Bognor sink deeper into trouble with poor home defeat to Cheshunt

Bognor's early-season crisis deepened with a home defeat to fellow strugglers Cheshunt.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 1:59 pm

Two goals by Dipo Akinyemi sealed Bognor's fate and left them in the bottom three with just four points from seven games.

They did fight back and make it 2-1with a goal by man of the match Tommy Leigh midway through the second half and had plenty of the play after that, but couldn't muster an equaliser.

The defeat will increase the pressure that's mounting on manager Jack Pearce, with a growing number of supporters saying it's time for a change at the helm.

Bognor's players retrieve the ball after Tommy Leigh's goal makes it 2-1 / Picture by Tommy McMillan

It felt like a pivotal night for Bognor, who were starting the evening with just four points from their first six games and sat in the bottom three of the Isthmian premier.

Their build-up was not helped by news that striker Jimmy Muitt was out injured. His absence gave new Brazilian signing Victor Hensel a first Rocks start.

Cheshunt had also had a poor start to the season, and began the night one place above the Rocks.

Bognor opened with a nice spell of possession and were playing in a new three-at-the-back formation with James Crane joining Keaton Wood and Ben Clark-Eden in the centre and Ashton Leigh and Harvey Whyte operating as wing-backs.

That early passing ended with Tommy Leigh ballooning a shot well over keeper Harry Girling's bar.

Cheshunt gave notice that they weren't just in town to defend as Shane Cojocarel fired in a shot that required a good stop from Petar Durin.

Cheshunt defender Sean Cronin was booked for catching Hensel as the new man ran to a nice Whyte flick. Then the visitors were forced into an early lead, Joe Re replacing injured Cojocarel.

Ben Eden-Clark was unlucky to be booked for a handball thar occurred when he seemed to misjudge a through-ball that he tried to cut out.

It was largely featureless football from both sides but Brad Lethbridge brought the crowd to life on 25 minutes when he controlled a long pass 20 yards from goal and shot narrowly wide after taking a touch to sidestep a defender.

Lethbridge carried the threat again five minutes later when he surged down the right and struck a post with a fierce shot from an acute angle.

But it was Cheshunt who took the lead on 33 minutes when a simple move down the right ended in a pass into the box to Akinyemi. He evaded a rather rash tackle to buy himself space to shoot low left-footed beyond the exposed Durin.

A loose pass from Doug Tuck just outside his own box gave Cheshunt the chance of a second but the final shot was weak.

Smith fired a shot over the bar from 15 yards just as two minutes of first-half stoppage time began. HT 0-1

Things went from bad to worse for the Rocks six minutes into the second half when Akinyemi got his and Cheshunt's second. Again it was a simple goal – although did involve a good finish. The ball was played to him just outside the box and with a defender in front of him he curled the dead ball around the motionless Durin and into the corner of the net.

Whyte tried his best to bring about a quick reply with a run at the visiting defence but the shot was way over the bar.

The Rocks did get one back on 61 minutes when a brief spell of pressure ended with Leigh firing home from close range after Lethbridge weaved his way across the edge of the box and played him in on goal.

Dan Simmonds replaced Hensel on 66 minutes for the Rocks.

Whyte got away down the right and sent over a perfect cross to Smith, but he got his angles wrong and his firm header was off-target.

Bognor were much brighter following the goal and Ashton Leigh's driven cross from the left just needed a touch from anyone, but evaded everyone, that as the final 15 minutes began. Another attack ended with a weak Smith shot bouncing through to Girling.

Sammy Collins replaced Tom Hitchcock for the visitors on 80 minutes. Within seconds Collins was booked for kicking the ball away at a free-kick.

Scorer Akinyemi was forced off injured as the clock ticked down and was replaced by Yoan Edokou.

The Rocks couldn't find an equaliser and ended the night in the bottom three seemingly with a long season ahead of them.

Next comes a break from the league - an FA Cup visit to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday.

Rocks: Durin, Crane, A Leigh, Tuck, Clark-Eden, Wood, Whyte, T Leigh, Smith, Hensel, Lethbridge. Subs: Searle, Scutt, Simmonds, Williamson.

Cheshunt: Girling, Diallo, Williams, Hughes, Cronin, Moncur, Westcott, Camara, Hitchcock, Cojocarel, Akinyemi. Subs: Foster, Edokou, Re, Ebuzomelli, Collins.

Ref: Jonathan Creswick.