Bognor battle to second away win in week - despite having just two subs
Bognor secured their fourth win in five games - and second away victory in a week - with a battling performance by a depleted squad away to Kingstonian..
Ashton Leigh netted the only goal on 46 minutes to give the Rocks another impressive win on the road and lift them up to 11th place in the Isthmian premier table.
Bognor were without all of their recalled Pompey players as Bradley Lethbridge, Joshua Flint, Joe Dandy and Joe Hancott were required to play for their parent club in the Hampshire Senior Cup against Havant. And with Jimmy Muitt leaving for Dorking Wanderers, Bognor could only field two subs.
A nervy early moment saw Keaton Wood pass back powerfully to Amadou Tangara and he miscued it before keeping it from going out for a corner.
Sean Clohessy did well to swing the ball to the back post for Ks before Dan Hector diverted it off the post and out with Tangara beaten. Good hold-up play by Dan Smith ended with a neat one-two with Ashton Leigh before threading Victor Hensel in, but he strayed offside.
A chipped forward free-kick by Bennett found Ollie Cook in the area but he glanced his header wide on seven minutes. A forward pass picked out the run of Louie Theophanous, who ran on before smashing it at goal. It brought out a fine save from Tangara on 10 minutes. Smith knocked down a forward pass to Tommy Leigh but he smashed his shot high over the bar.
Bognor won a corner on the right but Harvey Whyte and Tommy Leigh couldn't tee up Doug Tuck and it was cleared. Then good hold-up play by Smith ended with Ashton Leigh failing to get on the end of it. A Tommy Leigh corner had to be punched clear by Rob Tolfrey on 16 minutes and a cross by the same player had to be punched out again by the goalkeeper.
Tangara was called into action from a low Clohessy strikeand he stopped Reece Hall on the rebound on 18 minutes. A long ball picked out Theophanous on the right and his cross was too much for Hall before Bennett put it out of touch with a cross-come-shot.
From Tuck's corner the ball fell square to Tommy Leigh and his long-range effort came back off the crossbar and a header on the rebound bounced wide on 23 minutes. Bennett cut inside really quickly before firing low and hard towards goal but Tangara did superbly to push that out on 31 minutes.
Tangara was again the hero when he denied another low effort after a swift move with Hall committing him into a save. Ollie Cook did well to surge through the Bognor half but shot wide from the edge of the box. Clohessy ended a neat interplay with slick passing but his cross was well cut out by Tangara.
Whyte made a good run before being fouled by Fabio Saraiva on 44 minutes and the Ks man went into the book. Ashton Leigh skied his effort well over the bar from the free-kick. Eddie Wakely did well to find Tuck in space and perhaps he should have been more patient before smacking it high over the bar inside stoppage time. HT 0-0
Hall was replaced by Gus Sow at half-time as both teams returned to the field.
Bognor started the second half by going aheadl. A bursting run by Hensel ended with a shot turned on to the post by Tolfrey but on the rebound Ashton Leigh pounced to smash it into an unguarded net.
Sow committed a foul on a running Joe Cook. Tommy Leigh hit the dipping free-kick at goal but it was saved by Tolfrey. Another free-kick from Bognor saw Tommy Leigh find James Crane but it was called offside on 51 minutes.
Clohessy was booked as Bognor attacked, then Joe Cook did really well to beat two players on the right before squaring the ball to Tommy Leigh who won a corner with a deflected strike. It came to nothing but it was a great spell of pressure by the Rocks.
Tom Kavanagh won a corner off a Rocks defender but Tangara gathered it. Hensel was caught by a flailing Saraiva foot on the right flank. But Tommy Leigh's lofted free-kick was too much for Smith in the box.
Smith won a free-kick after a foul as he was pulled down just outside the box. The ball bounced 30 yards out to Whyte but he smashed it high and wide.
Bennett tried an overhead kick following good work from Sow and Saraiva and it was only just bounced wide of the left post on 69 minutes. Tangara clashed with Hector and blocked him but the referee awarded a free-kick after he spilled a cross just in front of the winger. Saraiva hit it into the defensive wall on 72 minutes.
A fine display from Tommy Leigh ended as was replaced by Tommy Scutt on 74 minutes. Tangara did well to parry the ball over the crossbar from Sow's strike on 79 minutes as the Ks attacked well. Good work from Hensel and Smith earned a corner. Scutt's deep delivery found Crane on the back post but he diverted it wide.
Eddie Wakely's high spinning ball found Ashton Leigh, who hit it on the volley but well over the bar on 82 minutes. Joe Cook went into the book as Hector was brought down on the attack. Saraiva took the free-kick and a diving header by Theophanous was superbly stopped by Tangara.
Tuck did well to weight a pass square to Smith with Ks stranded at the back but Smith’s attempt was deflected wide. Hensel got a header on a cross from the left which was headed off the line as Scutt, Whyte and Smith were blocked in quick succession. Hensel went to ground under a challenge and had to be replaced by Charlie Williamson in stoppage time, ending an impressive performance from the Brazilian.
After more than six minutes of stoppage time the referee finally blew to end a fine performance from the Rocks, who can be very proud they dug out this win. With a depleted squad, you couldn’t fault the team's work-rate against a very useful Kingstonian side.
The Rocks go to Uxbridge in the FA Trophy on Saturday then visit Bowers and Pitsea in the league next Tuesday.
Rocks: Tangara, Wakely, Crane, Tuck, Cook, Wood, Whyte, T Leigh (Scutt 74), Smith, Hensel (Williamson 90+1), A Leigh.
Attendance - 261