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Rocks boss believes playoff race will go right to the wire

Bognor boss Jack Pearce believes the hunt for playoff places will come down to the last game of the season.


The Nyewood Lane side sit seventh in the Bostik Premier after a last minute goal denied them a morale-boosting win over local rivals Worthing.


An injury-hit Rocks side were hanging on to a 2-1 lead when Jesse Starkey struck late for the Rebels.


It was a tough result to take for the majority of the 1,100-plus who packed into the Nye Camp for the match.


But, while the result against a Worthing side who are packed full of former Rocks and competing Bognor for a place in the playoffs will feel like a loss, Pearce believes there’s still plenty to fight for as the season enters its final two months.


The run in starts tomorrow with a trip to the Kent coast to play Margate, who are unbeaten in their last five matches.


Pearce said: “It’s not a must win but the position we are in with the games we have left it would be handy to win.


“When you look at this league, where everyone is beating each other, it could go to the last game of the season where four teams could be fighting for a single spot. It will go like this right to the end of the season.”


Rocks looked like they would be taking maximum points off the Rebels after a composed first half against their Sussex rivals.


Mason Walsh and Joe Tomlinson put Bognor two up at the break before former Rock James Crane halved the deficit with a penalty. Then Starkey struck late with the equaliser.


The biggest issue for Pearce and first team coach Robbie Blake is trying to find a full squad of fit players.


Of those on the creaking treatment table at Nyewood Lane, Gary Charman and Jimmy Wild are unlikely to play again this season, while leading scorer Jimmy Muitt will be missing again tomorrow.


Calvin Davies and Doug Tuck, who both came off in the draw against Worthing, are also major doubts.


Others carrying knocks are Mason Walsh, Keaton Wood and on-loan Portsmouth forward Leon Maloney


Pearce said: “It’s a problem. I can be held responsible for a lot of things but can’t do anything about that.


“This past week we had more on the treatment table than we did at training. It’s difficult trying to find replacements plus we also have the cost of paying those not available.


“It’s a challenge – if you look at where we were a fortnight ago when we had it confirmed that Dan [Smith – who’s now at Cork City] and Brad Lethbridge were staying for season and Keaton and Calvin were fit, now that’s all changed.”

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