Bognor Regis in February brrrr. What a shame it wasn’t scribbled down on the Isthmian fixture fag packet as a late summer game, not that this will stop those with younger livers and lower self esteem than me from making a weekend of it. I hope the Premier Inn aren’t too upset by the behaviour of the members of the De Montfort University Chess Club, or whatever cover the Angels Barmy Army have booked in as this year. Then again, once upon a time what went on tour stayed on tour, until Gary discovered Facebook. Now all I have to do is sit at home with the app, and it’s as if I’m there with them, watching those moves as he closes in….
Enough of the off the pitch antics, what can we look forward to on the pitch?
Bognor were relegated from the National League South last year after just one season. Like most relegated teams they have taken time to adjust to their new surroundings, but now sit in 5th place, among the gaggle of teams squabbling with each other over the playoff places. Like the Angels, Bognor struggled in December, but only lost one of seven matches in January, so both teams are in the best of form.
Following their visit to Longmead in October, Bognor were generally reckoned to be one of the best teams the Angels have faced at home this season, winning 2-1. They spot and develop quality players, an example being midfielder Tommy Block’s transfer to Hibernian earlier this season, and given that their Under-19’s beat AFC Wimbledon Under-19’s 15-0 last week, they have a strong conveyor belt of promising youngsters coming through. Expect it to continue to be tough locking horns with Bognor, not just this time, but well in to the future.
As mentioned above, the Angels’ league form has been excellent for the last month, capped with a disciplined performance against Haringey last Saturday, the cherry on top being a super strike by Adem Ramadan on 90 minutes to take a deserved win (in case you’re in the 1% of the population he hasn’t shared the video with, it’s quite good).
This has put playoff prospects back on the table for the Angels as well, as they sit on 42 points, one behind Bognor, and a 2-0 win against Ebbsfleet in the Kent Senior Cup on a very cold, wet Tuesday night this week kept the ball rolling.
This game is a hard one to call; it’ll be a real fire cracker if both teams go for it, on what is forecast to be another very cold winter’s day. Bognor have 10 draws so far this season to the Angels’ 3, and the away team might well be adding one more to their tally by 5pm on Saturday. But before all that, for the Barmy Army, there’s one night in Bognor – and the world’s your lobster……here’s a video of last year’s visit…..