Moone could be key for crucial run-in

Substitute James Crane celebrates after levelling for Rocks against old rivals Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday. Picture: Tim Hale
Substitute James Crane celebrates after levelling for Rocks against old rivals Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday. Picture: Tim Hale

Rocks boss Jamie Howell hailed the capture of Charlie Moone for his side’s crucial Ryman League Premier Division run-in.

Moone agreed on a move to Nyewood Lane last week, with Bognor currently three points clear at the top.

The 27-year-old frontman won the division with Hampton & Richmond last season and netted 118 goals in 257 appearances over a six-year period, before making the move to Southern League Premier Division side Slough Town.

With Fulham loanee Elijah Adebayo returning to his parent club last week, Howell believes the addition of Moone will give Rocks an added attacking boost ahead of a key period.

He said: “Charlie’s a proven goalscorer and a player that I have admired for a very long time. When someone of his ability becomes available, then it’s something you can’t miss out on.

“Not only has he scored a hatful of goals in the past, Charlie also won this league with Hampton last season.

“We’ve got quite a young, inexperienced squad in certain aspects, so he’ll also give us something extra in that sense as well.”

Work commitments denied Moone the chance to make his debut in Saturday’s home draw with old rivals Dulwich Hamlet, but the forward is expected to be available for what is a massive week for Bognor.

First, they travel to sixth-placed Wingate & Finchley in the league on Saturday, before a Sussex Senior Cup semi-final tie with League 2 Crawley Town on Tuesday, which is followed by a trip to Needham Market – currently in second – to end a tricky seven days.

As Rocks enter the business end of the season, Howell is excited by the games to come.

He said: “It’s great we are going to be involved in some massive games over the next seven days. Some teams are down at the bottom, fighting to stay in this league, but we’re at the top with some huge games this week.

“The week ahead is massive, but it’s a nice pressure to have as a team.”

Having been beaten at the same stage in the Sussex Senior Cup last season, Howell is hoping to go one better this time.

He said: “Crawley are big favourites for this one, they are a professional club with some really talented players.

“We played Portsmouth in pre-season and we’ll give this a good go. It’s a great chance for my players to test themselves against players who play the game full-time.”

Alex Parsons (foot) is expected to miss Saturday’s trip to Wingate, then the Crawley cup tie. Dan Beck (ankle) is likely to be back.

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