Simon Funnell has been challenged to save his Bognor boss a foray into the transfer market.

Rocks chief Jack Pearce is back in the hunt for a striker after Scott Ramsay's loan spell was cut short by an ankle injury.

But he would love to see Funnell save him the time and trouble by rediscovering his blistering early season form.

Funnell became an immediate fans' favourite after his summer move from old rivals Worthing.

He has struggled with injury in recent weeks and was only on the bench for his Boxing Day return to Woodside Road.

Pearce said: "I would like to extend Scott's loan but it looks like it's all over for him with us, which is a shame.

"We were very pleased with what we saw of him.

"I will be ringing round to see who is available, but Simon will get first crack.

"If he can prove to me he can do it, that's fine. I know he will be short of match fitness but it is how he makes up for it that is important.

"If he plays like he did at the start of the season, I will not have to look anywhere else."

Guy Rutherford faces two more weeks on the sidelines following his injury at Worthing. He is also suffering from tonsillitis.

Rutherford has made a habit of early exits at Woodside having been sent-off in the two previous derbies there. His departure gave David Birmingham a chance to come off the bench and patrol the left touchline.

Birmingham then completed an amazing week by playing the full 90 minutes for Bournemouth in last Saturday's encouraging 0-0 draw at Wigan.

Cherries boss Sean O'Driscoll was full of praise for Birmingham.

He said: "It was only David's second start of the season and he did well considering he was playing for Bognor on Boxing Day."

Worthing boss Barry Lloyd has been frustrated in his bid to add new talent to his squad.

Lloyd was poised to make a signing from the County League ahead of last week's 1-0 home reverse to Northwood.

He said: "That fell through because the player concerned was injured but I have a lad coming down to training.

"I thought Northwood were a good side but we didn't do enough. Talking to the players, they are nervous about playing at home but the only ones who can change that are ourselves."

Lloyd hopes to see more of Lee Weston in the New Year.

He said: "I have spoken to Lee a couple of times and he said he wanted a break. Hopefully he will touch base now Christmas has gone.

"He is a very talented young lad."

Horsham boss John Maggs is tracking Lewes hitman Sam Francis as he bids to pep up his attack.

Maggs saw Francis hit a hat-trick against Hungerford recently and was due to make a seven-day approach last night.

Hornets have drawn their last three games and Maggs believes home form holds the key to their title chances.

He said: "We have been to all the tough places like Great Wakering, Arlesey and Lewes. The ball is in our court now."