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Blake challenges Rocks to get on a run after festive bounce

Rocks coach Robbie Blake believes Bognor will be a match for anyone after picking up four points from six against Sussex rivals over the festive period.

 

The Nyewood Lane side showed their true colours in the last week, beating promotion-chasing Worthing 2-0 away before a 2-2 draw with second-place Lewes.

 

Those four points from local derbies lift Rocks to tenth ahead of a New Year’s Day trip to Whitehawk on Tuesday (3pm).

 

Blake has now tasked the team to piece together a decent run to start 2019 with a push for promotion not beyond reach.

 

Speaking to Rocks Radio after the win at Worthing, Blake said: “Make no mistakes about it: whether they played good or bad they will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. We just hope we will be there.

 

“We have shown that we are a match for anyone in this league. Things have not been going for us but hopefully that will galvanise the dressing room. We’re on the front foot and hopefully we can go on bit of a run now.”

 

There was a party spirit at Woodside Road for the match against Worthing.

 

A healthy contingent of Rocks fans made the short trip east along the coast, helping boost the overall crowd.

 

Among the crowd of nearly 2,000 was Tommy Block, who had just completed his move to Scottish Premier side Hibernian.

 

After a nervy first half, where Rocks had more possession but Worthing had the outstanding chance, Bognor got their just rewards in the 53rd minute when Dan Smith followed up a Brad Lethbridge shot to bundle the ball home.

 

The young on-loan Portsmouth striker celebrated in front of the travelling Rocks fans who fired streamers into the air.

 

Then, with time ticking down and Worthing chasing an equaliser, Mason Walsh came on and sealed the victory with a late goal.

 

One player who impressed was Theo Widdrington, who had signed on loan from Bristol Rovers just a few days before.

 

Blake said: “Considering he hasn’t played any minutes with us or trained, Theo was outstanding and will only get better for us.

 

“Everyone defended really well but for Gaz [Charman] to play the way he did at 38 was a credit to himself. I have so much respect for the guy. He’s given us extra steel and we have benefited from the experience.”

 

Ahead of the trip to the Enclosed Ground there will be concerns over the defence again, with Charman being injured in the warm- up before the Lewes match and Ed Sanders suspended after receiving two yellows in that draw. One player who is raring to go is left back Joe Tomlinson who scored two belting second half strikes to secure a point.

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