Bognor lose 6-1 and have three sent off - in a friendly

Bognor on the attack at Gosport / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Bognor on the attack at Gosport / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Bognor's pre-season programme took a disastrous turn when they crashed to a 6-1 defeat at Gosport Borough - and had three men sent off.

Borough took a 3-0 lead before Dan Smith scored his second in two games to get them back into it.

But it all went wrong for Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake's team after the break when they let in another three and had Tommy Leigh, Harvey Whyte and Dan Smith all ordered off - an incredible sequence of events in a friendly.

It's far from ideal in the Rocks' last pre-season game before they start their Isthmian premier campaign at Bishop's Stortford on August 10 - especially as the management had told them after Tuesday's 1-0 Sussex Community Shield win over Chichester City that their performances needed to improve.

So Bognor started this game with 11 and somehow ended with eight players - and will probably feel gained nothing from the fixture.

Gosport were in the lead after just two minutes. Rory Williams got a curling cross in from the left before Liam Robinson's diving header saw him divert it into the net beyond Petar Durin as Bognor started poorly. Good play from Mike Carter got the move going in the build up.

Whyte dragged a chance wide of the right post before Smith smashed another shot wide with Bognor trying to get some momentum after going behind early. But they conceded again on 19 minutes as a free-kick won by Robinson was swung in and it was headed down by Partridge before Theo Lewis hit it low and under Durin.

Lea won a Gosport free-kick almost 25 yards out. Williams stepped up to whip the ball into the top corner with his left foot - and Bognor had a lot to do to get back into the game.

They did get a goal back as a through ball by Dan Simmonds found Smith who did well to get beyond his defender before prodding it in on 39 minutes.

Whyte got a yellow card on the stroke of half-time with a challenge on Lewis. The free-kick was only punched out by Durin and Robinson smacked it over on the rise with the goalkeeper stranded. HT 3-1

Tommy Scutt, Williamson and Jimmy Muitt came on for the second half and replaced Simmonds, Jack Breed and Ed Sanders.

A penalty was awarded to Gosport in the second half soon after kick-off. Up stepped George Barker to slam it under Durin to make it 4-1.

After a few changes by both sides, it was Barker who gave Gosport a 5-1 lead on 57 minutes as a neat solo run saw him beat two Bognor players before smashing it low and hard beyond Durin.

Leigh was sent off after his second yellow on 68 minutes. It was a late challenge which sparked a heated reaction from a large group of players and the referee sent the player to the stands, leaving Rocks with ten men.

The Rocks were down to nine when Whyte was booked for a second time on 72 minutes and he was sent to the dressing room. The reason or this sending off was unclear.

It became even worse for Bognor as they witnessed Sam Argent guide it in to make it 6-1 for Gosport. Then a frustrated Smith was also sent off on 74 minutes, with the referee apparently reacting to a comment he made. Smith seemed especially aggravated by this decision which was seen by the Bognor camp as an over-reaction from the official. Stuart Green tried to console him before he stormed out to the dressing room leaving Rocks down to eight men.

With all of this going on you'd have forgotten it was a friendly and all control seemed to be lost. Bognor ended up playing a 3-2-2 formation.

Gosport could have added to their tally and Bognor will feel there is a massive improvement needed in the league games ahead following this result - but they were up against strong opposition here featuring a number of players who have left Havant.

Time will tell to see if the management team will contest any of the red cards, which clearly spoilt this occasion and will directly impact the team selection as they head into the league season.

Rocks: Durin, Crane, Breed (Williamson 45), Tuck, Dandy (Dunn 75), Sanders (Scutt 45), Whyte, Leigh, Simmonds (Muitt 45), Green, Smith
Sub not Used: Searle..