Robbie Blake’s assistant manager said the one-sided affair against the West Sussex League outfit was a worthwhile exercise and gave the Bognor hierarchy plenty to think about as they head into their opening Isthmian premier division encounter at Chatham Town next Saturday, August 12.

Four goals from Jasper Mather, a Tommy Lee Higgs hat-trick, a brace from a trialist and one each from Lucas Pattenden, Kieran Douglas and a Dan Smith penalty — he also missed from the spot — gave the home side a comfortable win.

The result wasn’t important in Howell’s opinion, but the chance to work on patterns of play and team unity were obviously paramount, he added.

Speaking to Peter Kelly-Sullivan after the game, he said: “There were a few raised eyebrows when we arranged the fixture. It was difficult with teams in lower leagues to arrange a game, with teams in the FA Cup, so we are grateful Flansham could step in and it was a good exercise. There was lots we saw that we can highlight in training next week so it was very worthwhile.

“Flansham fought hard to be fair. With all due respect there are different levels of fitness and things like that. We find when we play teams in pre-season like Portsmouth and other teams of higher standards, fitness does play a major part. But they were great. No silly tackles, lots of people had lots of fun and it was worthwhile for us in terms of the pictures we want to cement in our players’ minds. We were really pleased and it was a good game for us.

“There have been lots of pleasing aspects to see in pre-season and now the crucial thing is to have a good week’s training ready for next Saturday and give a good account of ourselves when we play Chatham next week.”

Quizzed on the club bringing in additional players before the big kick-off, Howell added: “Rob is looking at a couple of options at the moment and if good players become available and they can help the players in the building at the moment, then all well and good. We have a good team spirit, good lads who want to play for each other, play for the club, play for Rob and that is important — and if we can take that forward that will give us a good chance of success next week.”

Around 300 fans took advantage of the free entrance and club bosses were delighted with the community feel to the occasion. Bognor general manager Simon Cook said: “Overall it was a successful night and had a really positive vibe to proceedings. There was a lovely community feel in the ground and it was great to see so many supporters. I thought Flansham were excellent in their spirit and approach to the game and we as a club want to thank them for participating and making the occasion one which was most enjoyable. It has definitely given us something to think about for next season.”

Rocks: Hall, Anderson, Dellaud, Davies (c), Douglas, Robson, De St Croix, Whyte, Mather, Higgs, Pattenden. Subs: Holland, Trialist, McCormick, Olaniyan, Howick, Briffa, Mason, Smith.

Report – Carl Eldridge

Photos – Lyn and Trev Sports