WELCOME to the first of, I hope, many columns from a Bognor Regis Town Football Club supporter and volunteer. What a great club we have on the south coast and I hope you will enjoy this and future pieces.
While I write this, the team are on a welcome break from football. This is because Leiston (who Bognor were due to play last Saturday), progressed into the next round of the FA Trophy, meaning Bognor’s home game against the East Anglian side didn’t take place. No football on a Saturday? Unheard of really during a busy season in the Ryman Premier League for the Rocks.
But everyone is looking forward to a busy Christmas and New Year period. Bognor travel to Folkestone Invicta this Saturday. The coach will be running to this and I am looking forward to the trip as always. The BRTFC Supporters Club are doing a great job subsidising the cost of coaches for the fans to near enough all of the away fixtures this season. I’ve always followed Bognor at home but now I can follow them away too! All the fans are really nice and its a great laugh on the coach – all the fans are passionate about the Rocks. If you are thinking about supporting a local club, then support Bognor.
It’s been a rather topsy turvy period for the men in green and white. Two losses and two wins in the past four matches. We succumbed to a dogged Hendon on Saturday, 26 November. We weren’t even at the races that day. But then, we bounced back with a 2-0 victory at home to Kingstonian only days later. We made the trip to Tonbridge Angels and got beat soundly 4-1 the following Saturday but then came back with a rather important win against strugglers Harrow Borough at a misty Nyewood Lane. The win was expected but it was a tough match. Most fans would agree that those struggling always seem to step up their game against those in the higher positions. And this game was no different with Harrow Borough and they might feel hard-done by given their missed penalty deep into the second half.
Obviously, a lot of the fans are comparing our performances to last season. But after the departures in the summer it was always going to be difficult to replicate the success we had. It was one of the best seasons I have experienced, getting through to the semi finals of the FA Trophy and having the opportunity to play against, the now returned Football League side Grimsby Town at Blundell Park. It was a tight first leg with Rocks succumbing to only a 1-0 defeat at Nyewood Lane, before travelling the seven hours, give or take, to Cleethorpes to try to right the deficit. It was a great atmosphere and around 200 fans made the trip up. 2-1 was the final score, meaning it was 3-1 on aggregate. But what a great finish by Dan Beck to draw it level for 1-1! Comparing such a season to this year, it seems that the team has taken a hit in all of the major cups, but on the other hand we are in direct competition with local rivals Havant & Waterlooville at the top of the table.
In my view, once we have Gary Charman, Harvey Whyte, and Alex Parsons 100 per cent fit, we will be ready to battle on and make a real go of the championship this season. What a start James Fraser has had with his season so far, plus Lorenzo Dolcetti in midfield, and he is fast becoming a fan favourite. Jimmy Wild, despite a recent cheekbone/jaw injury is also gaining in confidence week in and week out, and is showing small glimpses of becoming a top striker in non-league football in years to come.
Here’s hoping for three points on Saturday at Folkestone Invicta! I hope to see you all there.
UP THE ROCKS!