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First Team - Match centre

Bognor Regis Town
Merstham
B Lethbridge (14'), C Field (30'), D Smith (36')
Full time
Unknown (12')
Tue 14 Aug 19:45 - The Bostik Football League - Premier Division Attendance 502

Rocks Get First Home Win Of The Season.

Rocks Are 6th In League.

Goals by Pompey duo Bradley Lethbridge and Dan Smith - the latter an early goal-of-the-season contender - helped Bognor to a 3-1 win over Merstham in their Bostik premier home opener. Chad Field also poked one in as the Rocks recovered from the shock of an early goal to lead 3-1 by the interval.

The second half didn't live up to the excitement of the first but Bognor held on reasonably comfortably to claim their first win of the season and go sixth in the table. It was a first home game back in the Isthmian premier for Bognor following their one season in National South.

The Rocks began their 2018-19 campaign with a 2-2 draw away to Haringey while Merstham started with a 3-0 home defeat to Tonbridge.

Merstham began strongly, dominating possession in the first few minutes and carving out a couple of half-chances.

They were playing almost all the football and it was no real surprise when they went 1-0 up on 12 minutes, Richard Pingling running at the defence and releasing full-back Gus Sow, who ran on, drew Dan Lincoln and slid a nice finish past him.

Sow threatened a quick second two minutes later when he got away down the right but his ball into the box was defended.

Two minutes later Lethbridge marked his Rocks debut with a goal, sidefooting past Chris Haigh after Calvin Davies played him in on goal.

The balance of play had evened out and after the two goals it was settling into a kennly-fought contest.

A brilliant save by Lincoln stopped Merstham going 2-1 up on 24 minutes as Tom Howard hit a shot goalwards, and then Pingling's follow-up was stopped on the line by Davies.

The resulting corner was fired goalwards but was blocked inadvertently by a Merstham player.

Lenny Beaney was lucky not to be booked for taking out Harvey Whyte 30 yards from goal and when the free-kick came in the keeper couldn't hold it and Chad Field was in the right place to touch it in - almost apologetically.

It had been a great turn-around by Bognor after a tricky opening 12 minutes but could they go to get more goals? They very nearly did as Davies crossed after a quick free-kick by Doug Tuck and Smith should have buried a header from five yards after Lethbridge headed on the ball in. I

mmediately Smith fired over on the half-volley after a Lethbridge cross from the left - and Merstham looked rattled.

On 36 minutes it was 3-1 and it was Smith who scored a sublime goal.

A lightning-quick Rocks break saw a perfect low ball through the middle by Tuck fall to Smith, who raced on to it and spotted Haigh off his line, chipping him to the delight of the home fans.

It could take a bit of beating in the goal-of-the-season stakes.

Edwards was booked as Merstham went on the attack to try to recover from the blows they had taken.

HT 3-1

The Rocks began the second half as they'd finished the first - on the offensive.

A couple of corners put Merstham on the back foot but came to nothing - while the visitors had a couple of forays forward themselves that gave the Bognor defence something to think about.

Marley Ridge came on for his home debut, replacing Edwards nine minutes into the second half.

Muitt hurt his foot in a block tackle as he went to shoot, and looked in some pain, requiring treatment from the physio.

He was okay to continue.

It was still an absorbing game with the Rocks doing most of the attacking, and Muitt, Lethbridge and Smith were all doing their share of the work in unsettling the Merstham defence.

Merstham replaced Kershaney Samuels with Daniel Bennett on 64.

The game was becoming a bit stretched with some ragged passes by both sides as the Rocks tried in vain to finish Merstham off and the visitors looked for a second to set up a big finish.

On 73 minutes Tommy Scutt came on for Muitt, perhaps struggling a little after his earlier injury.

Lincoln made a point-blank save from Howard as Merstham got in behind the defence with a sweeping move - the keeper, who only committed to the cause for another season last week, was certainly earning his money.


Merstham brought on Albert Lubango for Reece Hall.Lethbridge wasted a great chance to make it 4-1 on 78 minutes, sending a sidefooted shot well over the bar from 18 yards.

Lethbridge appeared to be poleaxed off the ball in a Bognor break and when play was stopped, after consulting both linesmen, Merstham's Harry Osborne was booked.

