Pompey youngster praised for making big Bognor impression: 'He's been mustard'

Young striker Dan Gifford is proving he has all the credentials to make an impact up top for Bognor since his arrival on loan from Portsmouth. That's the view of team-mate Ashton Leigh as the Rocks head into an Isthmian premier division encounter at Bishop's Stortford on Tuesday night.

The Nye Camp outfit go to ProKit UK Stadium on the back of a 2-0 win at home to Potters Bar Town which gave them three league games on the spin without defeat and a hopeful eye on the play-off places.

Gifford grabbed one of the goals in the victory – Jordy Mongoy notched the other -- meaning he has hit two in five league appearances since his arrival in December from the Fratton Park youth ranks along with defender Harvey Hughes.

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Gifford’s eye-catching efforts spearheading the frontline have caught the eye of Leigh, who believes leading the line comes naturally to goal-hungry-Gifford. Leigh said: "He's come in and he's been mustard -- he's such a help up there. He holds the ball up, runs in behind, he's strong, he gets his body in there, wins fouls, scores goals and wins headers!

Dan Gifford is making a big impact at Nyewood Lane / Picture: Trevor Staff

"He's come in and been magnificent and is a credit to Bognor and Pompey. Hopefully when he gets his chance at Pompey, which he should, he will hit the ground running there, and all the best to him."

As well as observing the qualities of Gifford against the Scholars, Leigh was busy stamping his own authority on the game after forcing his way back in to the reckoning following a spell on the sidelines. Manager Jack Pearce and coach Robbie Blake have opted to bench Leigh in recent games but he has regained his focus and shown desire and a willingness in training and the Rocks are the beneficiaries.

He was arguably the best player on the pitch on Saturday and indeed won the Rocks Radio man of the match award. Supporters feel there is much more to come from the playmaker now he is back in the fold.

Leigh added: "It's been frustrating. I had a little time out the team and had to knuckle down and work hard and finally got my spot back and hopefully I can keep it now for a bit. People have said there was some gloom and doom but everyone's got their heads held high and to get the three points in front of the fans was brilliant."

And he says he is acutely aware of how he wants to proceed in his Rocks career: "Keep getting on the half turn and making things happen and try to keep myself in the side."