High praise for Bognor 's derby winners from delighted Pearce and Blake

Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake saluted the Rocks players for putting a slow start to the season behind them with a superb derby win at Worthing.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 8:30 am
Bognor put their bodies on the line to keep Worthing out in the derby at Woodside Road / Picture: Trevor Staff

It could hardly have been a more timely win as goals by Ashton Leigh and Kayne Diedrick-Roberts earned a 2-0 win at the home of their big rivals in front of a crowd of 2,101.

Manager Jack Pearce said he’d been less worried about the result before Monday’s showdown than by the need for his players to show they were learning from their mistakes and committed to doing better.

“What we demanded was that the players would show a commitment to be difficult to beat – and they certainly showed it,” said Pearce.

Bognor's fans enjoy themselves at Worthing / Picture: Martin Denyer

“The back four, who’d never played together as a four before, were excellent, the midfield did its job and the front three ran their socks off.”

Pearce said the display at Woodside was the standard he and Blake would now ask for every week – starting with Saturday’s FA Cup first qualifying round visit to Hayes & Yeading, where the Rocks lost 5-0 in the Cup last season. "We need to do better there this year - but then, we'd have a job to play any worse than we did that day."

Blake was delighted by the Rocks’ first win. He said: “We asked the players to think about how much this game meant to the supporters and to reflect some pride in their performance and they responded magnificently. To a man they worked their socks off and we were so pleased with the desire and intent they showed.

“Worthing are a fine side and of course they had plenty of chances but we defended with purpose and in resolute fashion and this gave us a platform. We knew we would have chances and when they came we took them.”

"But even at 2-0 Worthing pressed and tried to claw their way back in to the game and that was when we had to dig deep and be resilient.

“The lads gave everything and they got their reward with the win. We’re so pleased for the fans and everyone at the club to be able to bring them the victory we all wanted. our fans have been unbelievable and travelled in great numbers and the vocal support was off the scale.