Bognor go Wild for late equaliser - but it's no Nyewood Lane classic
Jimmy Wild secured a point for Bognor with a stoppage time header, dampening Harlow's survival hopes at the end of a rather uneventful game at Nyewood Lane.
It was another home game when the Rocks were far from at their best, and was a disappointing outcome following the joy at the midweek hammering of Brighton's youngsters in the Sussex Senior Cup semi-final.
Defender Keaton Wood was absent with an ankle injury but forward Leon Maloney earned another place in the starting XI after impressing at Lancing in the county cup.
Bradley Lethbridge sprang on an early counter-attack for Bognor but he committed a foul when the ball went loose. Jonathan Moanda went into the book for Harlow after only three minutes for a handball.
Richard Gilot and Harvey Whyte set up Maloney, who ran beyond the defence, but his low cross was cut out by goalkeeper Marcin Brzozowski. Whyte drove another right-sided cross straight at the goalkeeper on seven minutes. Lethbridge curled a cross in for Mason Walsh but with his back to goal he was blocked.
Thomas Hitchcock and Gilot clashed and the free-kick was awarded to the Hawks but Scott Davies' kick was blocked. On 16 minutes Joshua Urquhart went into the book after sliding in late and fouling Maloney.
Harlow's David Mooney received a pass from the left before belting the ball wide on 19 minutes. Good movement from Bognor saw Lethbridge run across the defence before curling his attempt just wide. Maloney hit another right-sided cross out of play.
Maloney played a one-two with Lethbridge and got beyond the defence but fouled a defender on the way through. Dan Lincoln's long throw saw him find Lethbridge's run but a defender cut out the chance. Lincoln did well to push over Mooney's looping header following decent play from Robert Howard and a cross from Hitchcock.
Hitchcock ran at the Bognor defence but his pass to Yanick Kissi was poor. Mooney neatly brought the ball down for Hitchcock before he went to ground but the referee ignored claims for a penalty on 42 minutes.
A long ball over the top saw Theo Widdrington bring the ball down before shooting over. Widdrington ran along edge of the area and felt he was fouled before Gilot followed up by smashing another 25-yard chance over the bar. HT 0-0
Walsh used his skill to win a corner and felt he was caught in the face but nothing was given and the eventual short corner broke down. Walsh went into the book on 52 minutes for reacting with a challenge on the flank near the Harlow bench, obviously frustrated at the referee missing the hand in the face moments earlier.
A neat flick by Whyte set Rocks on the attack and Walsh threaded the ball on to Lethbridge - and his cross along the deck to Maloney resulted in a tackle flying in but the referee ignored the penalty claims. Walsh smashed one high and wide soon after that.
Gilot prodded a ball forward to Lethbridge but he smashed it well wide after cutting inside. Maloney was pushed by Chris Gregan on 67 minutes but the low cross from the free-kick by Whyte was easily dealt with.
Harlow took the lead on 68 minutes as they attacked down the left with Kissi's cross picking out Hitchcock, who headed it neatly into the top corner while unmarked. The ball was in the net again on 79 minutes as Hitchcock slotted home but was offside - before Davies also went into the book.
Hitchcock received a yellow card on 83 minutes after words with the referee turned sour. Reece Myles-Meekums held the ball up before passing to Whyte before his high, hanging cross was easily gathered by the goalkeeper.
Bognor didn’t give in as Maloney won a corner when he rushed into the box. And Wild saved the Rocks when he rose highest to nod home the corner three minutes into stoppage time - his second goal in two appearances off the bench.
Bognor had to defend rat the death when a bouncing through ball was almost nodded over Lincoln by Kissi but Lincoln eventually gathered it. The final whistle went after four minutes of stoppage time. Bognor, having snatched the point, would have been the happier of the two sides with the final result.
Bognor visit champions Dorking Wanderers on Saturday (3pm).
Bognor (4-3-3): Lincoln, Read (Myles-Meekums 56), Leigh, Gilot (Dunn 69), Field, Tomlinson, Whyte (c), Widdrington, Lethbridge (Wild 77), Maloney, Walsh. Subs not used: Scutt, McCormick.
Attendance - 401