The player's return that may prove big for Bognor

Returning skipper Harvey Whyte can give the Rocks a big boost going into a double-header weekend that could kick-start their season.

Harvey Whyte was back in Rocks action at East Thurrock / Picture: Lyn Phillips
Harvey Whyte was back in Rocks action at East Thurrock / Picture: Lyn Phillips

After starting the new Isthmian premier campaign with draws against Bishop’s Stortford and East Thurrock, they will go in search of their first win when they host Haringey at Nyewood Lane on Saturday. Then it’s the much-anticipated derby at Worthing on bank holiday Monday.

And coach Robbie Blake believes the return to fitness of evergreen Whyte can be crucial.

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The Nye Camp favourite, who turned 30 this week, came off the bench to help Rocks to a a 2-2 draw at East Thurrock and coach Robbie Blake believes the inspirational midfielder will benefit massively from getting game time as he finds his fitness following a summer operation.

Bognor turned in a disjointed first-half performance and went in at the break 2-1 down having trailed by two goals before former Pompey youngster Charlie Bell bundled home from close range at the stroke of half-time.

Bell pounced for the leveller on 64 minutes, giving the visitors two points on the board from the first two games.

Whyte, who has played more than 300 times for the club, looked sharp for manager Jack Pearce’s men when he came on and Blake said: “I thought Harvey was excellent when he came on and we are glad to be able to have him back.

“He is a big part of the squad and a big part of the club.

“Hopefully he’ll feel fitter and stronger the more game time he gets and that can only be a positive for us going forward.”

Blake felt the first-half display at East Thurrock was the worst the team had turned in since he came to the club in 2018. “We were very disappointing in the first half but we showed some character to get back in the game and earn a draw,” he said.

“Now we look ahead of the home game against Haringey and it promises to be another great occasion at the Nye Camp.”

Meanwhile Bognor have not been given the kindest of FA Cup draws.

They will travel to face Hayes and Yeading in the first qualifying round on Saturday week, September 4 – the same fixture in which they lost 5-0 in last season’s second qualifying round, conceding all the goals in 26 second-half minutes.