COLUMN: Orient display shows vital Rocks wins aren't far away

So we lost to a footballing giant, but we have our heads held high and can take a lot of positives from the whole experience of hosting Leyton Orient and knowing we gave them a huge scare, writes Ian Guppy, chairman of the Rocks supporters' club.

Saturday, 20th January 2018, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:10 am
Harvey Whyte tries to get the Rocks movin against Leyton Orient / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Harvey Whyte tries to get the Rocks movin against Leyton Orient / Picture by Tommy McMillan

On paper this was a mis-match and man-to-man the quality exuded from Orient should have proved way too much for our ‘little club’ – but once again this ‘little club’ proved how great it is.

Off the field there was nothing but positive feedback from those that visited. Orient fans took to social media to express their thanks and gratitude for the welcome and hospitality – they also questioned how we are second from bottom in the league below them after matching them for 120 minutes and having a man disadvantage for a long time. It’s a valid point about our league position.

One fan next to me in the first half was shocked when he asked how we were struggling in the league and was more shocked to hear that, in all honesty, this is more or less the level and style we have played at all season.

Chatting to some of the players after the game they just cannot believe it keeps happening – we are coming away from games defeated knowing we’ve had a lot of possession and chances but are unable to convert that pressure into the most important thing – GOALS.

The signing of midfielder Richard Gilot excites me immensely and to know he’s committed for the rest of the season is a huge positive. Instantly he gave Doug Tuck and Dan Beck the freedom to move forward and be more effective – how good was Dan Beck by the way? He’s a warrior and like a fine wine, gets better and better with age.

The squad are playing with confidence and I have said for a while that one day someone is going to get a hammering and I feel it could happen soon. We were so unlucky to get only a point at Whitehawk, while the games v Concord and Gloucester also still sit high in the memory of games where we’ve smashed teams and come away frustrated.

I feel the next win is just around the corner and the squad are playing as well as I’ve seen all season. The full-backs Calvin Davies and Kristian Campbell provide excitement and with Keaton Wood soon to return from injury, the squad is as strong as it’s been all season.

We are just two wins away from getting out of the drop zone and with a lot of other teams very much out of form I can see one win being the springboard for the Great Escape.

On the subject of injuries, James Crane cannot play without having a much-needed shoulder operation and because of a winter crisis, the NHS cannot operate until the summer.

The club have agreed to fund part of a private operation but cannot afford it all so we have set up a Justgiving page to try to help. It can be found at … giving James the chance to return to the starting line-up for this season using his much-needed experience to help us.

Come on you Rocks!!

Read Ian Guppy’s exclusive Rocks column fortnightly on this website and in the Bognor Observer