Another quick Bognor counter-attack led by Lethbridge ended in Scutt sending a shot goalwards but it was too close to the keeper.

There were no further scares at the back for Bognor and if anyone was going to score the game's fifth goal, it was the Rocks - but it wouldn't come.

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Edwards (Ridge), Tuck, Wood, Field, Block, Whyte, Smith, Muitt (Scutt), Lethbridge. Subs: Sparks, Heath, Carroll.

Merstham: Haigh, Sow, Harrison, Osborne, Cook, Cooper, Beaney, Howard, Pingling, Samuels, Hall. Subs: Bird, Bennett, Lubango, Kavanagh, Henriques.

Match Report by Steve Bone

Report Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer

The FA Respect: We Only Do Positive

Key moments

12:00
Goal Goal for Merstham
14:00
Goal Bradley Lethbridge scores for Bognor Regis Town
30:00
Goal Chad Field scores for Bognor Regis Town
36:00
Goal Dan Smith scores for Bognor Regis Town

Highlights

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90:00 Sub On
Harvey Sparks is substituted on for Bognor Regis Town
90:00 Sub Off
Bradley Lethbridge is substituted off for Bognor Regis Town
82:00 Yellow Card
Yellow card for Merstham
78:00 Sub Off
Substitution off for Bognor Regis Town
78:00 Sub On
Substitution on for Merstham
75:00 Sub Off
Substitution off for Merstham
75:00 Sub On
Substitution on for Merstham
73:00 Sub On
Thomas Scutt is substituted on for Bognor Regis Town
73:00 Sub Off
James Muitt is substituted off for Bognor Regis Town
64:00 Sub On
Substitution on for Merstham
64:00 Sub Off
Substitution off for Merstham
53:00 Sub On
Marley Ridge is substituted on for Bognor Regis Town
53:00 Sub Off
Archie Edwards is substituted off for Bognor Regis Town
End of period 1
38:00 Yellow Card
Archie Edwards is yellow carded for Bognor Regis Town
36:00 Goal 3 - 1
Dan Smith scores for Bognor Regis Town
30:00 Goal 2 - 1
Chad Field scores for Bognor Regis Town
14:00 Goal 1 - 1
Bradley Lethbridge scores for Bognor Regis Town
12:00 Goal 0 - 1
Goal for Merstham
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Bognor Regis Town
  • Merstham
  • 0
  • Goal 12:00'
  • Bradley Lethbridge Goal 14:00'
  • Chad Field Goal 30:00'
  • Dan Smith Goal 36:00'
  • Archie Edwards Yellow Card 38:00'
  • Marley Ridge Sub On 53:00'
  • Archie Edwards Sub Off 53:00'
  • Sub On 64:00'
  • Sub Off 64:00'
  • Thomas Scutt Sub On 73:00'
  • James Muitt Sub Off 73:00'
  • Sub On 75:00'
  • Sub Off 75:00'
  • Sub Off 78:00'
  • Sub On 78:00'
  • Yellow Card 82:00'
  • Harvey Sparks Sub On 90:00'
  • Bradley Lethbridge Sub Off 90:00'

Team selection

Lincoln, Daniel Lincoln, Daniel
Edwards, Archie Edwards, Archie
Davies, Calvin Davies, Calvin
Smith, Dan Smith, Dan
Field, Chad Field, Chad
Tuck, Douglas Tuck, Douglas
Wood, Keaton Wood, Keaton
Block, Tommy Block, Tommy
Lethbridge, Bradley Lethbridge, Bradley
Whyte, Harvey Whyte, Harvey
Muitt, James Muitt, James

League round up

Other Premier Division results

0
2
Haringey Borough
Corinthian-Casuals
1
3
Folkestone Invicta
Dorking Wanderers
2
0
Margate
2
1
Bishop's Stortford
1
1
Burgess Hill Town
Wingate & Finchley
1
1
AFC Hornchurch

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Tonbridge Angels 7 19
2. Worthing 7 14
3. Enfield Town 7 13
4. Bognor Regis Town 7 13
5. Folkestone Invicta 7 13
6. Dorking Wanderers 7 10
7. Margate 7 10

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