Bognor's home form HAS to improve - but Pearce can still see positives

Jack Pearce admitted the Rocks needed to improve their home form urgently after they failed to win another two Sussex derbies.

But he insisted there were plenty of signs of hope despite the team letting slip 1-0 and 2-1 leads to draw with Horsham then going down 2-0 to Worthing in a Sussex Senior Cup quarter-final.

The results were both setbacks after a battling 1-0 win away to Cray Wanderers last Wednesday when Pompey academy loanee Dan Gifford, one of the big bright sparks of recent weeks, scored his first Rocks goal.

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It looked like Pearce and Robbie Blake’s team would make it back-to-back Isthmian premier wins when they led 2-1 late on against the Hornets, only to concede a 94th-minute equaliser.

Bognor look for a way past Worthing in the cup / Picture: Lyn Phillips

On Tuesday night Worthing won 2-0 at the Lane in the Sussex Senior Cup despite a fighting effort from Bognor in the second half.

Although that was Worthing’s second win at Bognor in three weeks, it was their first cup victory over the Rocks since 1977 in a 15-match run – and the first time they’d knocked Bognor out of the Senior Cup since the 1962-63 season.

Pearce said he was realistic about the need to start winning games in front of home fans – hopefully starting with Potters Bar’s visit this Saturday in the league.

“Against Worthing I was disappointed in our first half performance but thought we did very, very well second half. Amadou Tangara had little to do,” Pearce said.

“Nathan Odokonyero almost scored what would have been a superb team goal then Craig Robson missed one from three yards just before their second. I don’t deny Worthing deserved to win but I was very heartened by our second half.

“Against Horsham a draw was probably fair but we simply have to stop gifting goals to the opposition. We’re giving too many a leg-up.”

Bognor have lost only the same number of league games this term as Worthing – five. But they have drawn too many and won only two at home.

Pearce said they’d be working hard to put that right, although injuries and illness were continuing to hit the squad and make it impossible to field the strongest XI.