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Two into eight is the equation facing Bognor

There is little margin for error now admits Jack Pearce as Bognor head to Merstham tomorrow with their play-off hopes still alive.

 

Merstham are second from bottom in the BetVictor Premier and scrapping for step three survival.

 

The Rocks are still eyeing a spot in the end of season shake-up to decide who goes up with the champions but are ten points off the final available place albeit with three games in hand on Carshalton Athletic, who occupy that position.

 

Enfield, a spot above Rocks, drew 1-1 with Lewes in midweek while Leatherhead, who sit behind them, were 4-0 winners over Potters Bar. East Thurrock lost to strugglers Corinthian-Casuals.

 

It is a congested picture, as manager Pearce appreciates. He told The Post: “We have to stick there and see what we can do.

 

“It is all very tight now.

 

“I think there are three clubs who can safely say they are in there now with Worthing, Hornchurch and Folkestone.

 

“Then from fourth down to 11th place, which is another eight clubs, they are fighting for one of the remaining places.

 

“There’s eight clubs and two places up for grabs – that’s how I see it now. We’re looking forward to the last 12 games and getting as many points as we can.

 

“After the start we had, we cannot afford many hiccups now though.”

 

Merstham may be second from bottom but Pearce admits they are just the sort of side who can present problems.

 

He said: “They are struggling but sometimes at this stage of the season they can be the worst sides to play against.

 

“We know the one thing they will be doing is working very hard to stay up.

 

“I would much rather play a mid-table side at this stage of the season who have nothing to play for. Merstham definitely have something to play for. ”

 

On the bright side, Bognor are now getting players back as they approach the home straight.

 

They trained Tuesday, and were due to train again last night as they did not have a midweek fixture.

 

Pearce said: “This week for the first time in quite a while we shall have a full squad to choose from apart from Doug Tuck. Hopefully, if everything goes well (last night) we shall have Joe Cook and Jake Flannigan back available.”

 

Cook has been sorely missed as a central defensive option for Rocks.

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