It’s a solid start – but no more than that.
That is the assessment from the Rocks camp after they started their National League South season by taking four points from two games.
A 3-2 win at home to Bath City, courtesy of goals by Alex Parsons, Jimmy Muitt and Ollie Pearce, was followed by a 2-2 draw at Poole, where Corey Heath and Muitt again were on target – leaving the Rocks sixth in the early league table.
The early games have already shown Bognor the standard of finishing in this league is better than in the Isthmian premier they have come from.
The Rocks have defended well in both matches but have already conceded four times, with a couple of half-chances ending up in the top corner of Dan Lincoln’s net.
At the other end they are scoring themselves, with four different players already opening their accounts for the campaign.
I think we have the ability in this squad to do well, but if we want to do really well we are probably a couple of players short.Jack Pearce
The games come thick and fast in August with a trip to Welling ahead of the Rocks on Saturday before the season’s first Sussex derby, at home to Whitehawk, next Tuesday.
Coach Darin Killpartrick said: “We’ve done okay but no more than that. We know there is a still a hell of a lot of hard work ahead of us.
“What we’re already seeing is that in this league, we’re up against good, well-organised, strong, physical teams.
These are the fine margins in this league. One or two mistakes and clubs can punish you. That’s the difference in this league.
“We’re scoring goals and that pleases me. We’ve worked hard on the training ground on getting the ball into the right areas, so now we need to keep doing that but nullify the mistakes we are making as a team.”
General manager Jack Pearce said: “We’ve seen some good things and some bad things but I think both games have been ernjoyable for spectators.
“It was a great to get a win against a fancied team, Bath City, and a draw at Poole after we were behind, but we need to cut out unforced errors.
“I think we have the ability in this squad to do well, but if we want to do really well we are probably a couple of players short. But we are still in the market for signings.”
Killpartrick said after the Bath win: “It was a bit like a game of basketball at times. However, we stopped passing in the second half the way we wanted which was disappointing.
“But one thing I did say to the lads was the fact that they died together out there defending the lead. They threw the kitchen sink at us and we dealt with it in a way that replicated the team cohesion that we have got.
“We’ve come away with three points. No-one would have moaned if it ended in a draw.
Two new signings – centre-half Corey Heath and versatile attacker Ben Swallow, signed from Worthing and Havant respectively – have shone in the opening games although other new faces have had few chances to shine as yet.
Midfielder Joe Lea did look very effective as a second-half sub at Poole and set up Muitt’s equaliser.
The Rocks will be strengthened after Saturday when defender James Crane returns from honeymoon. Calvin Davies has switched from right to left-back in his absence and may be tough for Crane to dislodge.
Utility man Harvey Whyte has a septic toe and may be a doubt for the weekend’s trip to face Welling, who have lost their opening two games.
One big bonus for the club in this first week has been the number of fans going to games. The crowd at the Lane on Saturday was 726, while close to 100 Bognor fans made the long trip to Poole on Tuesday night.
Killpartrick said: “It’s phenomenal support. At Poole they were unbelievable – they really helped drive us on in the latter stages of the game. The support is absolutely vital to us, as ever.”
Pearce added: “If we keep winning our home games 3-2 I expect they’ll keep coming back.”
Get the first reports from the Welling and Whitehawk games at www.bognor.co.uk
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