Rocks boss: We’re in with a chance

Bognor boss Jamie Howell
Bognor boss Jamie Howell

JAMIE HOWELL gave his verdict on Bognor’s 1-1 draw at Tonbridge Angels and said: “I was pleased with the point.”

The Rocks took the lead thanks to a Jason Prior strike on 57 minutes.

Jason Prior - pictured scoring a penalty against Dulwich - also netted at Tonbridge Picture by Tim Hale

Jason Prior - pictured scoring a penalty against Dulwich - also netted at Tonbridge Picture by Tim Hale

Tonbridge levelled just six minutes later, though, as Mitchell Paddock struck from the penalty spot to ensure a share of the spoils.

The Rocks’ boss Howell felt a draw was a fair reflection of an even contest.

He said: “I was pleased to come away with a point at Tonbridge. It was not the best of encounters with very few chances for either side.

“The pitch was not great and that made it difficult for any football to be played.

This run of nine games unbeaten has given us an outside chance of the play-offs

Rocks boss Jamie Howell

“We took the lead through Jason Prior’s strike but then conceded a sloppy penalty which denied us the three points in the end.

“We look to take at least a point from every away game and that is what we managed to do so I was satisfied.”

The point extended Bognor’s unbeaten run in the Ryman Premier to nine matches.

They sit ninth in the table and are just three points off Wingate & Finchley, who occupy the final play-off spot.

But Howell feels it will be a very tough ask if his side are to finish the season in that play-off zone.

He added: “I was a little concerned before the start of the campaign about where we might finish. The first aim for us was to avoid relegation and we have managed to do that.

“This run of nine games unbeaten has now given us an outside chance of making the play-offs.

“It’s great to be in with a shout at this stage of the season and we will give it our best shot to try to make them.”

Rocks entertain Grays Athletic at Nyewood Lane on Saturday before an away trip to Hampton & Richmond on Tuesday.

Both sides are in the bottom half but Howell will be taking nothing for granted against either side.

Howell said: “This is a really tough league and any side can beat anyone on any given day. A few people may look at these fixtures and expect us to get maximum points but it’s not that easy.

“We know that we will have to be at our very best to take six points from our next two games.”

Bognor have had a number of first-team regulars missing in recent weeks.

Stuart Green, Doug Tuck and Ollie Pearce will all be out of Saturday’s game, while Prior is doubtful.

However, the Rocks were boosted last weekend as Havant & Waterlooville’s Harry Wedlake came on as a substitute at Tonbridge.

Wedlake has signed on a dual-registration deal from the Conference South side and Howell believes the move will benefit both sides.

He added: “I had a chat with (Hawks manager) Lee Bradbury and we have managed to get Harry to join us here.

“Lee wants him to gain some first-team experience and that is something that we can provide.

“Harry is a talented young midfielder and I’m hoping he we will help us in our remaining matches, it’s great that Lee has agreed the deal.”

Get first news from the games v Grays and Hampton on this website