The final of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup is set to be played on Thursday 11 May 2023 between Worthing and Bognor Regis Town.
Worthing vs. Bognor Regis Town
Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final
Date: Thursday 11 May 2023
Venue: American Express Community Stadium, Village Way, Brighton, BN1 9BL
Robbie Blake is urging his Bognor team to take the opportunity with both hands as they face Worthing in the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup Final.
The Rocks secured their place in the final following an impressive 5-4 win on penalties against Brighton & Hove Albion after the game finished 1-1 in 90 minutes.
Despite the close scoreline, they smothered a young Brighton team from the start with a high press and had the opportunities to win the game in normal time.
Blake said: “We knew that they would try and play out from the back, and we just had a game plan to press them as high as we possibly could.
“We felt the game shouldn’t have gone down to penalties. You never know in football, just because you're a lot more dominant than the other team doesn't necessarily mean that you get the goals that you deserve.
“So, for the lads to show a little bit of bravery and confidence in the penalty shootout, that was really good.”
Blake knows that another tough test awaits them in the final, with Worthing currently competing in the play offs in the National League Conference South.
He said: “Adam [Hinshelwood] has done an incredible job there. People probably thought they would be ok in that league, but they have kicked on.
“The way they play, the way he lets his team play, speaks volumes for the job he is doing. We know it is going to be a really tough game but it’s one that we are looking forward to.”
After an inconsistent and injury-hit season where they finished 14th in the Isthmian Premier league, Bognor are looking to finish the campaign on a high.
Blake is hoping his team will relish the occasion and make the most of the chance in front of them.
“For our players, who knows when you will get the opportunity to play in a stadium like this again.
“I spoke to them before the Brighton game and said, take it with both hands because whether it’s a cup final or a promotion, these things don’t come around every season. So, make sure you grasp the opportunity and give your all.”
Unfortunately for Bognor, their injury luck has not improved. Their captain, Harvey Whyte, picked up a hamstring injury in the semi-final and it is touch and go as to whether he will be fit for the final.
“I would say we are more hopeful than confident at this moment in time.
“He will need to train at least a week before, so we are hoping he can do some training next week. If he can’t, then it’s a chance for somebody else to step up.”
This has been Blake’s first full season in charge of the Rocks, and he has appreciated the support of the Bognor faithful throughout.
He said: “Thank you for being patient this season. We have had some tough times, some good times and some down times but in the main, through thick and thin they have stuck with us.
“Hopefully we can repay them with a win on the night.”
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