Byrne leaves more of a mark than Staines

Thomas Byrne gave the Rocks the lead against Staines / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Thomas Byrne gave the Rocks the lead against Staines / Picture by Tommy McMillan

New striker Thomas Byrne scored on his home debut and Dylan Barnett punished Staines with his first Bognor goal late on to give the Rocks their first win of the season as they defeated Staines 2-0.

Bognor’s first three-point haul lifted them up to 11th in the Ryman premier table as Johnson Hippolyte’s Staines suffered their second loss in the opening four games

The only change for the Rocks saw Sami El-Abd replace Gary Charman in central defence alongside Chad Field.

Kane Haysman sped through in the first minute for the visitors but struck wide of the post.

On four minutes, Barnett ran on to a pass and got a cross in. Byrne got a head on it and the ball only just bounced wide.

Field went to ground on nine minutes with what appeared to be a muscle strain and the phyiso was called into action, allowing both teams to have a brief drinks break. Field was replaced by Charman.

Byrne redeemed himself by scoring the opener on 30 minutes. A long ball over the defence saw him speed through and shoot low underneath Turner, who got something on it as it spun along the ground and into the net.

A long ball over the top allowed Jefferson Louis to get into the area. His low shot from an angle was deflected off the line by Ed Sanders.

El-Abd won a free-kick in a good position on the left. Ollie Pearce’s swerving kick saw El-Abd in the mix but goalkeeper Jack Turner got there first.

Max Worsfold’s free-kick following an El-Abd push found Daniel Brown but he skied his header on 21 minutes.

Bognor won a penalty on 27 minutes as Barnett’s cross ricocheted onto the hand of a defender in the area.

Up stepped Byrne, who struck it high, but the goalkeeper saved it. Byrne glanced a header wide from a corner by Pearce moments later.

Pearce slid a low shot wide soon after as Bognor tried to make their pressure count.

Byrne redeemed himself by scoring the opener on 30 minutes. A long ball over the defence saw him speed through and shoot low underneath Turner, who got something on it as it spun along the ground and into the net.

Then Barnett’s ball in from the left was only partially cleared by Darnell Smith as Doug Tuck slammed it on the volley over the bar.

Louis smashed a shot wide with Staines enjoying a lot of possession before half-time.

HT 1-0

Sanders’ long cross from the right was well stopped by Turner on 50 minutes.

De’Reece Vanderhyde’s long throw deep into the box had to be punched clear by Billy Granger and then Worsfold blasted a rising shot over the bar.

Barnett’s cross found Byrne on the back post and he knocked it just wide from close range. Then James Fraser went in the book after he appeared to have a difference of opinion with the referee.

Haysman’s strike brought out a fine save from Granger down to his left and Charman was there to slide in and clear at the crucial moment on 60 minutes.

Granger had to palm a corner away above the bodies in the box and repeated the trick soon after.

Bognor sprung on the counter-attack with Fraser, and he found Pearce on the right and his cross was cleared by the defence. Byrne went down after trying to win it but the claims for a penalty were ignored.

Pearce’s free-kick bounced awkwardly in the area with El-Abd lurking – but Staines were also a threat going forward.

The Rocks replaced Byrne with Jimmy Wild on 70 minutes.

Louis capitalised on a Granger spillage to shoot low and it was Charman, again the saviour, who cleared off the line.

Wild latched on to a Barnett knock-on following a right-sided cross by Pearce. Wild’s header forced a diving save by Turner, who turned the ball on to the post and out.

Tyrell Miller Rodney sent a header well wide on 79 minutes following a neat cross by Mohamed Bettamer.

A fast counter attack by Bognor saw Fraser combine with Barnett, who cut inside and blasted wide of the post.

Jimmy Muitt came on for his Rocks debut in place of the hard-working Fraser on 82 minutes.

Pearce’s right-sided corner found El-Abd on his own in the box but his header bounced over.

Pearce cut inside again on the right on 85 minutes and his cross was looking for Wild but he couldn’t quite get anything on it.

Jonathan Hippolyte’s instant strike from a cross was pushed away by Granger on 88 minutes in a nervy moment as Rocks failed to clear their lines.

Five minutes were added on as Bognor continued to battle. A good move down the right saw Muitt find Wild but somehow his attempt went wide from inside the box.

Bognor kept going to the end and scored again seven minutes into stoppage. A move on the right by Muitt found Wild and he squared to Barnett – and his run inside saw him smack the ball low into the net from the edge of the box.

The Rocks had secured a crucial three points and will hope for a similar result away to Billericay Town this Saturday (3pm kick-off). Next at Nyewood Lane are old foes Worthing next Monday (3pm).

Rocks: Granger, Sanders, Crane, Tuck, Field (Charman 10), El-Abd, Fraser (Muitt 82), Beck (c), Byrne (Wild 70), Pearce, Barnett. Unused subs: Budd, Wollers.

Report by Liam Goodley

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