The Rocks squandered a hatful of chances in the 1-0 loss at Lewes in the Isthmian premier division on New Year’s Day and the misses cost them dear as Jake Elliott headed the only goal of the game to give the home side the three points in the Sussex derby clash.
The reverse followed a 1-1 draw at home to Canvey Island last week and a 2-0 win over Horsham on Boxing Day — and the results in question demonstrate clearly the inconsistency in the performances from Blake’s men.
Of particular concern though is the lack of punch in front of goal and this has been hampered going into Saturday’s game against Chatham Town at the MKM Arena by an ankle injury to Dan Gifford, picked up in the Lewes game.
And Blake said: “The game against Chatham gives us the chance to build on what was a superb display against Lewes where the only thing that was missing was goals for us, and we had so many chances and that make it very frustrating. We executed our game plan perfectly apart from putting the ball in the back of the net and ultimately that left us with a loss. Even the Lewes fans were bemused at just how they ended up winning the game 1-0.
“The Horsham and Canvey Island games were very different in terms of our performance levels. Against Horsham I thought we were at it from the first kick and thoroughly deserved our 2-0 win. That led in to the Canvey game and I thought we were off the pace a little and in the end had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw. If you can’t win the game, make sure you don’t lose it is a phrase that springs to mind.
“Looking to Saturday, Chatham have done brilliantly since they came up and sit in second spot in the league standings behind Hornchurch and deservedly so. They have a goal scoring threat and are solid and ultimately hard to beat. But I look back to the first game off the season when we play them in Kent and lost 1-0. That was a game I believe we deserved something from and I know I’m not alone in that belief. It gives us hope that we can go again and pick up on the performance level at Lewes to give us a real chance of challenging our visitors. One way or another, I think it’ll be a decent game for the fans.”
Meanwhile, the Rocks have said farewell to young central defender Danny Howick, who has joined Lancing. Blake said of the move: “Danny’s a young, bright prospect and needs to be playing week in, week out and so it makes perfect sense that he made the switch to achieve this and continue to develop. I want to thank Danny for his time with us and I will certainly be keeping an eye on his progress at Culver Road.”
*Rocks are at home again this Tuesday (January 9) when they host Cray Wanderers , kick-off 7.45pm.