The Rocks manager went into the game having seriously boosted his ranks in the summer and with seven of his pre-season captures making the starting line-up in Kent.
But the visitors drew a blank and succumbed to Jamie Yila’s headed goal after 33 minutes that eventually handed the home side the three points in their first game since being promoted, played in front of 1,553 fans at the The Sports Ground.
Blake was far from disheartened at the defeat and took the positives from a display that in all fairness should have returned at least a point. But Bognor couldn’t snatch an equaliser even though they dominated the second half in terms of chances and continued to create opportunities in the 12 minutes of extra time played after 90 minutes of action.
Dan Smith, the former Pompey youngster who returned to Nyewood Lane in the summer from Dulwich Hamlet, was introduced at half-time to replace Tommy-Lee Higgs but the striker, returning from a minor operation on his foot, couldn’t open his account second time round.
Now Blake will ask his charges to go again in search of a victory when the Rocks host Carshalton Athletic, who beat Potters Bar Town 5-0 in their opener, on Tuesday.
Speaking to Rocks Radio, Blake said: “It’s a tough league but we will be okay; I’ve seen enough signs in the second half to be confident that we will cause a lot of problems for teams — we have to play our way, possession-based, on the front foot, getting the ball wide and in the box, and if we do that we will cause teams problems. Yes, I am disappointed overall but we well get better.
“A couple of players need to step up and I am sure that will over time; it’s not going to be great straight away and we need to work on certain things.
“We had to deal with difficult conditions in the first half with the gale force wind, we felt were almost playing their way, which was big, strong and aggressive. In my opinion, they are not a team that is going to struggle. I think they will be strong, especially at home; they have got some good players.
“But there were a lot of positives in the second half for us — I’ve spoken to Ben Anderson and Lucas Pattenden because we must have had 15 opportunities on the right-hand side, and the 15 of them went straight into the keeper’s hands, or straight over the bar, or hit the first man. And I’ve said to them, ‘it’s great to get into those positions but we have to be better with our deliveries because with the forwards we have got, if the ball goes into the box we will score goals’.”
Bognor Regis Town: 1 Ryan Hall, 2 Ben Anderson, 3 Eric-Georges Dellaud (Matt Burgess 53′), 4 Calvin Davies, 5 Kieran Douglas, 6 Craig Robson, 7 Sam De St Croix (Mo Jammeh 63′), 8 Harvey Whyte, 9 Jasper Mather, 10 Tommy-Lee Higgs (Dan Smith 45′), 11 Lucas Pattenden. Subs: 12 Matt Burgess, 14 Isaac Olaniyan, 15 Mo Jammeh, 16 Danny Howick, 17 Dan Smith.