Littlehampton v Bognor - why it's a big night for both clubs

The Rocks play their first match for eight months on Thursday evening at Littlehampton with manager Jack Pearce warning fans: The squad’s not complete yet.

Bognor training at East Dean ahead of their friendly visit to Littlehampton on Thursday evening / Picture: Martin Denyer
Bognor training at East Dean ahead of their friendly visit to Littlehampton on Thursday evening / Picture: Martin Denyer

Bognor are rebuilding after a series of player departures and Pearce says that while he’s content with progress, supporters who watch them at Littlehampton Town on Thursday night (7.30pm) or at home to Burton on Saturday (1pm) shouldn’t read too much into the Rocks line-up.

They’ve bid farewell to defender Keaton Wood, midfielder Tommy Leigh and striker Brad Lethbridge since last term plus other fringe players. But they’ve recruited defenders Joe Hancott and Craig Robson plus wideman Gavin McCallum – and there will be more new faces to come.

Pearce said: “Training’s been good but we’re still short in a couple of areas. We’ve had a lot of changes and have lost a few players but are delighted with those we’ve brought in so far. We will be looking at some trialists in these early games.”

Rocks fans will be watching football at Nyewood Lane on Saturday for the first time since November 3 and despite the fact a lot of work has been done, Pearce said the ground – like the squad – was not quite the finished product yet.

They are working towards having facilities finished by the time Pompey visit on Wednesday, July 28, when – all being planned – any caps on crowd numbers should be over.

Fans can pay on the gate tonight and on Saturday, with a decent-sized crowd expected at the Lane for the visit of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s League One side.

Meanwhile, the Rocks' visit to Littlehampton represents a big night for the home side. Here's what they have had to about the occasion.

"Our new footballing season kicks off when we welcome Bognor Regis Town to play at The Sportsfield on Thursday 8th July (KO: 7.30pm) under our new floodlights. Thank you to all the supporters who helped with our fund-raising exercise to be able to upgrade our facilities. It's the perfect way for Littlehampton Town to begin their 125th anniversary celebrations.

"As many of you will know, we are unbeaten in the league in the past two seasons (which have both been curtailed early due to Covid-19) and we have been awarded promotion to the Southern Combination Football League Premier Division for the forthcoming season and we are delighted to return to the FA Cup once more. It's great news all round as we look ahead to our next 125 years!

"Our kiosk will be open on the night and the Sportsman club will be open serving takeaway and seated table service, as per the on-going official Covid-19 guidance. Please wear face masks when in the clubhouse and not seated. Limited numbers of a printed programme will be available on the night."

Pre-season friendly

Littlehampton Town v Bognor Regis Town

Thursday 8th July 2021

Kick-off 7.30pm; Adults: £6; Concessions: £3; U16: £2; Programmes: £1