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Pearce joy as Rocks show a ruthless touch

It was not the six goals that pleased Jack Pearce most at Margate in a 6-1 win.

 

Nor the hat-trick that James Crane scored.

 

It was the way his side responded to conceding before going on to claim an emphatic victory on Tuesday night in the Isthmian Premier.

 

The Rocks recorded a seventh straight win – and ninth in ten games – despite being without skipper Harvey Whyte or Portsmouth loan star Brad Lethbridge (illness).

 

Dan Smith and Crane put Rocks 2-0 up by the 11th minute but Gate replied straight after the break through Adem Ramadan.

 

Boss Pearce said: “We started brightly, scored two beautifully executed goals and played some really good football.

 

“But for the last half of the first I felt we thought we’d won the game and just needed to play some pretty football.

 

“When you’re 2-0 up and away the next goal is vital and they scored it in the 46th minute.

 

“We responded excellently and that was the most pleasing thing.

 

“In the early part of the season we would have folded but we were resolute, got back on top and managed to bang another four in.

 

“Craney went on and got a hat-trick – and there are not many defenders who get hat-tricks.”

 

Goals from Ash Leigh, Crane and then Doug Tuck put Bognor back in command before Crane wrapped up his treble in stoppage time.

 

Crane skippered the side, starting at wing-back and then in the middle of a central defensive trio. Pearce added: “He was excellent for us.”

 

Bognor only named two substitutes, including 16-year-old Michael Baker, who came on for Arron Hopkinson after he made his first start since returning.

 

Eighth-placed Rocks entertain Merstham tomorrow, who are 18th, and Pearce has challenged his side to reproduce the same level of performance.

 

He said: “The hard part now is to give Merstham the same respect as you give teams at the top because then you should be OK.

 

“This league is very even and every team is capable of beating the other if they are not 100 per cent focused mentally on their application to the job.

 

“If we under-estimate Merstham we shall end up kicking ourselves but if we do play to our full potential I am quite confident we shall create more chances to score than them.”

 

Mason Walsh was due to return to training last night after getting international clearance.

Posted in Sport.