Rocks Review: Rocks 1 Rocks 0

The Rocks’ management were pleased with the three points after a tough fixture against the other Rocks, otherwise known as East Thurrock.

Ben Johnson’s tap-in after a scramble in the box was enough to give the hosts the win but the visitors hit the woodwork twice and may have headed home thinking they were unlucky losers.

Bognor started brightly but on just six minutes Mu Maan went to ground in the box for what could have been a penalty. Instead he was shown a yellow card for simulation.

Maan was in the action again as he headed over the bar from a James Crane cross moments later.

Some good defending by Ben Andrews halted Sam Higgins’ shot, a last-ditch block enough to deny him.

On 21 minutes Kris Newby followed up a freekick when he controlled the ball with his chest before firing a shot at goal. His attempt smashed the bar and went out of play.

Craig Stoner had to stop Higgins’ advance again on 29 minutes as the long ball down the middle paid off again for the visitors.

Lewis Stockford was booked for a foul on Sam Collins moments later, sparking boos from the Nyewood Lane crowd.

But Bognor continued to pressurise and with seven minutes left of the first half, Johnson’s cross should have been headed in by Stockford or by the sliding Maan on the back post.

HT 0-0

Bognor took the lead on 50 minutes. Kane Wills’ corner was placed right into the heart of the box. Terry Dodd and Andrews were both involved in the build-up before Johnson slotted into the net from close range.

On 67 minutes Newby again hit the frame of goal as his volleyhit the post.

Bognor managed to hold on for the victory, but only after a nervy final 10 minutes.

It puts Bognor third in the Ryman premier table.

Rocks joint managers Darin Killpartrick and Jamie Howell were pleased with their team’s performance.

Killpartrick said: “We are extremely pleased but we won’t get over-excited. I thought we passed the ball well at times but we were a little bit immature in the last quarter of an hour.

“Jamie and I gave the players instructions in the way we wanted them to play but they didn’t quite do what we asked them to do, however we got away with it. But they (East Thurrock) were worthy of a draw because of the chances they had. However on ball possession I think we definitely edged it.

“‘We have to get a lot tougher in the final third but we did all right. We are more pleased for the three points than the performance.

“Jamie’s worked extremely hard bringing in players - he has not been off the phone all summer, so we have the nucleus of the side but we are still trying to get the players to gel a little bit more.

“We’re filming games and we’re trying to get things done in the right way in the movement that we want and we have got a philosophy here and we won’t play in any other way.”

Killpartrick said he thought the spirit of stalwart fan Elsie Dinsmore - who died last year - had helped the Rocks preserve the lead.

Elsie was one of Bognor’s longest serving supporters and her ashes were scattered at Nyewood Lane.

Howell added: “We are quite happy with the new additions that we have brought in. I think they need a bit of time to settle and understand how we play and what we’re trying to do. So that will take time but we have identified them as players who we think will do well as players of this club.

“We’re not expecting them to set the world alight in the first two weeks or early months, so it will be a long process. But we are hopeful these players will be long-term additions that will do well over the seasons and coming years at this level. So overall we are really pleased.

Looking forward to Monday’s trip to Leiston, Howell added: “Leiston will be a tough place to go with the journey but this is what we want to do – test ourselves against better players at better places. Hopefully we will go there and get a point, if we get three – fantastic.”

LIAM GOODLEY