Men's First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 9 March MKM Arena
Bognor Regis Town

Late drama saw Bognor come from a winning position to suffer a defeat to top of the table Hornchurch as Alfie Bridgman’s 8th minute opening goal was cancelled out by Liam Nash’s goal 5 minutes into second half stoppage time.  This came before Lewis Manor’s diverted effort sealed the win in a scrappy second goal for the visitors.

Craig Robson was also sent off late on in stoppage time which totally turned the game into the Urchin’s favour.

From the start, Quentin Monville was shown a 4th minute yellow card as he fouled Calvin Davies.

Then Matt Burgess received the ball from the right before he ran on across the defence before firing it just wide with his left foot on 5 minutes.

Alfie Bridgman gave Rocks the lead on 8 minutes.  After a small run from the right he unleashed an unstoppable strike curling into the net from an angle.

On 13 minutes Harvey Whyte went into the book for a late challenge in Hornchurch’s half of the field.

Thomas Wraight did well with a corner kick and it found the head of a leaping Mauro Da Silva Vilhete who glanced his header wide of the left post on 19 minutes.

Monville got a cross in from the right which was booted away again by Kieran Douglas.

Burgess was fouled after a good run on the right and he was fouled by Michael O’Donoghue.  Calvin Davies’s freekick flew straight out of touch.

Jasper Mather went into the book on 24 minutes for a late challenge on Sean Scannell.  The freekick was diverted in the air and Ryan Hall denied a certain goal.  But it was offside so a goal wouldn’t have counted.

Smith cut out a forward pass before the ball was played to Bridgman who cut inside again but he got his boot right under the ball as it sailed high over the bar on 33 minutes.

Dan Gifford was holding the ball up before playing it to Burgess but he scuffed it wide along the deck and wide on 35 minutes.

Smith played another decent pass from another forward pass to find Burgess who picked out the run of Mather but afte going onto score, he had strayed offside on 36 minutes.

Douglas did well to block another cross before the ball bounced out to Scannell who hit a chance low but it was solidly saved by Hall on 42 minutes to end a good first half for the Rocks.

HT 1-0

Femi Akinwande did well to run with the ball but under pressure from Douglas on 50 minutes he knocked his low shot wide of the near left post.

Then Michael O’Donoghue did well to play a one-two before firing it over the bar with his cross from the left.

Davies went down under a hard challenge and the referee had to stop play so he could receive treatment.

Then Da Silva Vilhete hit a chance from the left side which got a slight deflection off Douglas before flying straight into the grateful arms of Hall.

Following a corner it was struck towards goal on the bounce off the crossbar on 67 minutes as he met the ball on the half volley.

Woo Yang played a neat ball through to Bridgman and he was set through but the cross was dealt with.

Then the Urchins captain Ryan Scott had to receive treatment for cramp which held up play some minutes.

Burgess went down with a head injury whilst Hornchurch made a sub.  Burgess did return to play in the 81st minute.

O’Donoghue’s cross from the left was caught confidently by Rocks stopper Hall on 82 minutes.

Gifford was in a challenge and his marker was hard in the back of him but it wasn’t pulled up for a freekick.  Gifford stayed down and had to receive treatment.

Akinwande hit one at goal as Douglas was beaten in the air as tired legs showed.  Hall was solid in the save.

8 minutes were added on as Craig Robson was shown a straight red card.  He was clumsy in the challenge on a through ball on Akinwande where both players appeared to miss the ball and clashed. Liam Nash smashed the freekick over the wall but wide of the goal in 2 minutes of stoppage time, giving Bognor hope of holding onto the lead.

Hall went into the book for time wasting for the resulting on the goal kick just to add to the frustration.

Unfortunately, Rocks let go of the lead and let in two late goals deep into stoppage time as Nash knocked it low into the net to level the score.  But it wasn’t over as substitute, Lewis Manor found the net after a scrappy cross that was deflected into his path and he diverted it in the 8th allotted minute of stoppage time as Hornchurch maintained their stay at the top.

Rocks face another top four side this coming week, as they welcome Wingate & Finchley this Tuesday 12 March, with kick off at 7:45pm, before they travel to Wingate the following Saturday.

FT 1-2

Rocks: Hall, Whyte, Rabbetts, Davies (c) (Woo Yang 65), Douglas, Robson, Bridgman (Pattenden 69), Burgess, Smith, Gifford (Folarin 87), Mather
Subs not used: Higgs, Olaniyan