Strangely enough the Greens are aiming for a double on top of the table Bognor tonight having won 2 zip at their ground earlier in the season. This season is crazy enough that if we win tonight it wouldn't even surprise me any more. Stranger things have happened!
Bognor come to SJP sitting proudly at the top of the table and looking good for a return to National League South on the horizon. They have only lost 1 from the last 12 league games. Inexplicably it was a home loss to Grays. I guess that was just a bad day for them and a minor blip by the looks of things. Although they also had a man sent off against us though it didn't really affect the result since it was in the 90th minute.
So in general they are a reliable outfit at this level seemingly and can be counted on to perform to a high standard on most occasions. Most importantly they don't tend to concede many goals away from at home. In fact the range is either 0 or 1 in their last 5 away games although they did suffer a 4-1 reverse at Tonbridge.
I think if we can score 2 goals tonight we'll get a minimum draw. Any less and we'll be looking at a defeat. However there is hope tonight and not just doom and gloom. I doubt we'll be taken apart by Bognor. Like I said I don't think losing at home to Bognor will make a whole deal of difference in the relegation battle. We need to beat teams around us to stay up.
We should use tonight as a "pressure free" game and try to get something from the match. Give it a real go and fight for every ball but don't be desperate in our play. Be more measured in our play and try to pass the ball a bit better than that crappy Wingate game I saw. The passing was truly abysmal in that match though I think the condictions might have had something to do with it. Hoping for the best but a defeat won't be a disaster tonight as long as it's not a hammering. It'll just strengthen the resolve for the next match v Lowestoft which will be a must win.
Sometimes hard to pass any credible comments on a game not seen. Gut reaction to be honest on line-up was slightly off kilter, asking questions with regards to Casey and Elliott's absence. Were we going to be strong enough given our home record and opposition? It's still a relatively untried line-up.
Underlying character in abundance. That's a huge positive. Win Saturday that's 7 out of 9 points.
One game at a time chaps.
Very satisfying result.
Today's line-up was exactly the same as at Grays. Casey was serving the second of his two-match suspension, and Elliott was out with a groin strain, though a comment at Grays suggested that he might be available Saturday.
We've won 10, drawn 5 (including tonight), and only lost 3 of 18 home league matches to Bognor, last time in 1990-91. Since then we've won 6 and drawn 3, keeping 5 clean sheets, all in wins. Today's result therefore follows long term form in home league matches against them.
Well done to tonight's squad for coming back to equalise twice.
Great resilience by the team last tonight. Couldn't make it but I'll be there for Lowestoft. Like I said above, if we score 2 goals we can get a minimum draw which proved to be the case. Looks like the lads have fought to the end and well deserved their point.
However we must win on Saturday now. Big effort needed to build some momentum. Another draw won't be enough considering how many games we've played.
Bognor are an excellent side in possession. Their players are comfortable interchanging and switched the play from flank to flank really nicely. A joy to watch.
We were really under the cosh in the first ten minutes, but Marcel's strike - lovely clean hit that took the slightest nick on its way past Dan Lincoln - settled us down and we did our best to give as good as we got.
Although Bognor should have gone in ahead - their number 9 hitting the post from two yards with the goal gaping - Hendon had three efforts from close range in the second half... One off the post, one brilliantly saved and the other cleared off the line by a superb lunging clearance. 30 seconds later came the sucker punch and 2-1 down.
We could have folded after that, but didn't. We kept battling and got our rewards when a low cross from a short corner was returned to sender and sender, Keagan, thumped it back off the underside of the bar and over the line.
The last few minutes were frantic but neither side could produce the winner. A really good watch and a very well earned point.
It's the first time I've seen some of the new faces. I like the goalkeeper, he has really good hands. couple of potentially awkward shots bouncing in front of him were nicely gathered. Matt Ball looks good with the ball at his feet and uses it intelligently. Early days but he could prove to be an upgrade on McCall. And. is a pacy threat as well. Lovely strike for the goal and when moved to right back late on, went on a lung busting 80 yard run but was unable to pick anyone out with his cross. His first thought when the keeper cleared was to tear back to his right back berth. I like that.
Kudos as well to Murphy, who did a fair job of snuffing out the threat of their right winger and got forward well, Kezie who looks back to the beast of 2014/5 holding the ball up and bringing others into play, and Stanislaus who never stopped working the flanks all evening. Up and down, not without threat.
A lot in there to give us encouragement. Two performances in a row now. That is even more encouraging. Let's go Saturday and get something again!
Firstly, both Elliott Brathwaite and Casey Maclaren failed fitness tests before the match. Casey’s two-match ban ended at Grays – Wingate & Finchley was the first.
I have to agree with John’s observations. This was a cracking match and, as Gary said, a good advertisement for the Ryman League with both teams getting the credit for the entertainment on show. We deserved a draw and it would have been very unlucky for either team if they had lost. You wouldn't have thought there were more than 20 places in the league table between us.
If Matt Ball should have done better with his trio of chances, it was nothing like as bad as Elijah Adebayo’s miss. How he hit a post from a yard out, only he will know.
It has been mentioned elsewhere in the thread about the comebacks. That was probably the most pleasing thing about the result. Conceding early goals has been a problem all season, but we bounced back well from that, but the second goal came at an even worse time, 30 seconds after Matt’s chances. I am sure, a few weeks ago, there would have been a-folding of tents and three points returning to West Sussex. Thanks to Keagan we got what we deserved.
A tremendous performance last night to twice come from behind to share the spoils against a very good Bognor side,who showed just why they are worthy League leaders.I thought our team work was a massive improvement on our displays earlier this term,the experience of Harper and Ball is there for all to see and a very big well done to Sam Murphy who really worked his socks off in an unfamiliar role.With EB,CMc and DD to return as well,we've got a heck of a lot to do to dodge the drop but keep this up and we are in with more than a fighting chance.