Rocks ready for another big FA Trophy night

Rocks fans at Sutton - and they'll be at the replay in good numbers / Picture by Tim Hale
Rocks fans at Sutton - and they'll be at the replay in good numbers / Picture by Tim Hale
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A HUGE crowd is expected on Tuesday night for one of Bognor’s biggest games in many years.

The Rocks host Sutton United in an FA Trophy third-round replay with the chance of a dream trip to Wembley getting ever closer.

This last-16 stage is already the furthest the men from Nyewood Lane have gone in the competition.

And they kept their hopes alive with a highly-creditable 0-0 draw away to National League South promotion chasers at Gander Green Lane on Saturday.

After weathering an early Sutton storm, Bognor grew in confidence as the game went on and most felt they looked the most likely winners by the end.

Rocks boss Jamie Howell was delighted to see his side hold Sutton – the sixth time this season Bognor have taken on higher-division opposition and not lost.

But he warned there was hard work ahead if the Rocks were to secure a quarter-final at home to Torquay or Macclesfield, both of the National League premier.

Howell said: “I was pleased to draw 0-0 at their place. Conditions were difficult. In the first half with the wind against us we coped well, and in the second when it was behind us we had a good go and were unlucky.

“We are pleased to be in the tie still but we know it will be difficult in the replay. We’ve kept the interest going and we hope it will be a good night at the Lane.”

Striker Jason Prior ended Saturday’s game with a dead leg but will be fit for the replay and winger Alex Parsons is okay after feeling the effects of a recent knee injury and coming off at half-time at Sutton.

But full-back Harvey Whyte picked up a hamstring injury in the second half and will be out for four to six weeks.

Whyte could be replaced by Calvin Davies, one of the three young Pompey players currently on loan at Bognor, or another of the trio Snorre Nilsen, who would then need to be replaced in midfield.

Nilsen and fellow Pompey academy prospect Chad Field have played a big part for the Ryman premier side this season.

Rocks officials hope a number of Pompey fans will get along to to the replay to back them, Davies and the whole team.

Ex-Havant boss Ian Baird took charge of Sutton in the first game. He is No2 at the Surrey club and manager Paul Doswell was away.

Admission on Tuesday night is £10 for adults, £3 for under-18s.

STEVE BONE

Follow Bognor v Sutton live at www.bognor.co.uk

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