Bognor bosses reveal three departures - and give verdict on 6-1 loss and three red cards

Bognor boss Jack Pearce believes he and coach Robbie Blake will be able to take a strong squad to Bishop's Stortford for the opening game of the Betvictor Premier Division campaign on Saturday.

Gosport put a penalty past Bognor / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Gosport put a penalty past Bognor / Picture by Tommy McMillan

And the travelling Rocks group WILL include the three players sent off in the pre-season friendly clash at Gosport Borough on Friday which ended in a 6-1 thrashing for the under-performing visitors.

Skipper Harvey Whyte, Tommy Leigh and Dan Smith all got their marching orders in the defeat to the Southern League Premier Division South outfit and there were fears the trio would miss the first three games of the new season. But Rocks general manger Simon Cook has confirmed the dismissals are "competition specific" and won't apply until the club play another friendly match.

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Ahead of the trip to The ProKit Stadium, Pearce and Blake have confirmed they have parted company with a crop of players going into the big kick-off with Ed Sanders, Josh McCormack and Jack Breed seeking pastures new.

And Pearce said: "The squad is shaping up how we want it to and we're confident that we'll be able to take a strong group of players up to Bishop's Stortford for the opening day of the new season. The players who were sent off in the Gosport game are available to us and we may even add one or two to the group as well.

"As for the game at Privett Park on Friday, sometimes in football you're best to put things behind you and move on and that's what we'll do. Believe it or not it helped us in our thinking and so although we lost 6-1 there were a few positives that came out of the encounter."

Meanwhile, Blake was a little more blunt in his assessment of the match when he took to social media platform Twitter to declare: "it was not very good. We had to try out some trialists in the game, we had a couple of players carrying some knocks. And also, I thought the ref was shocking. Don’t worry come next Saturday we will be OK."