Smith and Lethbridge do it again as Rocks prove special against Ks

Bognor remain unbeaten - and in possession of a 100 per cent home record - after Dan Smith, with another double, and Brad Lethbridge struck to kill off Kingstonian 3-1 at sunny Nyewood Lane.

Saturday, 1st September 2018, 11:18 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:18 pm
The Rocks celebrate Dan Smith's opener against Kingstonian / Picture by Tommy McMillan

The victory - the third three-goal show in three attempts by the Rocks at home this season - lifts them into third place in the Bostik premier table.

Keaton Wood was still missing from the Rocks line-up through a hamstring injury so Tommy Block started in the centre of defence alongside Chad Field. Dan Lincoln and Dan Smith were both back in the side after missing the 3-3 draw at Lewes on Monday.

Early on a long ball over the top to Smith saw him chip the ball over the defence towards Jimmy Muitt who won a corner. Muitt's corner was headed away by Sean Francis. Field had to hack away a lofted pass by Manolis Gogonas, who was searching for Elliott Buchanan.

Shaun Lucien's strike from outside the box curled narrowly over the bar moments later as the Ks caused the Rocks some problems. Calvin Davies and Doug Tuck teed up Lethbridge, who ran on beyond the defence before hitting a shot over goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey but wide of the far post on 13 minutes.

But Bognor took the lead on 15 minutes. Lethbridge used his pace on the right before cutting inside and finding Smith inside the box and he hit it first time high into the net, giving Tolfrey no chance.

Muitt's deflected cross almost fell to Lethbridge whose overhead scissor kick didn't pay off. Davies slid in late on Gregory Cundle before Buchanan tried his luck but Block got in the way. Ridwan Asala's cross went beyond everyone in the box.

Gogonas linked with Cundle, who turned before striking it low from 25 yards. But his effort was well stopped by Lincoln on 25 minutes. Lethbridge picked out Smith again on 29 minutes and Smith forced a save with his leg from Tolfrey. Then Tuck's cut back to Muitt saw him drive another chance at goal but Tolfrey saved.

The Rocks celebrate Dan Smith's opener against Kingstonian / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Block went in the book for a late challenge before a big clearance from Harvey Whyte bounced to Smith. Eventually a cross from Lethbridge flew across the box and out of play on 41 minutes.

Kingstonian levelled when Asala made his way into the box with neat footwork before crossing the ball low. He found Buchanan on the back post and he slotted in from close range on 44 minutes. Soon Lucien shot along the deck but Lincoln got down well to it to deny him. HT 1-1

Asala, assumed injured,was was replaced at half-time by James Daly for the visitors. Good work from Muitt on the right saw him win the ball before finding Smith, whose low strike was denied by Tolfrey.

Tuck picked out Lethbridge on the right but he scuffed his right-footed strike well wide of the goal on 49 minutes from the edge of the box. A neat pass to Whyte saw him beat his man before crossing but Tolfrey gathered. Davies was booked on 56 minutes for a poor challenge in the middle of the park.

On 66 minutes Bognor took the lead in fantastic fashion. A good move instigated by Lethbridge saw Smith strike the ball from outside the box and it flew high into the top right corner out of Tolfrey's reach. It was a goal of the month contender to add to his worldie that helped beat Merstham in August.

Tommy Scutt went in the book but Lucien's freekick into the area couldn't pick out a fellow player. Mason Walsh replaced Scutt on 71 minutes.

Block's ball over the defence was bound for Smith on the run but Tolfrey got there first. Archie Edwards was yellow-carded for a late trip on 76 minutes. And he was holding his knee as he was replaced by Harvey Sparks on the left on 79 minutes.

Buchanan sped through and had only Lincoln to beat on 81 minutes but he put it wide. Whyte went down under a challenge and sub Louie Theophanous lashed out and seemed to stamp on Whyte while he was on the floor - and the referee sent him off. Francis was shown yellow for his reaction in the aftermath.

Davies hit a diagonal ball out wide on the left to Walsh, who cut inside before hitting the side netting on 87 minutes. Smith was on his hat-trick and his low strike was also kept out - with Lethbridge in space and demanding it near the back post.

Bognor pounced on the counter-attack as the ball was cleared out to Lethbridge, who beat a defender then ran half the length of the field before coolly slotting beyond Tolfrey to ,make the points safe.

After the final whistle a group of Kingstonian fans were clearly not happy with manager Leigh Dynan’s performance in the league so far and made their feelings known.

Bognor now look forward to the FA Cup first qualifying round trip to Whitstable Town in Kent next Saturday.FT 3-1Rocks (3-5-2): Lincoln, Whyte (Ridge 90), Edwards (Sparks 79) Tuck, Field, Block, Scutt (Walsh 71), Davies, Smith, Muitt, Lethbridge. Sub not used: Heath.

Attendance – 539