SEVEN affected as Covid halts Bognor's season

The Rocks’ bid to get their season back on track after a double derby setback has been halted by Covid.

The Rocks at Lewes for their last game before two Covid-enforced postponements / Picture: Martin Denyer
The Rocks at Lewes for their last game before two Covid-enforced postponements / Picture: Martin Denyer

A number of players and members of staff have tested positive and been forced to isolate – forcing last Monday’s home clash with Merstham and this Saturday’s visit to Carshalton to be postponed.

They are hoping to be back in action at Cray Wanderers next Wednesday but have admitted: It’s out of our hands.

Rocks manager Jack Pearce said a umber of players and members of staff – seven in total – had tested positive for Covid in recent days and were now having to isolate.

Added to other injuries in the squad, Pearce said it would have left him with nine registered players who were able to play.

The club are also mindful they have unvaccinated players in the ranks.

Training has been cancelled this week and the club have been keeping the Isthmian League abreast of their plight.

Pearce said: “It’s a difficult situation and it can change by the day. We have to look after our players’ and staff’s welfare the best we can and if you haven’t got enough players for a team, that’s the way it is.

“It seems like a lot of clubs at all levels of the game have been suffering similar things.”

Rocks general manager Simon Cook said the club were hopeful of being back in action next week.

He said: “Our hope is that we can get a clean bill of health in time for our league game at Cray Wanderers (next Wednesday) but obviously we have no control over this and will be constantly monitoring the situation.”

Bognor would have been keen to get straight back into action against Merstham on Monday after Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Lewes – which itself came four days after a 3-1 reverse at home to Worthing.

Pearce said he understood fans’ frustrations at the two losses to Sussex rivals but said in every game up to Christmas, Bognor’s young line-up had been competitive.

He said with a full squad to choose from, he still felt the Rocks would be a top-third Isthmian premier side. And he added: “With the budget we have, and the need to balance spending on players and on facilities, we do well to attract the players we do.”

* A new date has been set already for the Carshalton game - the Rocks will now visit on Monday, February 21. And Merstham's visit to the Lane will take place on Tuesday, February 8.

Read more from Jack Pearce on the season so far on this website later.