Watch Jack Pearce's post-match verdict: Bognor had trousers taken down by Worthing

Jack Pearce reflected on Bognor's 3-0 home loss to fierce rivals Worthing and admitted: They were excellent and pulled our trousers down.

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 9:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 9:03 am

The Rocks boss was frank in his assessment of a defeat that meant the Rebels had done the league double over Bognor this season - winning both games by the same scoreline.

Worthing won thanks to goal by skipper and former Rock Alex Parsons, Joel Colbran and Jesse Starkey to strengthen their title bid while the loss left the Rocks down to tenth and now six points off the play-offs.

Pearce said Worthing were 'excellent' and it looked like they were the ones who'd had the team talk that the Rocks were given, calling for a quick start and high pressing. He didn't feel the decision to play with a back three was to blame for the defeat but the way the team defended on the day.

Brad Lethbridge on the attack against Worthing / Picture: Tommy McMillan

"I don't want to make any excuses," he said. "Let's make no bones about it, they were superb - they thoroughly deserved it."

Pearce said Worthing's first goal was a gift and felt Joe Cook - the centre half now back at Havant after he was recalled from his loan spell - had been badly missed.

"It's an embarrassing day for me, an embarrassing day for the supporters and an embarrassing day for the players," he added.

Pearce explained the decision to take off Harvey Whyte was nothing to do with the way he was playing but said the skipper had been ill for three days and might not have started. When they wanted to make a change, knowing Whyte was unlikely to last the 90 minutes, it made sense to sacrifice him.

The manager compared Keaton Wood's slip that cost Bognor the first goal to Steven Gerrard's famous mistake against Chelsea that many thought cost Liverpool the title a few years ago, and said Liverpool had not stopped selecting Gerrard.

He said of Worthing: "They''ve taken our trousers down."

Pearce said the important job for Bognor was to get back on track at home to Margate on Saturday.

See his full post-match interview above