Men's First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 27 April MKM Arena
Bognor Regis Town
Folkestone Invicta

Bognor were winners in their final game of the season against Folkestone Invicta at the MKM Arena. Jasper Mather was the hero as he notched his hat-trick along with Oliver Downs as Bognor put four past their visitors.

Bognor were on a three-game unbeaten run as they welcomed Folkestone Invicta to the MKM Arena in their last game of the season.

Tommy-Lee Higgs lost possession in the middle of the pitch and this allowed Eddie Allsop with a long-distanced strike but he fired over from 30 yards out.

Bognor took the lead on 5 minutes when Dan Gifford’s low effort, after rounding keeper Joe Coleman, was cleared off the line.  On the rebound, it was Jasper Mather who cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable high strike into the net beyond the goalkeeper.

Chris Sessegnon got a dangerous dipping cross to the back post but Louis Collins couldn’t latch onto it to trouble Ryan Hall on 9 minutes.

Jordan Ababio latched onto the pass out to the right before running around his marker and belting it agonisingly wide on 12 minutes.

Matt Burgess’s corner flashed through the box and then Harvey Whyte’s cross into the area deep into the box was not met by any Bognor player lurking in the area.

Gifford guided his short pass to Higgs before he passed through to Mather who ran on but with his left footed strike spun high and wide on 20 minutes.

Then Ababio made another run and a cross-shot chance had to be pushed away by Hall on 22 minutes.

Ababio got another cross from the right as the visitors were playing much better since Bognor got the opening goal.  The ball flashed across the box though with two players missing it in the air.

Toby Byron got a dipping cross onto the head of Tom Derry but he diverted his chance into the turf and into the grateful arms of Hall on 35 minutes.

Bognor extended their lead though on 36 minutes.  The players appeared to stop for Folkestone Invicta in defence allowing Higgs to find Mather with a pass.  Mather made a run inside before firing it low in off the inside of the right post for his second of the afternoon.

Then a chance from Allsop saw his effort divert wide off of Oliver Downs.  The resulting corner met the head of Ian Gayle but he steered it wide of the right post on 40 minutes.

Seidou Sanogo was late when Joe Rabbetts cleared the ball powerfully forward.  He went into the book on 44 minutes.

HT 2-0

Callum Davies went into the book for a late challenge as play kicked off for the second half.

Burgess combined with Mather to make a run through the middle but his low strike was easily saved by Coleman on 50 minutes.

Burgess headed out a destined goal for Invicta before Mather burst down in response before firing a shot along the deck and winning a corner as he got a deflection off the Folkestone player on 56 minutes.

Then Alfie Bridgman did well to win the ball on the right but his cross was knocked up into the air with Mather only just nodding it into the arms of Coleman.

Will Moses was shown a straight red card on 60 minutes when he clipped Bridgman on the turn just outside the D.  Bridgman curled the direct freekick at goal and it brought out a good save from Coleman with one arm and he pushed it over the bar.

Burgess hit the corner, but it bounced out to Seung-Woo Yang who hit it early and off the defender into the arms of Coleman on 63 minutes.

Toby Byron did well to power forward but his shot into the area was deflected over the bar.  Straight from the corner by the visitors, it was Rabbetts who intercepted the ball though and Bridgman did well to run down the left flank to get a cross in but the ball flashed across the area.

A nice ball through by Whyte saw Mather win a penalty.  And Bridgman had the ball in with a curling effort just after the referee blew the whistle.  Mather stepped up to drive it low into the net on 70 minutes despite Coleman going the right way.

Bognor extended their lead on 76 minutes.  Oliver Downs fired a chance from just inside the box which appeared to take a deflection off Bridgman before Coleman failed to divert it out, and the ball bounced into the empty net.

Lucas Pattenden and Gifford both had chances soon after before Joe Rabbetts hit a chance from 35 yards out but it was only just over the bar.

Jack Nelson got on the end of a dipping freekick on the back post but fired it wide on the volley.

Mike Kedman did well to run inside from the right but his low strike was denied by Hall who dived to his right on 88 minutes.

Jason Fregene did well to dig out a low cross in but Sanogo outstretched could not steer it into the net.

But Bognor were far superior today and were deserving winners here.  Rocks now look ahead to next season as they figure out where they will end up in the league structure after all the promotions and relegations. They welcome Portsmouth as one fixture confirmed for July.

Rocks: Hall, Whyte, Downs (Baker 78), Briffa (Yang 23), Rabbetts, Robson, Pattenden, Burgess (c), Gifford, Higgs (Bridgman 53), Mather. Subs not Used: Vince, Bennett.