Hello and welcome to my first column for the Bognor Regis Post.
I’m writing this a few days after our 2-1 win against Folkestone Invicta.
It turned out to be a good three points in the end.
We did OK for the first four or five minutes, but after that we seemed to really struggle to get a foothold in the game.
They played three at the back and five across the middle and our front three struggled to match up against them.
They also came at us a bit more than we’d prepared for. And then they got a goal which was a bit of a lucky one, coming from a mistake at a throw in and then the shot rebounding off my foot over the keeper.
At half time Jamie [Howell] came in and just told us that we have nothing to lose and just told us to go for it.
Sami El-Abd, our centre half, had to go off injured so we had a rejig, putting Jimmy Wild at the back, despite him never having played there before, and bringing on Jimmy Muitt up front.
We knew there was no pressure on us at all. We’d just lost our most experienced player and everyone thought ‘let’s just give it a go’.
To be honest I thought Muitt was the man of the match. He gave us a new life and they didn’t know what to do with him. Once we’d got the equaliser, there was only be going to be one winner.
The Folkestone game was our first for nearly two weeks, but the break was a welcome one.
Thinking back to last year we just didn’t have any time to mentally switch off with all the games in the FA Trophy and the FA Cup.
So it’s made a nice change this year to have some time off mid-season, particularly after a few disappointing result.
Against both Hendon and Tonbridge we were terrible and having a break handed to us allowed the side to regroup.
We knew people like Chad [Field] and Muitt were due back and that [Dan] Beck was not too far away, so it just gave us chance to rest up both physically and mentally ahead of the Havant game on Boxing Day.
We know everyone is saying it is a big game as it will be a top of the table clash with us in second and them in third. But for us it is the biggest game of the season.
They have a few of the lads such as Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford who were with us last year.
And some of us, such as Chad, Harvey and myself are from the Portsmouth area, which makes it even more special.
If you look at the money they are spending compared to our playng budget and they should be winning four or five nil.
But we know if we keep it close, everyone will be looking to them and asking why they are not doing better.
In terms of playing against Jason, I’ve done it before when he was at Margate.
Obviously, I know him well and we get on but when the game kicks off, you don’t really think about that, you just play the game.
The fact the match is on Boxing Day on front of 600-700 people at Nyewood makes a massive difference too.
In terms of Christmas, I’m looking forward to it. I celebrate the day itself with my other half’s family.
It’s a great occasion but with a big game the following day I have to stay away from having a few drinks. It’s something you get used to.
Everyone I know has always been the same as we’ve all had to play football the next day. With the prospect of a local derby in front of a big crowd with friends and family coming to watch you, that outweighs anything else to be honest.
A Merry Christmas to all you Rocks fans and fingers crossed for three points on Boxing Day.