PICTURES and REPORT: Rocks' hopes go west at Weston

A single goal was enough to continue Bognor's poor run of form and take them a step closer to relegation from National League South.

Sunday, 25th March 2018, 4:49 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:47 am
Ollie Pearce on the ball for the Rocks at Weston / Picture by Tommy McMillan

It was another day when Bognor didn't play badly but didn't have enough in the final third to force any sort of result - the story of their season.

New striker Justin Amaluzor, signed on loan from Barnet the previous day, made his day but couldn't rescue Jack Pearce's side. Ben Swallow was restored to the starting line-up along with Calvin Davies, finally free from his four-game suspension which has lasted six weeks.

Tommy Block had to pull out after pulled a muscle in the warm-up and Richard Gilot replaced him.

Ollie Pearce on the ball for the Rocks at Weston / Picture by Tommy McMillan

The game started cagily with Jimmy Muitt's blocked effort the only chance in the first five minutes. Then Gethyn Hill's cross from the right was well gathered in the air by Dan Lincoln. Doug Tuck committed a foul on Jason Pope as he ran into Bognor's half but Danny Greenslade's high curling cross bounced out. Harvey Whyte did well to head out Jacob Cane's cross with Kenan Dunnwald lurking at the back post. Tristan Plummer's cross fell to Hill, who was blocked inside the area, and Jake Lee was thwarted on 12 minutes.

Whyte deflected a shot into the side netting from Dunnwald. Jarrad Welch's corner was headed away by Whyte. Lincoln pulled out a fabulous save to deny Welch's strike on 17 minutes from 20 yards. Ollie Pearce went to ground under a nasty challenge by Hill on 19 minutes and had to receive treatment from the physio.

On 21 minutes Weston took the lead. After a quick break with a ball across the box Dunnwald poked in with his second attempt. Soon the Seagulls were able to win the ball back from a Lincoln kick and within six passes had it back inside Bognor's half with slick passing as Plummer found Dunnwald, but he skied his effort wide.

Bognor sprang on the counter with Muitt and a cross to Tuck saw the midfielder divert it back inside before Davies belted the ball over the crossbar from outside the box on 28 minutes.Cane went close but Davies bravely got in the way. Amaluzor received the ball from Pearce on 31 minutes on the break but his left-footed strike whizzed passed the goal. Weston did all but score as Hill fired the ball across the area with Plummer and Mohammad Baghdadi not quite getting there. Hill then found Welch but his fierce attempt flew straight to Lincoln.

Swallow received a ball from Davies on the left but his ambitious effort spun high over the goal on 35 minutes. A long ball down the left saw Amaluzor run with speed as Luke Purnell exited his box before clashing with the forward, winning a free-kick on 37 minutes. The loan striker received a yellow card for the incident, which appeared to be a 50-50 challenge.

Hill blasted low at goal forcing Lincoln into a diving down to his right. Pearce dug out a cross from the left but Pope headed it away. Davies and Gilot were both denied by brave defending as they diverted both chances back out of the area. HT 1-0

Straight after the restart Bognor lost the ball and Welch's strike was pushed out by Lincoln before Dunnwald was denied from point-blank range as Lincoln's foot got in the way. Pearce's cross was cleared before Tuck was denied. Davies won a rare corner but Pearce's kick was headed out before Sami El-Abd could get to it.

Dunnwald received a booking for kicking the ball out of play after he was clearly offside. A Bognor attack started with Lincoln’s long throw. Pearce received it before passing out wide to Swallow. The winger's dipping cross spun up in front of Amaluzor before Pearce scissor-kicked the ball wide on 57 minutes.

Davies received a yellow card on 62 minutes with a sliding challenge that caught Lee in the middle of the field. Then Davies played a forward ball down the left to Pearce who cut inside and shot. It was blocked by a defender before Muitt had a crack but was also denied. Ashley Harper's curling forward pass had to be hacked clear by an onrushing Lincoln. He clashed with Hill and the goalkeeper required treatment.

The impressive Hill was replaced by Naby Diallo on 72 minutes for Weston while Kristian Campbell replaced Gilot on 75 minutes for Bognor. Baghdadi capitalised on a loose ball and ran in before shooting well over the bar. Muitt came off for Ibra Sekajja on 77 minutes as Bognor tried to freshen up the attack.

Davies won the ball on the right after Pearce's cross-field pass. He found Swallow who crossed and Sekajja pounced on the loose ball and his low strike on goal was denied by Purnell on 80 minutes. It had been Bognor's best chance of the game.

Frustrations were clearly in evidence as fans made their feelings known towards the Bognor management as Pearce's cross whizzed across the area. Tuck was replaced by Tommy Scutt on 88 minutes for Bognor before Pearce's free-kick was easily gathered by Purnell with four Rocks players around him.

Dunnwald was replaced by Kristian Scott for the hosts but time ran out for Bognor. Their final half-chance came when a hopeful ball in from the left by Sekajja was just too much for El-Abd in the box.

Next the Rocks host Chelmsford on Good Friday (3pm).

Rocks: Lincoln, Whyte, Davies, Tuck (Scutt 88), El-Abd (c), Wood, Amaluzor, Gilot (Campbell 75), Muitt (Sekajja 77), Pearce, SwallowSub’s Not Used: Charman, Block