Dramatic night ends with Lincoln the Rocks hero in FA Trophy shootout win

Bognor are through to the next round of the FA Trophy after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Bracknell.

Tuesday, 30th October 2018, 10:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 6:45 am
Brad Lethbridge congratulates Dan Lincoln on his penalty heroics / Picture by Darren Crisp
Brad Lethbridge congratulates Dan Lincoln on his penalty heroics / Picture by Darren Crisp

The Rocks had to fight back from being 2-0 down after 15 minutes to take the game to extra time and then the shootout – in which home keeper Dan Lincoln was the hero with three saves.

It was goals by Calvin Davies and Jimmy Wild that saved the Rocks - the latter strike coming in the 88th minute, the second time in four days Bognor had saved themselves late on from going out of the competition.

The sides were facing one another again after the first game finished 2-2 at Bracknell on Saturday. Bognor had battled back from 1-0 and 2-1 down with goals from Jimmy Muitt and Brad Lethbridge to fight another day.

Dan Lincoln during the penalty shootout / Picture by Darren Crisp

The FA Trophy is a vital competition to clubs – prize money in this round alone totals £3,250 – and that rises to £4,000 to the winners of the second qualifying round tie between Walton Casuals and the Rocks.

The match was preceded by a minute's silence for the victims of the Leicester City helicopter crash.

Bracknell were first to carve out a chance as Liam Ferdinand – scorer of their first goal on Saturday – found himself in the box with only Lincoln standing in his way, but the keeper saved his low shot with his legs. An early Rocks corner swung in by Muitt wouldn't quite fall for Lethbridge. A brisk move down the left involving Mason Walsh and Joe Tomlinson ended with the full-back's cut-back cross being blocked.

Bracknell won their first corner ten minutes and a second one, soon after it, was played out to James McClurg, Saturday's other scorer for Bracknell, whose 25-yard volley had to be palmed away by Lincoln. But Lincoln was beaten two minutes later when unmarked Adam Cornell was left free to head in a left-wing cross from close in.

Jimmy Wild is mobbed after his late equaliser took the game to extra-time / Picture by Darren Crisp

Bognor were almost level straight away when Harvey Whyte played in Muitt but keeper Mark Scott was speedily out to smother the ball at his feet.

Things went from bad to worse for the Rocks on 15 minutes later when Ferdinand sent a looping header over Lincoln and into the top corner from another ball in from the left. The Rocks didn't know what had hit them.

They almost got back in it when Walsh's mazy run took him almost to the goal before a short pass to Muitt, whose sidefooted effort was brilliantly saved by Scott. Davies tried a shot after picking up a loose ball just outside the box but it was marginally too high.

Walsh's curling cross to the far post was met by Whyte's head but he didn't get enough on it. Bognor might have been three down on 29 minutes when Ferdinand had a chance to head goalwards from six yards but his effort was too high.

In a rapid counter-attack Walsh was played through on goal but Scott did well again, getting down to block his low drive before a defender saw it behind for a corner.

Suddenly the Rocks got back in it on 37 minutes. A neat build-up down the left led to a ball across the area that was helped on to Davies, and although Scott got something on his low shot, he couldn't keep it out. A minute later Scutt sped down the left but chose the wrong ball into the middle and it was cleared.

Davies was booked on 44 minutes when some thought he would see red, catching his man very late in the centre circle.

HT 1-2

Bognor had the better of the opening stages of the second half but a Walsh cross couldn't find Muitt, then Whyte's shot was way off target from long range. It was all Bognor for a spell and a couple of right-sided crosses caused alarm in the Robins' defence.

Just before the hour Whyte played a clever free-kick to Muitt in the D – he hit it low but without much power and Scott cleared. Whyte tried his luck again from 22 yards but Scott was proving equal to everything the Rocks could muster.

Scott came to Bracknell's rescue again when he got down on his goal-line to stop a Lethbridge header from Tomlinson's ball in from the by-line. Bowerman was booked for hauling down Davies as he burst towards goal from the right touchline on 67 minutes but the free-kick was dealt with.

