Rutherford sensationally scored with his first touch of the ball just two minutes after coming on for the Rocks in the 3-1 win over Hayes & Yeading in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
And the Bognor manager expects the proven goal-getter to make an impact once again when his side face Concord Rangers at the MKM Arena in the Isthmian premier division on Saturday.
Former Pompey youngster Rutherford returned to the club on loan from Dorking Wanderers and made a huge impact on the hour mark. He slotted home the third goal after excellent work from Dan Smith. Lucas Pattenden and Craig Robson hit the other goals for the home side but it was Rutherford who grabbed the headlines.
And Blake was delighted that the striker was in such sizzling form during his second stint with Bognor, a club where he kick-started his career in the men’s game seven years ago after signing from Moneyfields.
He has since had spells at Eastbourne Borough and Havant & Waterlooville before switching to play for Marc White at Dorking.
Rutherford’s signing comes after another former fans’ favourite, Jimmy Muitt, switched to the Rocks on a month’s loan from Meadowbank.
Blake said: “It was a special moment for a special player and we could not have been more thrilled for him. What a journey he has been on with a heart operation and an ACL operation keeping him out for 13 months. The character he has shown to comeback is phenomenal and he really does deserve all the rewards he gets. We were all made up for him and there was an extra loud cheer when he scored; the fans knew what it meant!”
Rutherford was justifiably ecstatic to mark his comeback in such a superb way. He took to social media to say: “13 months out, heart surgery, ACL surgery, it’s been a long road but such a good feeling to be back out there!”
Blake believes both Rutherford and Muitt, returning form injury also, will continue to have a big say on the pitch as they pursue full fitness. He added: “They’ve obviously got a bit to go but their desire to work hard to attain their fitness is admirable and they will just get better and better.”