Rocks and Lions cancel out other - but both camps see hope

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Rocks 0 Pagham 0

A rather uneventful match saw the teams share the honours - but there were signs of promise from some of the Rocks’ young players and an impressive defensive display from the visitors.

The Rocks began positively and Liam Flanighan managed to win a corner which came to nothing.

Jon Marzetti hit a shot towards the top left corner, but Andy Smallpiece acrobatically pushed it out.

Pagham’s Callum Cutler played in James Temple after 14 minutes, but new face Mark Zanowski in the Rocks goal got down to the player’s feet to gather.

Darren Pearce’s corner was well gathered by Zanowski before Temple’s shot flew high and wide.

There were shouts for handball as Cutler blocked a cross-field ball just outside the penalty area but it didn’t appear deliberate.

Attempts from James Crane and Ben Johnson inside the box couldn’t give Rocks the lead.

Crane’s square pass found Terry Dodd in the box but his effort was easily blocked.

Smallpiece had to stop a low cross from Crane, before the latter combined with Johnson, who chipped his shot over the bar.

With minutes left of the first half, Marzetti’s high looping cross fell below the crossbar.

Cutler’s attempt at a right-sided cross from deep flew straight into the grateful arms of Zanowski.

The Rocks brought on some fresh players for the second half – George Bowerman, Connor Wilkins and Dan Simmonds for John Simmonds, Flanighan and Dodd.

Cutler chipped the ball to Temple, who had only the goalkeeper to beat. Temple’s shot was deflected narrowly wide by Zanowski.

Bowerman was set through but trod on the ball when inside the box. Then a defender blocked Simmonds’ shot.

Ben Andrews couldn’t follow up after a Wilkins attempt as he miscued.

Cutler again set up Neighbour, but Zanowski blocked him.

Sub Ben Chick found Bowerman, but from close range, he failed to score.

Bognor’s best chance came on 83 minutes. Johnson’s winding run left him with the goal at his mercy. But after beating the goalkeeper, he was blocked by a defender.

Neighbour belted a shot over the bar at the other end. Then Zanowski had to be quick off his line to deny Neighbour.

The Rocks management will have been pleased with some of the individual performances, including those of Flanighan, Dan Kempson and Chick.

ROCKS: Zanowski, Marzetti, Flanighan (Wilkins HT), Crane (Chick 61), Wollers, Andrews, Kempson, Tuck, Dodd (D Simmonds HT), J Simmonds (Bowerman HT), Johnson. Unused sub: Boyle.

LIONS: Smallpiece, Eyres, Ford, Pearce, Booker, Jones, Cutler, N Murfin, Temple, Neighbour, Cox. Subs: Champion, Williams, Binfield, Hawker.

LIAM GOODLEY