Men's First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 4 November AGP Arena
Bognor Regis Town
  • Higgs (70')

The defeat leaves the Rocks 16th in the standings but Blake says he feels his side aren’t far off from getting their league form back on track – if they can erase silly mistakes.

Town took the lead when Ade Azeez cashed in on defensive uncertainty and lobbed a 35th-minute opener over Ryan Hall. It was a cruel blow in an encounter in which up until then Blake’s men had been the dominant force.

Chances fell to Dan Gifford, Isaac Olaniyan, Lucas Pattenden and Dan Smith but the leveller didn’t come until the 70th minute when substitute Tommy-Lee Higgs scored a fantastic free-kick for 1-1. It was no more than Bognor deserved and the hope was that they would go on to claim three points, but the home side had other ideas. Bradley Stevenson made it 2-1 on 84 minutes and there proved to be no way back for the visitors.

Blake was puzzled as to how his side didn’t get anything from the game. Speaking to Peter Kelly-Sullivan of Rocks Radio, he said: “I thought we were different class; the passing and movement, the patterns we had but we didn’t have that killer instinct. And then the two goals (conceded), were just absolutely shocking.

“They resorted to long balls and the centre-half doesn’t deal with a 70-yard pass. We are trying to do things on the edge of the box that we shouldn’t do — just get hold of it.

“They have not had a chance in the first half and we were 1-0 down. We have had good chances to score and we have shot ourselves in the foot. We have a couple of areas where we are not aggressive enough and we are too weak at the minute but we are not far away. We’ve come off the back of a really good result against Gosport (3-0 in the FA trophy) and the game today could have been exactly the same.

“It was our best away performance of the season by a country mile. Anyone who knows about football will go ‘wow’, but we have lost the game.

“They’ve had four chances and scored two. How we have lost is completely beyond me. But if you lose duals in important areas and don’t deal with long balls you get punished, which we have. If the players don’t learn from it, they are not going to be good enough to play for us. That’s the bottom line.”

Bognor Regis Town: 1 Ryan Hall, 2 Harvey Whyte, 3 Reuben Livesey-Austin, 4 Matt Burgess, 5 Kieran Douglas, 6 Craig Robson, 7 Lucas Pattenden, 8 Ben Anderson (Joe Briffa 46′), 9 Dan Smith, 10 Dan Gifford, 11 Isaac Olaniyan (Tommy-Lee Higgs 68′) Subs: 12 Tommy-Lee Higgs, 14 Danny Howick, 15 Soencer Spurway, 16 Joe Briffa.

*Rocks are in action on Tuesday in the Sussex Transport Senior Cup at the MKM Arena, kick-off 7.45pm.

Picture shows Harvey Whyte getting MOM bubbly from PKS