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Rocks show heart to bounce back from FA Cup disaster

Bognor brushed off FA Cup heartache with two contrasting performances of resolution and ability to harden their promotion challenger credentials.


The Rocks’ players helped to banish some of the crushing disappointment of losing to lower-league Sudbury in the FA Cup qualifying rounds with two encouraging performances to maintain their undefeated start to the league season.


Saturday saw Bognor battle back from two down at half-time to salvage a point and make it five away draws on the spin before they unleashed a second 8-0 hammering of visitors to Nyewood Lane already this season on Tuesday.


Manager Jack Pearce told the Post he had been delighted with the players’ response following a half-time rollocking at Sudbury.


He said: “I was delighted with the reaction after the disappointing first half at Sudbury. We were totally dominant in the second half of that game.


“That’s what makes football such a wonderful game. You know who’s going to be on top but it all depends who takes their chances.


“Unfortunately, we were on the wrong end of that against Sudbury and it’s a disaster for the club in terms of financial impact but we dust ourselves down and we go again.”


Saturday saw a similarly sluggish start from the Rocks in their first-ever meeting with Potters Bar Town and Bognor trailed to two first half set-pieces – conceding cheaply from a corner after 11 minutes and a direct free-kick a minute before the break.


Dan Smith halved the deficit four minutes after the restart, drilling home after pouncing on a loose pass from the hosts, before captain Harvey Whyte completed the comeback in the 78th minute with a delicious curling strike after cutting in from the wing.


Despite failing to win on the road in the league so far this season, Pearce has no worries about the club’s form away from Nyewood Lane.


He said: “I’m delighted with the away form. We’re unbeaten and we’ve been competitive every game and in most, if there was going to be a winner, it looked like it would come from us.”


There’s certainly nothing wrong with the Rocks’ home form as Tuesday night’s 8-0 victory against Burgess Hill means they’ve now lashed home 25 goals at home in just five games.


Tommy Scutt bagged a second-half hat-trick as part of a blitz which saw six goals in the final half hour.


The defeat could be Burgess Hill manager Ian Chapman’s last game in charge after he offered his resignation after the game and has been placed on a short leave of absence.

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