A Very Frustrating Game At Nyewood Lane.
Rocks Draw At Home.
Bognor had to settle for a point after failing to turn possession and chances into goals on a frustrating afternoon at Nyewood Lane.
It's far from being a disastrous result, but the Rocks will reflect with a few regrets on a day when they were determined to bounce back from the midweek defeat at home to Folkestone with victory.
The draw shifts Bognor down a place to fourth in the Bostik premier table, and they now have a week of road trips and cup games ahead of them with Hythe the destination in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday and Bracknell in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
The Rocks began on the front foot with first Jimmy Muitt then full-back Joe Tomlinson putting the visiting keeper Henry Newcombe under pressure.
Mason Walsh got in behind the Gate defence thanks to a Tuck pass and when he burst towards goal, a defender's touch and the post got in the way of his shot, leading to the first of a couple of early corners.
Margate's first effort at goal was a shot from Franny Collin that was easy for Dan Lincoln – then at the other end Muitt's trickery set up Tuck but he volleyed it out of the ground.
Collin found space for a shot from 25 yards but it was well over the bar.
Lincoln had a scare when Lee Prescott's volley beat Lincoln and struck the base of the post, before Margate full-back Thomas Wynter went down with a serious-looking ankle injury which occurred with no-one else near him.
Wynter had to go off – his injury later confirmed as a snapped Achilles - and was replaced by Jack Paxman.
Tuck played a pass for Muitt to run into on the edge of the box but he lost his footing at the crucial moment.On 23 minutes Muitt went for the spectacular after Tomlinson's long ball found him, attempting to lob the keeper from 25 yards – but it was well off-target.
Tomlinson was harshly booked for bringing down George Brown as the winger tried to get away down the right.
Ben Swift was left free at a right-sided Gate corner but his header was over the bar.
Collin was next to clear the bar – and by some distance – with a long-range free-kick.
Brighton and Hove Albion full-back is loving life at Bognor Lethbridge curled a cross into Walsh near the penalty spot but he had to stretch for it and his contact sent it wide.
The Kent side found the woodwork again when Thomas Mills let fly from 25 yards, the shot beating Lincon and coming back off the bar.
Immediately at the other end Lethbridge surged forward and belted a shot beyond Newcombe and only just wide.
Chris Barnard went into the book for stopping a mazy Walsh run rather crudely.
Then Lethbridge made the ball stick to his feet despite the attentions of two defenders 20 yards and walloped a shot inches wide with the keeper watching it.
Prescott picked up a yellow card for a cynical foul that stopped Lethbridge's charge forward.
Bognor were straight on the attack after the break and when a corner was played to Tomlinson outside the box, his goal-bound shot forced the best save of the afternoon to date from Newcombe.
The Rocks were close to an opener on 52 minutes when Lethbridge's blocked shot fell for Walsh ten yards out.
His attempt was blocked and Tomlinson's follow-up trickled across the goalmouth and out for a goal kick.
Lethbridge was single-handedly taking the game to Margate and one run saw him beat three men before winning a corner.
That led to him having space for a shot from eight yards from a tight angle but it grazed the top of the bar, to the visible frutration of boss Jack Pearce on the touchline.
Walsh was booked for a foul in the centre circle.
He almost made up for it with a dribble and shot that Newcombe had to get down to sharply.
Alex Flisher replaced Jordan Robins for Margate.
Then another intricate Rocks passing move was wasted by a poor finish by Tuck.
Jimmy Wild made an entrance from the bench on 63 minutes, replacing Walsh.
Brown brought a great leaping save from Lincoln on 66 minutes after working his way free down the left and breaking into the box.
Prescott fluffed the follow-up, hitting it well wide.
It was getting a bit frenetic in attack for Bognor, Tommy Block the next to shoot off-target when a move through the middle was played back to him.
Taylor was fed the ball on the edge of the six-yard box in a Margate attack but Joe Dandy held him off.
It was attack after attack from Bognor but despite some decent balls into the box they just couldn't test the keeper.
Both sides made a change with 15 minutes left. Steve Okoh came on in place of Brown for Margate while Tommy Scutt replaced Block for the Rocks.
Prescott's cross gave Collin a free header, who was given a corner after an apparent deflection as he nodded wide.
Mills was sent off with nine minutes to go after hacking down Wild when the striker was through on goal.
The free-kick was blocked and eventually claimed by Newcombe, although a melee ensued with four or five players getting involved after a couple of Rocks players had challenged the keeper.
Whyte's low ball across the face of goal after Davies' clever pass was hacked away.
A minute later the Rocks managed three attempts at goal in one attack – two were blocked and one was wide.
Muitt was next to be played into a good position but his cross went behind.
He felt it was a corner and earned a booking for telling the officials so.
As four additional minutes were indicated, Tomlinson's sidefooter tricked wide.
More attacks came from the home side - but it just wouldn't go in - and hearts were in mouths in the final minute of injury time when Lincoln had to claim a free-kick from out wide - the kick given the wrong way after Whyte had been fouled.
Match Report by Steve Bone
Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer.