A Game Of Two Halves.
Complete new 2nd half team for The Rocks.
Experimental Bognor fell to their first loss in their pre-season preparations as the Wessex League side's Connor Duffin netted two to secure the win for the Deans.
Cian Tilley deserved his start in the game against Michael Birmingham's Horndean as Jack Parkinson remained as substitute after he proved his influence coming off the bench against Brighton the previous Tuesday night.
There was play at either end in the early going as Harry Jackson pounced on the counter attack after Doug Tuck's loose forward pass but Tommy Block was strong enough to hold off the Deans advance, shepherding the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Then a square ball across the edge of the box fell to Jackson who scuffed his chance well over the bar on 7 minutes.
Horndean were causing Rocks all sorts of problems when Jackson was blocked again with his low strike.
Tuck got the ball forward quickly though but Jimmy Muitt's incisive pass towards Cian Tilley was too much for the striker and then goalkeeper Kieron McGhee belted it away.
Muitt run down a lost cause to win a corner but the pass from it to Calvin Davies was also shut down. The second corner fell onto the head of Harvey Whyte but he skied his chance well over.
Fuzz Kanjanda caused more problems on the left before winning a corner but the Deans couldn’t capitalise on the chance on 15 minutes.
Ex-Rock Dan Sackman headed wide narrowly straight from a corner as Horndean were enjoying a great spell inside first fifteen minutes.
Patient play from Bognor saw Davies eventually chip the ball in towards Tuck who had made a run but the goalkeeper got there first.
Horndean were awarded a freekick when Jack Maloney's run caught Davies out as his slid in late on the midfielder.
Muitt was brought to ground just outside the box on 23 minutes but Davies's direct freekick flashed wide.
Zac Glasspool was sent through one on one with trialling Giodano Zabotti who managed to race out of his area to divert it away from the forward just in time.
Whyte's cross from the right was deflected wide for a corner and Muitt's ball into the area saw McGhee punch it away. Whyte latched onto a ball out of the box after Muitt's instant strike before firing agonisingly wide.
Zabotti was called into action to deny two quick fire attempts from deep inside the box. The first came from Glasspool and the second from Maloney was also denied as the goalkeeper showed good reactions on 37 minutes.
Muitt's corner fell straight to Marley Ridge followed by Whyte who were both somehow blocked with their advances from point blank range with five minutes left of the first half.
Zabotti's long ball forward saw Tilley knock the ball down for Muitt who cut across before letting fly with a 25-yard trike which clipped the top of the bar and over. One of Bognor's better chances.
It was wholesale changes as nine replacements were made for Bognor with only Zabotti and Keaton Wood staying on for the second half.
Amongst the sub’s were Jack Parkinson, Tommy Scutt and Amari Wood along with Jamie Carroll who featured against Brighton.
A player named Archie Thorpe, Greg Phillips, Joe Bennett, Vincent Follea and other names were also featured. A Max also was playing along with George and Liam on the new-look bench.
Kanjanda was exploiting the Rocks younger defence with quick runs down the left but Bognor were dealing with it just as the game restarted.
Then Parkinson received the ball inside defence before running on and forcing a decent save from the Deans goalkeeper as he pushed it back out with his right leg on 55 minutes.
Liam Kimber replaced Alfie Liss on 56 minutes for the visitors. Luke Head also replaced Ash Howes in the same substitution.
Parkinson found Amari Wood with a chipped pass. He won a corner on the right. Bennett's corner was headed away though.
Maloney received the ball from the right square but curled his strike over the bar from outside the box on 61 minutes.
George Thomas and Louis Edwards replaced Kanjanda and Sam Hookey on 62 minutes in another change for Horndean.
Glasspool cut across the edge of the box to get a shot away but Zabotti was equal to it getting down to it well.
Glasspool received the ball along the deck from the right and after latching onto a loose ball off K Wood he slotted it neatly into the bottom corner.
Miles Everitt came off for the impressive Glasspool on 70 minutes for Horndean.
A Wood was replaced by a player named Liam Brady for Bognor on 71 minutes.
Connor Duffin scored Horndean’s second goal after peeling away from his marker before slotting the ball low into the bottom left corner.
Sackman was replaced by Ryan Llewellyn on 75 minutes as it was hard to keep up to date with who was on the field.
Good build up ended when Thorpe's ball cross found Brady but his strike was high and wide on 79 minutes.
It got worse for Bognor's experimental team as Benny Reid made the byline before cutting the ball inside the box to Duffin who turned before shooting low in the bottom right corner to go three up.
Tommy Scutt hit one from distance but his strike along the deck was easily saved with only a minute left to play.
The management team of Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake will clearly know their strongest team after this game but one or two players that featured in the second half might be able to step up. Only time will tell.
Rocks: Zabotti, Whyte (c), Sparkes, Tuck, Wood, Rolf, Ridge, Block, Tilley, Muitt, Davies
Sub’s: Scutt, A Wood, Parkinson, Brady, Carroll, Thorpe, Phillips, Bennett, Follea
Horndean: McGhee, Reid, Kanjanda, Hookey, Sackman, Lee, Maloney, Howes (c), Glasspool, Liss, Jackson
Sub’s: Head, Llewellyn, Thomas, Edwards, Everitt, Kimber
Match Report by Liam Goodley
Report Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer