ROCKS REVIEW: Leatherhead 3 Rocks 2

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BOGNOR suffered only their fourth league defeat of the season as they came unstuck at Leatherhead.

And the 3-2 defeat came at a cost, with the league leaders failing to get the win that would have secured their play-off place.

The good news was that Met Police, leading 1-0 at home to Eastbourne in time added on, conceded an equaliser - meaning they are still two points behind the Rocks at the top with eight games left. Third-placed Whitehawk also lost.

Bognor named an unchanged starting line-up from the side that won at Ramsgate in midweek. Midfielder Michael Birmingham was on the bench.

The Rocks got off to the worst possible start, going behind in only the second minute.

Mu Mann dispossessed Matt Whitehead on the right and his cross was met by Tommy Hutchings, who fired home from close range.

However, in the 10th minute the Rocks were level. Dan Beck fed Ben Johnson on the left, and his cross was met by the head of Jason Prior who headed home from 12 yards.

Roared on by a large travelling support, Bognor were in the ascendancy and in the 22nd minute Johnson’s corner was headed clear - but only as far as Beck, whose first-time drive from the edge of the box flew over the bar.

In the 29th minute the Rocks took the lead with another header when, from a short corner, Beck’s cross was met by central-defender Tim Bond to nod home his first goal of the season.

Three minutes before the break the hosts were level when Hutchings’ cross from the right was powerfully headed home by Mann from 12 yards out.

Just before the break, Leatherhead turned it around when they took the lead again through Greg Andrews’ stunning free-kick from 30 yards out.

In the early stages of the second half, the hosts missed a great chance to extend their lead further when, after a deep corner was hooked back into the box by Hutchings, Mann arrived on the six-yard box but could not keep his header down.

At the other end, a deflected clearance fell kindly to Prior who took the ball around Ramos but could only fire against the near post.

The Rocks suffered a blow when influential skipper Birmingham - who himself had come on at the break for Luke Nightingale - suffered an injury to his shoulder and had to be replaced by Matt Wood.

As Bognor pressed forward for an equaliser, Johnson’s corner was headed goalwards by Bond but Ramos managed to gather.

The Rocks have responded well to each of their previous three league defeats this season - they’ll need to bounce back in similar fashion when they host Chipstead next Saturday (1pm).

Report by Rob Garforth