Missing from the line up was Jasper Mather as he had an ankle injury. Rocks made three changes with Calvin Davies moving to left back to replace Eric-Georges Dellaud who moved to the bench. Dan Smith got his first start of the season after returning from injury to replace Mather. Joe Briffa appeared back on the bench after missing the Chatham Town game away.
Early on Matt Burgess got caught in possession in Bognor’s half of the field and Destiny Olapido had a shot from distance but Ryan Hall was equal to it.
Danny Bassett had another effort flash wide of the left post moments later as the Robins started off at a fierce pace.
Bassett was on the end of a cross and stubbed his volleyed effort into the turf and it was the head of Ben Anderson that almost flew in but it was neatly tipped over the bar by Hall on 7 minutes.
Then Harvey Whyte got Bognor on the attack when he found Dan Smith square and he picked out Lucas Pattenden on the overlap through defence. He ran on and hit his shot low effort but William Huffer denied him, rebounding the ball back out.
Bognor took the lead on 9 minutes when Davies’ ball in was headed back across the goal to Craig Robson, who headed it powerfully across the goal and over Huffer and into the opposite side of the net.
Pattenden and Whyte did well to battle for it near the byline but Huffer was quick out of his goal to deny him and gather the ball as Bognor were growing into the game.
Kieran Douglas and then Burgess slipped up allowing Oladipo to have another go at goal but his shot on 18 minutes was always rising over the bar.
Anderson did well to find Pattenden on the run but Huffer got to it first despite his pace on 22 minutes.
Whyte did well to dig out a forward ball and Smith ran on before shooting low but it was down to the right leg of Huffer that diverted it out again on 29 minutes.
Moments later Douglas went into the book on 30 minutes for a miss-timed tackle from the defender. However, Bradley Williams struck the direct freekick wide of the left post past the wall.
On 31 minutes it was Charlie Kenneth who slid in late on the touchline but he had fouled Calvin Davies. Kenneth also went into the book.
Sam De St Croix capitalised on some decent work in defence from Davies to divert the ball wide to Tommy-Lee Higgs who passed inside to Smith who passed on for Pattenden who sped into the box on 34 minutes. He ran on but was only just blocked by the goalkeeper who was brave in the challenge to gather it.
On 39 minutes it was Higgs who went into the book for blocking the ball, leading up to a freekick decision that went in Carshalton’s favour.
Bognor gifted the equaliser on 43 minutes after Douglas’ failed attack down the other end. A ball through the middle was failed to be dealt with by Hall who dashed out of his goal but his high boot went spinning in the air and it was Kwaku Frimpong who was there first to head it into an empty net.
It got worse just before half time as Bognor went behind inside first half stoppage time. A swift cross by Bassett was nodded back inside and with Hall stranded the ball was tapped in on the line by Oladipo.
Bassett had an early cross cut out by Hall but then the goalkeeper soon after got caught in possession, but the swift shot was deflected wide by the body of Douglas.
Then Pattenden was set through on the right before diverting the ball instantly along the deck but De St Croix, leaning back, could only divert it over the bar from outside the area.
Anderson was replaced by Mo Jammeh on 54 minutes for Bognor in a much needed change.
This seemed to energise Bognor and they got the equaliser on 57 minutes as Smith played the cross in low and it was Pattenden who knocked it in at the back post.
Williams did well to get the ball across the box but Hall was there to punch it out though a goal wouldn’t have counted because it was called offside on 62 minutes.
Bassett, off the ball, appeared to twist his knee on the turn but after receiving treatment he did return to play.
Jammeh did well to combine with Whyte before he passed inside to Pattenden but his fierce cross was only just out of the reach of Higgs who tried to hook the ball back into play, but in vain.
Then Davies’ high hanging and in swinging cross was gathered at his back post by Huffer on 70 minutes before Davies himself went into the book for his challenge in the Bognor half.
Davies’ freekick forward was battled for in the air by Smith but he won a corner instead. Though the corner by Davies was fired perfectly onto the back post for Higgs to divert in and give Bognor a narrow lead.
Oladipo did well to reach a swirling cross from the right but diverted his header narrowly over the bar after Frimpong went into the book.
On 82 minutes Williams belted in another cross from the right but it was Douglas who deflected it away again.
It could have gone either way as Bognor were on the attack again on 85 minutes when a swift move down the right saw Pattenden pass it back inside the box but slightly behind Smith, who couldn’t get hold of it before rolling it wide of the left post. Higgs, more central in the box, looked the better option.
With an impressive effort it was substitute Aaron Lamont who got the equaliser with a long range effort. From a tight angle the ball lofted over Hall and into the net on 88 minutes.
In a nervy final 7 minutes of stoppage time, Whyte committed a foul just outside the D, slightly left of centre. Lament stepped up and after a knock on, his shot was deflected wide for a corner. Crucially, Davies headed the corner in swinging ball away at the near post, relieving the watching home support at the very end. Thus ended a hotly contested fixture ending in a 3-3 draw at the MKM Arena. A great match for the neutral but Bognor await their opening win of the season.
They hope it will happen in their next game when Rocks welcome Hashtag United to the MKM Arena on Saturday 19 August with kick off at 3pm.
Rocks: Hall, Anderson (Jammeh 54), Davies (c), Burgess, Douglas, Robson, Whyte, De St Croix, Smith, Higgs (Olaniyan 90), Pattenden
Subs not Used: Dellaud, Howick, Briffa
Match Report by Liam Goodley