Pebbles roll on in cup after rocky start

Bognor's under-18s pictured at the start of the season
Bognor's under-18s pictured at the start of the season

After four weeks without a game and a few mince pies in the system, Bognor under-18s - known as the Pebbles - progressed to the county cup semi-final with a 6-3 win against hard-working Roffey on the new 3G pitch at Arun Leisure Centre.

The Pebbles started with their usual free-flowing football but found it hard to break down the defence - although Ben Medzona, Ben Mepham and Ryanb Morey all went close.

With 20 minutes gone, Roffey hit Bognor on the break from a Pebbles corner to go 1-0 up. Five minutes later the same thing happened again, giving Roffey a 2-0 lead.

Bognor responded well and in 35th minute, a Callam Edwards corner was converted by Mepham. But on the stroke of half-time, a missed kick by Terry gifted Roffey a 3-1 lead against the run of play.

A few words were said at the break by Pebbles manager Daniel Cox, who introduced Nathan Hawker and Craig Newson for the second period.

Pebbles started the half well and in the 48th minute a corner from Edwards was met by Mendoza, who scored with a well-taken volley to make it 3-2.

The Pebbles didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser - in the 53rd minute, a great run down the right by Morey and a low cross which was met by Ben Mepham on the half-volley.

Bognor took the lead with a scrappy goal as a ball was played in by Newson and a defender’s attempted clearance hit Mepham and went straight in.

Soon Morey collected the ball from deep and drove at the Roffey defence and a neat one-two with Mepham left Morey one-on-one with the keeper and a cheeky chip over the keeper extended the lead to 5-3.

The final goal came from the penalty spot. A mazy run from Mendoza resulted him being brought down in the box and Mepham stepped up and smashed in his fourth.

PEBBLES: Terry, Hayes (Rafferty), Miles, Ashmore, Barrett, Coyle (Hawker), Morey, Edwards, Conelly (Newson), Mepham, Medzona.

Bognor visit Horsham in the semi-final on Sunday, February 2.