That's how to score - Bognor hit four as Wingate are well beaten

Bognor got back to winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Wingate and Finchley - but only after coming from behind twice - to move into fourth place in the Bostik premier.

Saturday, 17th November 2018, 7:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th November 2018, 8:11 pm
Dan Smith sets off to celebrate the Rocks' opener - set up by Brad Lethbridge / Picture by Tommy McMillan

There was good news ahead of kick off as Dan Smith and Bradley Lethbridge returned to the starting line-up for Bognor after midweek duties at Pompey - and their return was to help the team put recent defeats behind them.

There were four different scorers - a big improvement after all the missed chances of recent games - and the three points came on a day when fans united to remember long-serving fan Bill Spriggs, who died recently, and mark the unveiling of the new cover at the Seasons end of the ground.

Early on Calvin Davies fed Smith and he beat the defence before unleashing a fierce strike agonisingly wide with the goalkeeper stranded.

Dan Smith sets off to celebrate the Rocks' opener - set up by Brad Lethbridge / Picture by Tommy McMillan

But Bognor conceded on just seven minutes. Charlie Cole ran on to a through ball and slotted it low into the bottom corner, beating a diving Dan Lincoln.

Lethbridge sped down the left but his cross was deflected for a corner on ten minutes. Then Mason Walsh threaded the ball through to Lethbridge but with the ball bouncing he could only smash his chance over the bar. Was it to be the same story again for the Rocks?

W&F goalkeeper Shane Gore did well to run out and intercept with Lethbridge in pursuit following a neat chipped pass from midfield. Jimmy Muitt was set on his way with a through ball and he forced a decent save from the goalkeeper, winning a corner. The short corner saw Lethbridge whip the ball in and at the back post it was Smith who headed unmarked into the bottom corner on 15 minutes.

Lethbridge was deemed to have tripped Luke Ifil in Bognor’s half and the player needed treatment. Soon Lethbridge struck one wide of the far post on 22 minutes. Ifil had to be replaced by Isaac Ebelebe on 23 minutes. Reece Beccles-Richards ran on the counter-attack with Charlie Ruff on the overlap but the cross was cut out.

Joe Tomlinson did well on the left on 31 minutes, running down the wing before crossing towards Smith. The ball was headed back out by a defender to Muitt, who scuffed it wide with his first touch. Walsh cut inside from the right flank before unleashing a left-footed shot and forcing Gore into a diving save, pushing the ball wide of the post on 37 minutes. Lincoln pushed Beccles-Richards' cross away from Cole on 42 minutes.

Smith ran down the right looking for Lethbridge at the far post with his cross. But Ebelebe got in the way to divert it just beyond the right post on 43 minutes.

Smith was replaced by Tommy Scutt on 44 minutes. The player was apparently not injured but not 100 per cent fit so came off early as a precaution.

Lethbridge's corner flashed across the area and was headed out of play for another corner. Davies chipped the ball towards the back post from midfield but Lethbridge headed over the bar. HT 1-1

Reece Mitchell replaced Chace O'Neill at the break for the visitors. But after dealing with two corners Bognor went behind again on 51 minutes. A cross from the right picked out Robert Laney, who headed it low beyond a staticLincoln as he leaped highest.

Bognor needed to hit back quickly and did just that on 55 minutes. Following the cross from the left and a flick on by Lethbridge the ball fell to Muitt in front of goal and he stabbed it home confidently. Then Walsh drove the ball in and Muitt headed it back inside for Lethbridge, but on the turn he hit the ball early and it rolled harmlessly to Shane Gore in goal.

Walsh set up Lethbridge who saw his shot deflected wide and the resulting corner found Muitt, who hit it along the deck but Gore dived to save. Tomlinson struck one high and wide soon after.

Tomlinson's cross found Lethbridge but he nodded it over on 62 minutes. Cole capitalised on the defence sitting back before firing with his left foot. Doug Tuck teed up Lethbridge, who again turned quickly before hitting the ball well over on 65 minutes.

Calls for a handball were ignored with Bognor on the attack but Walsh forced an error before chipping the ball coolly beyond Gore and into the net on 67 minutes to put Bognor ahead for the first time.

Midfielder earns Hibernian trialBognor fans have got it coveredTommy Block, all set for a week-long trial at Scottish Premiership side Hibernian, sent the ball down the left and Walsh did well to keep the ball in play before crossing it in low for Scutt. The sub hit it low and forced Gore into another diving save.

Bognor did score another on 81 minutes and it was Scutt who stabbed home from close range following a cross from the left by Walsh.

Brilliant build-up play ended when Davies found Lethbridge and he spun the ball towards goal but Gore was well placed to save on 85 minutes.

Bognor ended the game confidently ahead as they moved back into the play-off positions. They take a break from league action now and entertain Three Bridges next Saturday at Nyewood Lane in the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup.

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Tomlinson, Tuck, Field, Block, Whyte, Muitt (Wild 81), Smith (Scutt 44), Lethbridge, Walsh (McCormick 89). Subs not used: Osborne, Carroll.

Att: 556