Rocks Beat Local Rivals Burgess Hill
Rocks move to play-off position.
Battling Rocks beat Burgess Hill Town away with a Jimmy Muitt double in this Sussex derby at Leylands Park. Muitt netted from the penalty spot first early in the second half before scoring again late on the break to push his team back into a play-off position in the Bostik Premier League.
Bradley Lethbridge was missing from the line up due to injury as Rocks travelled to the Green Elephant Stadium for this local match – the fourth in the space of less than a month.
However, Freddie Read and Leon Maloney both got starts for Bognor as they returned for their next loan spell for Bognor.
Mason Walsh did well to run inside the box but Burgess Hill surrounded him to block his low attempt off the line after good defending from Joe Tomlinson down the other end.
Following a corner it was Gary Elphick’s overhead kick that flew over the bar as Burgess Hilll Town started brightly.
Tom Cadman's left footed cross picked out Marco Figuero Correia who curled it over the bar. Then Charlie Bennett's turn and instant shot flew over the crossbar as it was all Hillians in the early going.
Walsh did all the hard work during a better spell for Bognor but his low cross was cleared away as Maloney was waiting in the area.
Following a throw in it was Walsh's cross that picked out Muitt but he nodded the ball over on 19 minutes.
Tomlinson had to defend again as Bennett was causing problems as the ball spun up dangerously in the area. He used his calm head to shepherd the ball off down the slope.
James Richmond nodded down a corner for the hosts and it fell to Bennett but he blasted it wide when really he should have got it on target.
Then Doug Tuck threaded the ball out to Walsh on the overlap before his cross bounced out to Theo Widdrington but from 25 yards he struck it over.
Then Freddie Read won it in Hillians territory and his short pass to Maloney saw him turn but his shot again curled over.
Richmond headed a Michael Wilson corner wide when he rose highest soon after.
Before Burgess Hill gave it away to Walsh who ran cross the defence before striking it low with his right foot, but he rolled it wide of the left post.
Pat Harding did well to win the ball in the host’s half before committing Dan Lincoln into a save.
Then Walsh ran back to whip in across onto the head of Muitt on the back post and his header was pushed away by Josh James who dived down to his right to save it on 40 minutes.
Walsh was blocked off with his chance before Muitt did all the hard work before blasting it over the bar from the edge of the box.
Lincoln punched clear the corner by Wilson but the referee had blown for a foul in the box on the goalkeeper.
Cadman was replaced by Tolulope Jonah on 53 minutes.
A penalty was awarded to Bognor on 56 minutes. Jonah, who had only just come on, tripping up Maloney with his back to goal in the area. Muitt stepped up to slot the ball and send the goalkeeper the wrong way to put Bognor into the lead.
Wilson was replaced by Billy Barker on 58 minutes. Correia was also replaced by Farrell Ryder on 60 minutes for Burgess Hill.
Then Maloney did well to run down the right, beating his defender before crossing. The ball flashed across the goalmouth with Walsh the closest. All it needed was a touch with James out of position.
Then Dan Choules went into the book for a foul on Muitt but Widdrington's curling freekick bounced harmlessly wide of the goal.
Widdrington pulled up straight after striking the ball with a hamstring problem. He was therefore replaced by Ed Sanders on 63 minutes.
Maloney received the ball on the right before he blasted over the bar following a quick run on the right side of the box.
Bognor failed to clear their lines and the ball bounced to Ryder but his strike curled wide of the right post from the edge of the area.
Ryder blasted over the bar again shortly after. This followed a chance from Bognor as Walsh sped down the left but the final pass bounced through to the goalkeeper off a defender with Muitt in support.
Gary Charman was clattered and fell awkwardly on his arm but he had to come off and was replaced by Tommy Scutt. A shoulder injury the apparent problem.
Scutt stubbed one at goal which was easily saved following a long ball from Lincoln after defending a freekick in end to end action.
Walsh’s strike was stopped by James after a freekick saw Richmond receive a booking. This was for a poor challenge by the defender on Muitt.
Lincoln had to dive to save from an Alex Samizadeh strike from 25 yards and then managed to punch clear the corner.
Maloney was replaced by Jimmy Wild on 85 minutes.
Muitt went into the book for kicking the ball out of play as Bognor were in the attack.
Wild was superb having to deal with two long range throw ins from Jonah and other crosses from the right flank as soon as he came on.
And Lincoln made a wonderful save down to his right to deny Ryder from point blank range to keep Bognor ahead.
Eight minutes were added onto stoppage time as Rocks had to hold on with Burgess Hill piling the pressure on.
But Bognor kept going and hard work on the left flank paid off when Muitt was set through on goal unmarked before slotting low beyond James with seconds left.
An impressive second half meant Rocks now sit in fifth place as they battle on to try to reach the play-offs.
Attendance - 508
Match report by Liam Goodley
Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer.