Loss to Chelmsford means Rocks will finish bottom

Calvin Davies challenges for the ball against Chelmsford, watched by Doug Tuck / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Calvin Davies challenges for the ball against Chelmsford, watched by Doug Tuck / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Bognor's tough end to their relegation season continued when Chelmsford's play-off charge gathered pace with a 1-0 win at Nyewood Lane.

Another early goal conceded by the home team cost them any reward - and the loss means Bognor are unable to climb off the bottom of National League South with only one game to go.

It was a game in which the Rocks were playing only for pride - and perhaps an outside chance of finishing off the bottom - but in which Chelmsford had a play-off place to fight for. Bognor were hit by a lack of central defenders. With Sami El-Abd suspended and Gary Charman injured in Saturday's defeat at Oxford, midfielder Tommy Block was drafted in to partner Keaton Wood at the back.

For the umpteenth time this season the Rocks went behind early. Only four minutes had passed when Christopher Dickson ran on to Jonathan Giles' through-ball, drew Dan Lincoln and fired low past him for the opener.

It was a fairly-competitive game with clear chances at a premium but the Rocks had sight of goal on 15 minutes when a Clarets defender mis-kicked his attempt to clear Ollie Pearce's low ball in. Justin Amaluzor almost pounced but another defender cleared. Pearce was giving Chelmsford a few problems down the left and found space for a nice left-footed cross that a defender had to head away from Jimmy Muitt at the far post. Pearce was Bognor's busiest player in the first half - although when he did unleash the Rocks' first shot at goal it was well over the bar.

Amaluzor was fouled just as he shaped to shoot 25 yards from goal but the ball broke to Muitt, whose cross had too much on it. But it was at least an encouraging display from the home team. Dickson had half a chance as the first half neared its end but hooked a shot high over the bar from ten yards.
Block almost sliced a clearance past Lincoln with the Clarets doing all the attacking as the half ended - he was relieved to see it go out for a corner.

HT 0-1

It was a fairly even start to the second half and Tommy Scutt fired in an ambitious long-range shot that didn't trouble keeper Jake Jessup. Ibra Sekajja replaced Richard Gilot on 57 minutes. The new man got his head on the end of a Calvin Davies free-kick within seconds of coming on but he directed it wide.

Chelmsford brought on Max Porter for Bagasan Graham and then replaced Scott Fenwick with Kudus Oyenuga. It was a rather fraught second half but there was little quality on show from either side. All the time it remained 1-0 the Rocks were still in it but in truth there seemed little hint of an equaliser.
Ben Swallow replaced Amaluzor with 12 minutes left.

Bognor were incensed eight minutes from time when Whyte poked a pass through to Muitt just outside the area and he appeared to be fouled - but the referee gave nothing. Shaun Batt came on for scorer Dickson in Chelmsford's final change. The Rocks, to their credit, kept on going and Sekajja curled in a shot from long distance but it was just wide.

Rocks: Lincoln, Whyte, Davies, Tuck, Block, Wood, Scutt, Gilot, Amaluzor, Pearce, Muitt. Subs - Swallow, Sekajja, Nelson, Boughton.
Chelmsford: Jessup, Barnum-Bobb, Braham-Barrett, Wallen, Spillane, Omozusi, Giles, Church, Fenwick, Dickson, Graham. Subs- Haines, Porter, Batt, Oyenuga, James.
Ref: Wayne Cartmel