Dowridge joins Bognor squad as Mendoza completes winning pre-season programme

Sam DowridgeSam Dowridge
Sam Dowridge
Sam Dowridge has completed his loan switch to the Rocks from Havant & Waterlooville -- and goes straight into the squad heading to the season opener at Bishop's Stortford.

Pacy wideman Dowridge, 20, will stay with Bognor until at least January of next year after signing on following an impressive display in the 1-0 win over Gosport Borough in a pre-season friendly encounter at Privett Park on Saturday.

Now he will team up with his new team-mates at training this week before the big Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division kick off against the Blues this Saturday.

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Former Southampton and Stevenage Academy midfielder Dowridge switched to the Rocks after Hawks boss Paul Doswell sought Jack Pearce's view on the player in a trial in a friendly win at Horndean. He then penned two-year deal at Westleigh Park.

Pearce said: "Sam has so much potential and we're delighted to have him with us and look forward to helping him develop and at the same time providing valuable quality to out set-up."

Doswell explained: "For me it was always, could we go and get him 20-odd games with Bognor, train full-time with us and play for Bognor. Hopefully, we’ll progress him that way initially."

Meanwhile, Rocks fans must book first-come, first-served tickets for the game at Woodside Park against Kevin Watson's outfit.

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A Bishop's Stortford spokesman said: "There is a strict capacity of 600 supporters for this match. We have decided that the attendance will have to be pre-booked by email to [email protected] with name, contact details, how many tickets you are requesting, names of your guests, conformation you (and your party) are COVID-19 symptom-free. Whether you want to sit or stand."

The Rocks were happy to end pre-season with the fine 1-0 win at Gosport thanks to a Ben Mendoza goal.

Bognor had the best of the first half and took the lead on 26 minutes when Ethan Robb’s neat turn saw him pass forward to Jordy Mongoy, who squared the ball across the area for Mendoza to score..

Brad Lethbridge was substituted during the first half and disappeared straight into the changing room.

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Gosport had more chances after the break but Amadou Tangara and Co kept them out and Bognor ended as winners, finishing up a five-game unbeaten run throughout pre season. Now it's all eyes on that league opener at Bishop's Stortford.

Rocks: Tangara, Whyte (c), Davies, Mendoza (Stone 55), Cook, Wood, Robb, T Leigh, Mongoy (Baker 79), Dowdridge (Rowe 55), Lethbridge (Britton 35). Subs not Used: Lis, A Leigh