Bognor have full focus on key trip to Whitehawk

Ben Swallow was sent off against the Hawks. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171689-1)
Ben Swallow was sent off against the Hawks. Picture Ian Hargreaves (171689-1)
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THE focus is on Whitehawk as Bognor battle injuries ahead of Saturday’s important match in the race to get out of the National League South relegation zone.

It looks like a key game for the Rocks.

On paper they should be aiming to win but Whitehawk notched their first league victory of their campaign away to ex-Bognor boss Jamie Howell’s Eastbourne Borough with a 4-1 win on Monday.

Manager Jack Pearce knows hosts Whitehawk will be up for the match but is relishing the task.

He said: ‘It won’t be easy, that’s for sure. We have a big challenge ahead of us from now until the end of the season but I like a challenge.

‘I don’t think we played that well (against Havant) because football’s about creating chances before the opposition.

‘I thought Havant deserved to win.

‘They started the game better than us, got on the front foot earlier and worked very hard to shut us down and stop us playing.

‘Monday’s results have made it more difficult (to escape the relegation zone).

‘But there’s a good spirit in the camp and we’ll keep working.’

Three key players are likely to be out for the season and another trio remain short of full fitness – while forward Ben Swallow will start a three-match ban next week for a sending-off in the 3-0 New Year’s Day defeat at home to Hawks.

Central defender Chad Field is the latest to join the injured list, sustaining a knee injury in a second-half challenge against Hawks.

He joins fellow central defender Corey Heath (ankle) and full-back James Crane (shoulder), both of whom are set for surgery and are unlikely to pull on a Rocks shirt again this season.

In addition, incredibly, two more centre-halves have been on the sidelines.

Keaton Wood could return for Saturday week’s big FA Trophy tie against Leyton Orient after an ankle injury while Gary Charman – who has rejoined from Eastbourne in a move popular with fans – may be pitched straight into action at Whitehawk.

– Steve Bone