Rocks boss Jack Pearce is hoping the shock of a derby day mauling at local rivals Worthing will spark a reaction from his young side.
Rather than basking in the Bank Holiday sunshine, Bognor well and truly melted, putting in a below-par showing which resulted in a 3-0 loss to their near neighbours
Defeat in the first El Classicoast of the season was hard to take for the large travelling cohort of Rocks fans.
But Pearce believes the supporters will see a reaction when the side returns to action at the Nye Camp tomorrow at home to Carshalton Athletic (3pm).
Speaking after the defeat, Pearce said: “It’s been a bad day in the office but it’s not the end of the season. It’s three points, that’s all it is. It’s a local derby and I understand that means more but it’s life. I’m more unhappy with certain senior players today and that is not acceptable to me, Robbie or the club.
“Most probably I hope we get the reaction out of our players that Worthing got last week [after losing 6-0 to Hornchurch].”
Rocks were on reflection probably the better side in the first half at Woodside Road.
But they were unable to take their chances and went in at the break one down after an error by keeper Charlie Searle.
In the second half, former Rock Ollie Pearce scored twice to extend the lead and send most of the 1,700 in the ground home with a smile on their face.
The defeat means Bognor are 17th with four points from their first four matches.
Tomorrow’s visitors, meanwhile, are fifth, taking nine points from their opening five games. While the south London side are fancied to do well in their Isthmian Premier this season, Pearce believes his side will give them a good game.
He said: “There’s no one that’s outstanding in this league. Teams are all much of a muchness and if you score first it gives you a great lift.
“That first goal [against Worthing] was devastating, but we got through in the first half on four occasions when I am expecting the ball to be in the back of the net and not one of those occasions did we convert.
“If you have problems in both areas like we did [against Worthing] then we will not win many games.”
Rocks have been drawn against Isthmian South East side Sittingbourne in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup next Saturday (Sept 7, 3pm).