The goals came from Tommy Lee Higgs, Jasper Mather, an unnamed trialist and Sam De St Croix.
Rocks headed to Michael Birmingham’s Horndean at Five Heads Park for their annual pre season friendly. Newly-promoted, it was a good chance for the Hampshire side to test themselves against Bognor’s new team for another season.
Early on, Kyle O’Brien did well to find Isaac Olaniyan on the left but Olaniyan scuffed his left footed cross.
O’Brien was back to mop up a low cross from the left by the Deans as they started well.
Ben Anderson played it out to Olaniyan and then won a corner on the other side. Calvin Davies curled the ball into the box and it was Craig Robson who headed it towards goal but it was well pushed away by the goalkeeper on 8 minutes.
Olaniyan did well to get hold of a loose ball in the middle. He sped on before shooting low and wide of the left post on 18 minutes.
Harvey Whyte was tripped up on the right. Davies took the freekick and he picked out new player Tommy Lee Higgs on 24 minutes to give Bognor the lead. His header flew beyond the diving shot-stopper.
Higgs stole the ball in Horndean’s half and ran in before shooting wide with his left foot after a long run.
Then Higgs was battling halfway through the Deans half. But it was De St Croix who hit it from distance but the goalkeeper who tipped it over the crossbar on 33 minutes.
Horndean had a rare chance wide after a midfielder cut in from the left flank.
Kieran Douglas did well to win the ball in the air but got jarred in a challenge and injured his shoulder. But after treatment from the Horndean physio, he was able to continue.
Duffin ran through on the counter attack after he made a run on the left but he kicked it low and wide with his shot on 41 minutes.
Then Jasper Mather headed it down for Higgs who hit it on the volley and high over the bar.
Davies did well to hit the freekick to O’Brien on the left. He crossed it nicely for De St Croix who glanced his header wide.
A late first half freekick curled in by Davies was searching for Robson but was punched one handed away by the goalkeeper and a freekick was given to Horndean.
Bognor played at a more stronger pace in the second half and were closing down their opponents well. Davies’s cross broke down from the left.
Bognor extended their lead on 49 minutes. Mather did well to run down the left side, before running along the byline and shooting from a tight angle and into the net on his debut for the Rocks.
Higgs found himself in possession in the middle of the park before running on and having a go. His bouncing low chance hit the left post and out for a goal kick.
Olaniyan did well to square it inside to Trialist 1 who hit it narrowly wide of the post. Then Danny Howick, who had just come on, headed the ball into the turf and over the bar.
The ball was sent down the left flank for De St Croix who bounced his cross into the box but it was too much for Mather.
Trialist 2 did well to get a corner for Bognor. Trialist 3 did well to find Howick with his cross but he glanced his header well wide on 69 minutes.
Bognor’s two trialists combined to get the third goal on 73 minutes. Trialist 2 set up Trialist 3 to slot low into the net with the goalkeeper diving at his near post.
O’Brien sped down the left and got a swift cross in but McCormick’s header spun wide of the right post with about ten minutes left.
Trialist 1 did well to burst through from defence before passing it to Trialist 2 who got the cross in along the deck and he found De St Croix who knocked it low and hard into the bottom left corner on 88 minutes.
Therefore, Bognor got off to a great start with a 4-0 win at Horndean. They welcome league locals Portsmouth to Nyewood Lane on Tuesday 11 July with kick off at 7:45pm.
Rocks: Hall (Hardcastle 74), Whyte, O’Brien, Davies (c) (McCormick 56), Douglas (Howick 56), Robson (Trialist 1 57), De St Croix, Anderson (Briffa 66), Mather (Holland 66), Higgs (Trialist 3 56), Olaniyan (Trialist 2 67)