Rocks Get A Valuable Point.
Jimmy Muitt Scores Twice.
Bognor will rue missed chances at the Enclosed Ground as they let a 2-1 lead slip to give Whitehawk a share of the points.
Jimmy Muitt’s overdue two goals weren’t enough to give Bognor the win here. Bognor’s injury-struck side were in high hopes of three points, but it wasn’t their day. However, the point was something to take away and build on as they head into this latter part of the season.
Gary Charman was back on the bench for Bognor. Dover Athletic loanee Emmanuel Adebowale got a start alongside Sami El-Abd with Dan Beck replacing Tommy Block in midfield as the other change to the starting line up.
Currently injured and out of the Rocks playing squad include Ollie Pearce, Chad Field, Keaton Wood, James Crane and Corey Heath.
There was a switch of ends as the teams took to the field after the coin toss.
Bognor started very well and within the first minute an early chance forward saw Kristian Campbell do well on the left. However, his one-two passing move with Ben Swallow broke down.
The Ramone Rose’s free kick into Bognor’s area was headed out by Calvin Davies.
Swallow found Jimmy Muitt with a pass on the right. He cut inside but smacked the ball wide of the goal with Ibra Sekajja nearing it.
Then Davies was causing problems for the Hawks defence. He managed to make it to the byline but hit his cross into the side-netting on 4 minutes.
Another Rose freekick was booted clear after Campbell had impeded a player, according to the referee shortly after.
Bognor were trying to get the ball into the box and on 7 minutes Swallow’s cross was headed out. Following this, Muitt’s ball into the area beat everyone in the area.
On 9 minutes good passing play saw Swallow receive the ball on the right. He crossed it into the area and found Harvey Whyte. Whyte headed the ball over and in the process clashed heads with Muitt, who received treatment.
Adebowale did well to find Davies. The full back passed his marker quickly before chipping the ball over to Sekajja. The striker got the ball into the box but it was easily stopped by Garry Malone.
Then on 13 minutes decent work from Campbell on the left saw him cross into the area. Swallow was there but he could only flash his header wide. Following this Doug Tuck’s cross was missed by Adebowale and Sekajja missed their headers in the air.
Sekajja’s shot was closed down before Muitt went to ground in the box but the referee waved away any claims for a penalty on 15 minutes.
Whyte cut the ball back to Davies but his low strike went straight into the arms of Malone.
Dan Beck prodded the ball on to Tuck, who in turn found Muitt. The striker ran on and fired it low but wide of the far post.
Caden Genovesi stopped Muitt in his tracks as Rocks were all over Whitehawk during much of the first 20 minutes.
Substitute Ryan Worrall shot the ball wide for the Hawks in their first chance of the game shortly after coming on for Kyjuon Marsh-Brown.
Then Lucas Rodrigues sped through but was blocked at the last moment by the Rocks defence. Rodrigues ended the move when his cross was hit straight at Dan Lincoln.
Sekajja couldn’t quite latch onto a Whyte chipped pass after neat work between Whyte and Tuck resulted in the move. Malone got there first instead.
A great chance came for Bognor on 30 minutes. Muitt spotted Swallow on the overlap and it was Swallow’s cross that found Whyte unmarked but he could only steer his header wide of an open goal.
Frustrations grew as Muitt was blocked and then on the follow up Whyte ran through and swung a cross in from the byline but no one was there to capitalise.
David Ijaha really should have done better when he struck another chance wide down the other end. His strike from outside the box flew wide of the left post.
Whitehawk were starting to create chances but Rodrigues smacked another attempt high and wide soon after as the hosts used the slope to their advantage.
Rose then hit another with power from wide out on the right. The deflection off Campbell was enough to diver the ball over the bar. Beck was in the box to head the corner back out over the bar in defence with Gold Omotayo lurking.
But on 45 minutes Whitehawk were in the lead. A penalty was awarded after Adebowale was deemed to have pushed the advancing Simon Mensah in the area. Omotayo sent Lincoln the wrong way from the spot, slotting the ball low into the bottom left corner for the lead.
It was nail-biting stuff in the second half as Rodrigues’s cross bounced through a crowded penalty area just two minutes into the restart.
Beck picked out Whyte but his chipped pass rolled out of play, too much for Muitt.
Then on 51 minutes Sekajja’s cross fell to Muitt who hit the ball over the bar. However it wouldn’t have counted due to the offside flag.
Elliot Benyon was blocked from the edge of the box from his chance and then Mensah smacked it on the rebound over the bar.
Bognor were trying. Campbell won a corner on the left but Muitt’s cross was again headed away.
Another great chance for the Rocks came on 58 minutes. Tuck started Bognor on the break. His pass found an onrushing Sekajja who cut the ball back inside to Muitt. With his back to goal and a quick turn, his strike spun up off the crossbar and out.
Tuck then headed wide a Swallow cross, rising highest in the box on 62 minutes.
But Bognor finally equalised on 65 minutes. Following an attacking Whyte run inside the Hawks half, Sekajja’s low ball was deflected towards the back post by Whyte’s advance and Muitt was waiting to pass it into the net with Malone out of position.
Tuck did well combining with Campbell before Swallow found space to run into before blasting well over from 25 yards. It appeared that the ball bounced up suddenly before his strike, sending the ball high over the goal.
On 70 minutes Tuck’s chance was somehow diverted away by Malone then Swallow’s cross to the near post was headed at goal by Sekajja and he forced the goalkeeper into yet another save.
But Bognor took the lead on 72 minutes. Tuck, again the provider, found Muitt with a wonderful pass. Muitt used his pace to beat his marker before chipping the ball confidently over the goalkeeper and into the net.
Lincoln was called into some rare action 75 minutes as he denied Worrall’s cross.
A crucial chance went begging when Sekajja’s neat knock on saw Muitt again one on one with the goalkeeper but, looking for his hat-trick, could only smash it wide of the right post on 78 minutes.
This incident would prove costly as Whitehawk netted an equaliser just a minute later. Mensah ran at the defence and his strike flew under Adebowale and beyond the diving Lincoln and into the bottom right corner.
Thankfully Lincoln was better positioned to save Rodrigues’s cross and Omotayo’s header soon after.
The Rocks defence seemed to stop as Rodrigues’s chance was easily stopped by the Bognor goalkeeper.
On 85 minutes Campbell’s inspired run forced a corner. Muitt’s corner bounced out to Swallow who was blocked before Whyte smacked it over on the rise immediately to end the move.
El-Abd blocked a Omotayo free kick before a Mensah chance was also denied.
Ijaha smashed another strike wide as Whitehawk were on the offensive late on.
A late Bognor corner saw Charman make his return but despite getting onto the back post he was blocked off his advance by another Rocks player, as the ball bounced out of play.
The players will see this as 2 points dropped at Whitehawk due to the amount of chances they had to see out the game. They now look forward to welcoming Leyton Orient in the Buildbase FA Trophy competition to Nyewood Lane on Saturday 13th January, 3pm kick off.
Attendance - 429
Report Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer