Rocks’ hectic run gets even tougher now

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Bognor are preparing for their second set of four games in a week with the warning: This lot will be even tougher.

Jamie Howell’s side have done their promotion hopes no end of good by winning their past four games, despite them coming inside a seven-day spell.

Bognor's player celebrate Jason Prior's late penalty winner over Burgess Hill / Picture by Tim Hale

Bognor's player celebrate Jason Prior's late penalty winner over Burgess Hill / Picture by Tim Hale

The backlog of games is clearing – but they begin an even tougher week’s schedule tonight (Thur 24) that will test them to an even greater extent.

Tonight the fourth-placed Rocks visit Enfield, who are seventh. Saturday takes them to fifth-placed Dulwich, then on Monday night they visit sixth-placed Kingstonian.

The week of road trips ends at Burgess Hill next Wednesday.

Boss Howell said the players deserved massive credit for winning all four games played since the FA Trophy exit at Grimsby.

We could win all these next four games or we could lose them all.

Jamie Howell

After winning 2-1 at Harrow they saw off Grays (3-0) and Burgess Hill (2-1) at Nyewood Lane either side of a 1-0 win at Needham Market.

See a gallery of pictures, by Tommy McMillan and Tim Hale, from the last three of those wins above

“It has been a great week. We have momentum and are on a roll,” Howell said. “We were maybe fortunate to beat Burgess Hill – we looked jaded and we were. But you don’t feel as tired when you’re winning. It helps you through.”

The 12 points gained in the past week or so have strengthened Bognor’s promotion bid significantly. They are fourth – eight points clear of sixth spot and only nine off leaders Hampton. They have three games in hand on each of the top three.

A total of 90 points will guarantee a play-off spot while some fans think the title is achievable. Howell and coach Darin Killpartrick are trying to keep everyone’s feet on the ground.

Howell said: “You just can’t predict what’s going to happen. We could win all these next four games or we could lose them all.

“We will keep going game by game and see where it takes us.”

Ahead of today’s deadline for registering new players, the Rocks boosted their attacking options with the loan signing of Pompey academy striker Brandon Joseph-Buadi.

The 18-year-old has featured prominently for the Blues’ youth team and appeared for the first team in a JP Trophy loss at Exeter.

Howell said: “Brandon will be with us at Enfield tonight. He gives us another option.”

So far the Rocks have been reasonably fortunate with injuries.

Centre-half Craig Robson picked up ankle trouble against Grays and has not played since, and is being monitored.

Otherwise the Rocks have been able to rest one or two players each time they have played, with the likes of Chad Field, Gary Charman and Stu Green all coming in and proving their worth.

STEVE BONE

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