Bognor aiming to hit top gear after returning to summit

Sami El-Abd is back for Bognor. Picture: Tim Hale
Sami El-Abd is back for Bognor. Picture: Tim Hale
Blu Boam in action against Bashley. Picture: Keith Woodland

No blues for Boam on Baffins return

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BOGNOR are back at home tomorrow as they aim to click into top gear after returning to the summit of the Ryman League premier division.

It’s been another eventful week for the Nyewood Lane outfit.

They beat Burgess Hill on Tuesday to go back top, with title-rivals the Hawks losing at Harrow Borough.

After back-to-back away games, Bognor have three successive home matches to finish March.

They come up against Folkestone Invicta tomorrow, before facing Canvey Island and Leiston at Nyewood Lane in the following two matches.

Boss Jamie Howell sees these games at home as a crucial factor to where his side could finish this season.

He said: ‘We’ve not performed to the level I’d have liked at home in recent times.

‘This run of fixtures now gives us a chance to put that right and continue to push for what we want to achieve this season.’

Howell insists he is not too fussed whether Rocks lead the way at present.

An up-and-down week saw Bognor begin Saturday afternoon as leaders, then get knocked off the top by Hawks in the evening, before returning to the summit on Tuesday.

With eight games still to go, Howell believes his side being top at the minute means very little.

He pinpointed the previous week as a sign of what could well be in store heading into the critical run-in.

Howell said: ‘It seems strange to say but whether we are top or not at the minute is not something that really bothers me.

‘These past few days show how many potential twists and turns await us heading into these final few matches.

‘All we can do is continue to focus on ourselves in the games to come and see where that takes us.’

Despite Bognor topping the table, Howell feels even achieving a play-off place this season would be great.

He added: ‘Considering the players we lost over the summer and given our start, to find ourselves in the position we are is a great testament to this squad.

‘I’d say this is up there with the season we had last year.

‘Obviously we had the run in the FA Trophy but to be where we are with what we’ve got is brilliant.’

The Rocks drew 1-1 with Leiston on Saturday. That saw them slip below the Hawks but they beat Burgess Hill 3-1 on Tuesday to go back top.

Sami El-Abd returns to the Rocks squad after serving a suspension for Saturday’s game, while Chad Field begins his three-game ban.

– LEWIS MASON