Men's First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 6 January MKM Arena
Bognor Regis Town

Late drama saw Chris Dickson make for a nervy final 15 minutes but Bognor, solid defensively throughout, take the victory and another important three points in front of 891 fans..

An early corner kick by Ben Anderson was driven into the area with Dan Smith threatening at the back post but just out of the reach of the striker in the 2nd minute.

For Chatham, Jack Evans was allowed in as Calvin Davies slipped up but his long range effort was hit wide.

Bognor took the lead on 6 minutes.  Lucas Pattenden beat the offside trap as a long ball by goalkeeper, Ryan Hall set him up.  He cut the ball back inside for Jasper Mather to shoot.  His first attempts were stopped by Benjamin Bridle-Card but on the rebound Mather was there to pounce and shoot in off the underside of the crossbar.

During the incident and trying to bundle the ball in, Alfie Bridgman clashed with the left post and after lengthy treatment he did return to play favouring his left arm.

Hall then gathered a bouncing cross from Jamie Yila as Chatham looked dangerous on the attack, as expected.

Simon Cooper picked out Ashley Nzala with a decent cross and Nzala headed it into the ground. Hall did brilliantly  to neatly tip the ball over the crossbar.

Bridgman had to come off for Matt Burgess on 20 minutes as he struggled with his left arm injury, but it was uncertain as to the extent of the damage done.

Bognor extended their lead on 21 minutes.  A break away by Matt Burgess saw him find Pattenden on the right.  He crossed it to the back post for Smith who knocked it into the net off the goalkeeper.

Joe Rabbetts headed a chance off the line seconds later as Chatham had to try and find a way back into the game.

Harvey Whyte set Pattenden on his way again on the right and with Smith in support in the box he decided to go for goal but hit the side netting with his strike on 26 minutes.

Then Whyte got a cross in that was blocked only as far as Burgess whose strike was blocked and then Davies’s shot on the rebound only just sailed wide of the post.

Chatham always looked a threat on the attack.  Spencer Spurway gave away a freekick in a dangerous position on 41 minutes.  Evans took it and curled it wide of the left post.

Then Olaniyan went into a challenge and it appeared to be obstruction by the Chatham Town defender but Smith went into the book for dissent on 42 minutes.

Nzala had another chance hit low and saved by Hall as they hit Rocks with an attack.  This, after he drove past Whyte inside the 8 additional minutes of stoppage time.

Early on it was Nzala who had a chance on the back post but knocked the ball wide.

Chatham had the ball in the net on 47 minutes but Kareem Isiaka’s finish was chalked off after a foul on Spurway in the area.

Chris Dickson ended an incisive run from the left with a long range effort, which swirled agonisingly wide of the goal on 49 minutes.

A swift cross saw the ball bounce out to Davies but he smashed it over the crossbar.

Then a decent cross by Rabbetts was met in the air by Pattenden but he headed it wide on 56 minutes.

Chatham were putting on the pressure as the game approached the hour mark.  Nzala chipped another chance over thanks to a deflection as Bognor were putting bodies on the line in defence.

Nzala went into the book on 71 minutes seconds before he had to come off after confusion over a substitution.

Then Bognor had a great chance on the break as Spurway ran down the left after good work from Olaniyan, who was really putting a shift in for the team, since coming on.  Spurway made it into space before crossing it onto the boot of Pattenden on the volley but it flew over the bar.  The flag was up for offside though, so a goal wouldn’t have counted.

Dickson found the net with a left footed volley on 85 minutes after a swift cross from the right saw him beat his man in the penalty area.

Eddie Allsopp got another chance as Rocks were under pressure.  But he belted it high over the bar.

Wes Hallet, the Rocks kit man, was sent off as well as a Chatham Town coach on the touchline after an altercation on a new ball being kicked onto the field inside stoppage time.

Whyte also went into the book before Kieran Douglas replaced Olaniyan late on as Bognor had to hold onto the lead.  Douglas made a crucial defensive header from a lofted through ball pass, soon after coming on.

However, Bognor held on for 7 minutes of stoppage time to get another big result, this time against second placed Chatham Town at the MKM Arena.  They will look forward to more home action next as they welcome Cray Wanderers to the MKM Arena on Tuesday 9 January with kick off at 7:45pm.

Rocks: Hall, Whyte, Rabbetts, Davies (c), Spurway, Robson, Pattenden, Anderson, Smith, Mather (Olaniyan 30 (Douglas 90)), Bridgman (Burgess 20)Subs not used: Higgs, Briffa.