Rocks happy to play the waiting game on injuries

Action from Selsey v Bognor Regis Town in the Sussex County FA Senior Cup, where The Rocks went on to win 5-0.
Action from Selsey v Bognor Regis Town in the Sussex County FA Senior Cup, where The Rocks went on to win 5-0.

THE ROCKS are happy to play the waiting game on their injured forwards insisting they’re now looking at the longer term.

A search to add more firepower to the side continues, although having hit five goals in a comfortable Sussex Senior Cup win against Selsey on Tuesday the spark could well be back.

Bognor’s management team last week claimed the goals their play deserved were not forthcoming, but the midweek flurry, albeit against a County League outfit was a welcome sight.

Strikers Ashley-Paul Robinson and Terry Dodd both found the back of the net as they continued their returns from injury, but it could be weeks before they are both back in full action.

Rocks manager Jamie Howell was impressed with his sides display at Selsey and grateful for a game after Sunday’s Ryman League premier division clash Cray was postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch.

Both Howell and Darin Killpartrick have insisted though that rather than short-term fixes and rushing players back – Robinson from knee surgery and Dodd after a broken toe – they’re now looking at things in the long term.

Howell said: “Terry is having an intense training month with our coach Neil Cockerton. He had a fitness session in the morning, one in the evening then came and played a half with us on Tuesday.

“In the short term he may miss a handful of matches but I am looking at the longer term now.

“I was very impressed with him on Tuesday he looked very sharp, but we have to be careful with his shin splints problems as well, but he’ll continue working with Neil and our physio Rachel Rees.

“Ashley-Paul was thrown in very quickly and you need that level of base fitness. Sometimes just playing and not training does not give you too much chance of basic fitness.

“There might be certain games we would need them to play but you do not just get fit by playing games and if that means they miss some, then so be it. I’ll be happy if after Christmas we have both Ashley and Terry back then we’ll be looking good.

“Ben Andrews will do some light training on Thursday and see how he is. We need to get him fully fit, and I’m hopeful we have enough cover at the back to do that.”

Killpartrick praised the strike duos’ work and said: “Both Terry and Ashley are training very hard and it may be three or four weeks before they are back in full action, but it will be for the best.”

The management team are still looking at the possibility of new personal for the front line in the meanwhile.

“We’re still searching. It’s not that I’m disappointed with what we’ve got, but I think they could need a hand, said Howell.

“That’s what was most pleasing at Selsey, we were looking to score goals and looked to get a bit of pace in the team. Ollie Pearce, who is a youth teamer, played very well, looked sharp so that was another big plus.”

Rocks host fourth-placed Bury Town on Saturday and are hoping that finding the net five times this week will help banish what has become a slight home voodoo.

Nyewood Lane was awash with goals last season but Bognor’s form on the road has been more impressive this year, something Howell feels has not been helped by their opponents tactics.

He said: “Teams know what we are about now. We have more success away from home because teams come and attack us, but now teams come and defended here and we need to unlock that.

Killpartrick added: “We always knew teams would be extremely tough to beat in this division. We need to learn how to beat teams that have more resolute defences and better goalkeepers. There is more than one way of skinning a cat and it’s something we’re thinking about.”