BOGNOR are confident they can put stuttering league form to one side and give Leyton Orient a run for their money in Nyewood Lane’s big FA Trophy tie on Saturday.
The Londoners, in the Football League until the end of last season, will be strong favourites to win the last-32 tie.
But the Rocks hope to summon up the spirit of their 2015-16 run to the semi-finals, in which they beat five teams from the National League’s premier and south divisions.
Bognor go into the game – from which the winners pocket £7,000 – having won only one league game since August and reflecting on another case of points dropped last Saturday, when they should have been out of sight of hosts Whitehawk but ended up drawing 2-2.
Coach Darin Killpartrick feels they’ll need to be at their best when the Os, managed by former Spurs defender Justin Edinburgh, visit.
He said: ‘We trained hard on Tuesday night and will plan for the game, in a way, like we would for any other game.
‘But we know Leyton Orient were a Football League team until last year and will present us with a huge challenge.
‘We will have to be at our very best from start to finish if we’re to get anything from the tie, but it will be a day and an occasion when the pressures of the league are off and hopefully everyone can enjoy a great spectacle.’
Orient boss Edinburgh has indicated he is taking the FA Trophy seriously and wants to win not only the Bognor tie but the competition itself.
They have struggled to adapt to lift in the National League premier this season.
The game comes as Bognor continue to strengthen the squad for their battle to avoid relegation from National League South.
A host of injuries, mostly to defenders, sparked the signing on loan from Dover of big centre-half Manny Adebowale, while the club have international clearance to sign 21-year-old French midfielder Richard Gilot,
Bognor are expecting a big crowd possibly up to 2,000 and fans should arrive early.
– Steve Bone