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Trophy exit is a double blow

Jack Pearce was left feeling frustrated on two fronts after Bognor bowed out of the FA Trophy after a 2-1 defeat at Tonbridge Angels.


The National League South hosts edged victory at Longmead.


Joe Turner converted a deep cross to give Angels the lead just before the break.


They doubled their lead after 62 minutes when Tom Derry finished from another cross.


James Crane’s 83rd-minute penalty, after he had been pulled back, saw Rocks finish strongly despite being down to ten men with Brad Lethbridge off the pitch injured and all the substitutes used.


They could not find a leveller to force a replay but Pearce took encouragement from many aspects of the performance against the higher division outfit who they have clashed with many times over the years.


Boss Pearce said: “It was a good test and I came away with mixed feelings.


“We’re obviously disappointed we are no longer in the cup, for two reasons.


“One is it is a financial blow for the club and the other is because it is a good way to keep testing yourself against teams from a higher level.”


Pearce felt it was a clash that could easily have gone in his side’s favour – had Rocks made more of their chances.


He added: “If we had won 2-1 they could not have complained, and even it had been a draw they couldn’t have complained.


“It was a very, very tight game and very evenly matched, although two different styles of football.


“We created two excellent chances early and missed them both before they missed a very good chance.


“They scored just before half-time from a harmless cross which should have dealt with. When they scored their second, you’d think it was all over but the lads showed the spirit that has come together over the past couple of months to get back in it.


“We got the penalty and had two efforts blocked on the line at the end so it was a good effort from the players.”

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