Hotshot Higgs, 19, bagged a brace as the Rocks beat Lancing in a behind-closed-doors friendly game at Culver Road — home of the Isthmian League South East Division outfit — on Tuesday and he looked sharp in and around the box.
Lucas Pattenden grabbed the other goal for the visitors in an encounter that manager Blake hailed as a great workout ahead of Saturday’s Sussex derby at Hastings in the Isthmian premier division. The midweek game came about after Blake had been left frustrated by postponed games at the MKM Arena against Cray Wanderers and Wingate & Finchley.
And Blake said: “Tommy did really well to score a couple of goals and we have really pleased with his progress since he joined us. He is a young lad brimming with enthusiasm and desperately keen to get more game time and the way to do that is score goals and he definitely has an eye for a goal.
“I think he has scored four for us this season and in fairness he has limited game time but has obviously been integral to the squad and when he is called upon he seems to rise to the challenge, which is such a good trait to have.”
Eyeing the clash at the Pilot Field, Blake added: “We needed a game to get back up to speed and overall it worked really well. Training will only get you so far and we needed match action. We looked at some different aspects of our play in the game and tweaked a few things in terms of personnel and as I say, it was a very worthwhile exercise. And I must say thanks to Lancing for hosting us.
“The games we saw postponed left us frustrated as we had been four games unbeaten in the league and wanted to build on that but of course, we now have the chance to do that on Saturday at Hastings and you only have to look at their league position, sixth in the table, to know it’ll be a challenge.
“But the lads are in good shape, remain positive and we go there hopeful that we can maintain our recent good form and get something from the game.”
*Rocks go to Whitehawk for a Sussex Transport Senior Cup tie on December 19, kick off 7.45pm.
Picture: Tommy McMillan