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Blake salutes brave Bognor in key victory

Robbie Blake hailed Bognor’s bravery after their thrilling 4-3 BetVictor Premier victory over title-chasers Folkestone Invicta.


In the first of two meetings this week with the Kent side, the Rocks came back from 2-0 and 3-1 behind to snatch a dramatic victory at Nyewood Lane to keep their play-off hopes on track.


Ira Jackson scored a hat-trick for Folkestone, including two penalties, as they led 3-1 after an hour.


Mason Walsh’s goal late in the first half looked like being in vain for Rocks in a game manager Jack Pearce had billed as a must-win for both sides.


Then Doug Tuck revived home hopes with a fabulous 25-yard finish.


Matt Casey, the towering defender signed on loan from Portsmouth, levelled on 82 minutes.


Bradley Lethbridge got the all-important winner to decide a see-saw match as he struck in the 90th minute.


Coach Blake said: “It was such an up and down game.


“We showed great character, great bravery, great resilience and attitude.


“The second goal was out of the blue but it was a great strike by Dougie and it changed the whole momentum of the game.


“The lads deserve a huge amount of credit for what they achieved.”


Blake also felt Walsh’s cool finish on 44 minutes was pivotal.


By that stage Jackson had put Invicta 2-0 up after seizing on a ball over the top for an eighth-minute opener and then converting from the spot after 17 minutes when he had been felled by Bognor keeper Amadou Tangara.


Blake said: “Goals at that time can change games and we felt at half-time that going in at 2-1 down the momentum was with us.”


Jackson won and scored the 60th-minute penalty that saw Folkestone restore their two-goal cushion.


But Tuck rifled home from distance to narrow the deficit and Casey restored parity after 82 minutes when he fired in with a low strike.


Lethbridge got the winner after substitute Arron Hopkinson’s cross came to him at the far post to slam home.


Blake added: “We kept going until the end and we played on the front foot.


“That’s all you can ask for and I think when you do that, then eventually you do get a bit of the rub of the green. It was massive for us.”

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