Pearce delighted for fans after Rocks win - but can they find six more?

Jack Pearce dedicated the Rocks' win over Braintree to his players and the club's patient supporters - then said they'd probably need six more wins to give themselves a chance of staying up.

Richard Gilot makes sure the ball is in the net for Bognor's opening goal / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Richard Gilot makes sure the ball is in the net for Bognor's opening goal / Picture by Tommy McMillan

The manager looked on as first-half goals by Richard Gilot and fit-again Ollie Pearce - in his first start since November - earned three precious points, with Billy Crook's second-half strike not enough for Braintree to steal a point.

Pearce said: "I'm pleased the team won because they've worked very hard in training and have tried to put in place what we've asked for. From that point of view I'm delighted. I'm delighted for the fans because they've been very patient, the majority of them.

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"In the first half I thought we were worth our lead. The biggest danger was always going to be being in the unusual position of being 2-0 up at half-time, where the other team are going to come out and put you under pressure and get men forward. It's the nervousness of being in that position and how you deal with it.

"I thought we dug in and defended well in the second half but I thought there was three or four occasions when we could have really caused problems. There was one where Ollie Pearce went offside and Jimmy Muitt played it to him. With a bit more composure we could have had him clean through on goal. There were a couple of times we intercepted then we finished up losing it. So I thought in the second half, Braintree were the better side. When they got one back we thought it was going to be a long last 25 minutes.

"But I thought the game changed in the first half when Dan Lincoln managed to make a save and Keaton Wood got back and cleared it off the line. If we'd gone 1-1 then we'd most probably have struggled. Goals change games and there are vital times in games - sometimes they go for you and sometimes against you.

"I said to someone the other day, I've been doing this a long time and in any season there will be times when you come away winning and you think "How the hell did we win?" And we haven't had one of those this season. We've played badly and drawn, we've played badly and lost but we've not had one where we've not been very good but have got a result.

"In the second half I'd have liked us to have played better but at the end of it, we've won.

"We can compete in this league but it helped having Ollie and Jimmy up front. If we can keep them fit, having two forwards like that at this level does help. We looked quite dangerous first half. Ollie can build on that.

"But we need, I suppose, another six wins. It's going to be hard but this is a small step towards where we want to go. We'll see where we finish up.

"I'm just pleased for the supporters and the players."

Pearce revealed midfielder Dan Beck - already nursing a groin problem - had broken his wrist in the week and was likely to be out for about a month, and that's in addition to defenders Corey Heath, Chad Field and James Crane all being out for the rest of the season.

Full-back Calvin Davies has another three games of a four-game ban to sit out while striker Stefan Ljubicic has one more game of a ban to serve, but he will be free to return after next Saturday's trip to Hampton and Richmond.

Get all the Rocks latest in the Bognor Observer on Thursday