Wild came on for Scutt on 69 minutes. Bognor were certainly not afraid to shoot and Muitt was next to do so but he got too much height on one from a few yards outside the penalty box. It really ought to have been 2-2 on 72 minutes when Lethbridge raced clear but with time to think about his options he hit it low and Scott blocked it.

Bracknell made a double change with Harrison Bailey and Jonathan Hathaway replacing Ferdinand and David Hancock. Walsh set up another chance that ended with Scott scrambling a deflected Lethbridge shot behind for a corner, from which Wild's header was straight at a defender.

Bracknell were inviting pressure by giving away free-kicks in their own half – one led to a Whye cross to Wild but he glanced his header wide.

Five minutes from time Muitt's header from Walsh's cross brought a superb diving save from Scott – who then blotted his copybook by picking up a bakcpass on the edge of the six-yard box. The free-kick got the home fans excited but it was one of those that was too close to the goal and to the ten-man wall who blocked Muitt's drilled shot.

But on 88 minutes it was 2-2 as Wild bundled in Muitt's cross from close range. It was a huge relief for the Rocks and the home fans, but no more than their pressure deserved.

Both sides went for the win and both keepers had to make saves as the minutes ticked down. Muitt's flicked shot was cleared off the line, Davies' cross was blocked seconds later, then Walsh's flying shot from an angle brought another great save from Scott.

FT 90 mins 2-2

Both sides made a change early in extra-time. Kensley Maloney was replaced by Gavin James while the Rocks brought on Josh McCormick for Whyte, who'd taken a kick to his instep. The first period of extra-time was quiet by comparison with the frenetic end of the second half.

Davies brought yet another leaping save by Scott when a Lethbridge free-kick came back off the wall.

Then there was a little piece of Nyewood Lane history as a team made a fourth substitution for the first time in a competitive game at the ground. That's now allowed in extra-time in certain competitions and it was Ashleigh Artwell who came on, in place for Joseph Grant, who had just been booked for a foul on Muitt.

Bognor continued to force the pace, with Lethbridge surging into the area and drawing a save from Scott then Wild heading over when a cross proved just too high for him at the far post. Wild's superb flick-on from halfway put Lethbridge through but again Scott outfoxed him to save at his feet.

HT ET 2-2

Bracknell had seen little of the ball in the first period of extra-time but they were doing the pressing early in the second and Artwell scuffed a shot wide from eight yards.

Another Rocks chance went begging when Wild's sidefooted effort from Lethbridge's cross was blocked. Then Davies' wicked shot from 20 yards struck a defender's head and flew behind for another corner.

Bognor's players were queueing up to shoot at goal with Tuck next to try against a tiring defence. But his shot was weak and the keeper fell on it in a heap. Walsh did brilliantly to beat two defenders down the Rocks left then race towards the area before unleashing a curling shot that flew narowly wide.

The chances kept on coming and a towering Wild header was just the wrong side of the post.

FT ET 2-2

Penalties it was and Lincoln gave the Rocks the perfect start to the shootout by saving Bracknell's first two – although after Muitt scored Bognor's first, Calvin Davies saw his saved by Scott.

Both sides scored their next two efforts – Tuck and Walsh on target for Bognor – and after one more successful Bracknell penalty, Carl Davies had to score to keep them in it... and Lincoln saved to send the Rocks through.

It was 10.29pm by the time the tie was settled - now Bognor need to rest and stat thinking about their league trip to Leatherhead on Saturday.

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Tomlinson, Tuck, Field, Block, Whyte, Scutt, Lethbridge, Muitt, Walsh. Subs: Wild, McCormick, Osborne, Carroll.

Bracknell: Scott, Cater, Hancock, Maloney, Day, Davies, Grant, McClurg, Cornell, Ferdinand, Bowerman. Subs: James, Artwell, Bayley, Hathaway.

Ref: Daniel Simpson

Att - 306