intent on bringing in new faces to put the finishing touches to assembling his squad ahead of the Isthmian premier division opener away at Chatham on August 12.

He said: “There were some pleasing aspects to our game, especially in the second half but also what was notable is that there are certain areas that still need a bit of work.

“I think Totton will do well this season and they gave us a real test. Both goals came from giving away possession and we must try to learn from the experience and I am sure that we will.

“The challenge will probably be even greater on Saturday when we host Dorking Wanderers. But that’s why we arrange these games, to face a level of opposition that is going to give you problems and it’s about how we react to the setbacks.”

One setback beyond Blake’s control is the fitness of striker Dan Smith, who is yet to feature for the Rocks since his return to the club from Dulwich Hamlet. And midfielder Harvey Whyte has sat out the last two games, too.

Blake explained: “Dan isn’t far off after a small problem and will probably do the full warm-up on Saturday and then we hope he can get some game time in the friendly the week after when we play Chichester City. He’s getting stronger and stronger and moving in the right direction so it will be a real boost to get him available.

“Harvey has an issue with a problem behind his knee and we will continue to see how he progresses and hope to have him available sooner rather than later.”

Rocks: Hall, Anderson, Mason, Davies, Douglas, Robson, De St Croix, McCormick, Mather, Higgs, Pattenden. Subs: Howick, Olaniyan, O’Brien, Briffa, Holland, Trialist 1, Trialist 2.