Rocks Smash Five Past Whitstable In F.A Cup.
F.A Cup 2nd Q Round Here We Come.
Bognor progressed comfortably in the FA Cup after putting five goals past Whitstable Town at the Belmont.
Goals from Jimmy Muitt (2), Bradley Lethbridge, Dan Smith and Mason Walsh secured Bognor's place in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
News flew around the Belmont that Bognor's Harvey Sparks had left the club. This was unfortunate news for the winger, who impressed when he did feature for the Green Army.
It had also been revealed that Archie Edwards had been released from the club.
New faces were brought in including Charlie Osborne on the bench and full-back Joe Tomlinson, loaned in from Brighton.
Marley Ridge was also missing as Havant blocked his selection to avoid being cup tied.
Bognor were looking to progress in the qualifying first round of the FA Cup against the Oyster Men in Kent.
Jordan Wright's early cross was headed away by Tommy Block straight from kick off.
A long throw by Dan Lincoln saw Calvin Davies latch onto the ball on the right and his cross towards Dan Smith was intercepted by Dan Eason in the Whitstable Town goal.
On 6 minutes Bognor took the lead when Davies’ long ball over defence saw Jimmy Muitt pounce beyond the defence before hitting the bouncing ball confidently over Eason and into the net in a great move.
Then Whitstable made the forward pass before a left side cross found Jai McKinlay who diverted his header well over the bar.
Bognor could have scored again on ten minutes when Doug Tuck combined with Muitt who struck over the bar.
Then Joe Tomlinson struck one as he rushed in from the left hand side but his chance was well saved by Eason soon after.
Bognor had to deal with Wright's crossing in the early stages as James Morrish couldn't quite get to the ball which was bouncing in between defence.
But Bognor scored again on 22 minutes. A low freekick by Harvey Whyte was played into the area for Muitt who got there before the defender and then despatching the ball low into the right side of the net beyond the outstretched Eason.
A great chance for the hosts saw Wright's cross find Tom Walmsley who received it and instantly smashed it goalwards and forcing Lincoln into a parried save before Davies shepherded the ball out of play.
Muitt released Davies to take a freekick from a tight angle.
He hit it high at goal and it was Eason that pushed it over with his right hand.
Then Davies was denied again by the goalkeeper from 30 yards as his dipping strike forced the keeper into action with a dive to his left to push the ball out again.
Eason denied Smith a strike on the turn after a short pass into the area on 35 minutes but he confidently saved that from the Pompey loanee. The goalkeeper was certainly upping his game following the early goals from the Green Army.
Then Davies's cross fell to Muitt who smashed it high and wide on 38 minutes.
Then a long ball down the other end saw Ricky Freeman turn to shoot instantly but his attempt flew over the bar from the edge of the box.
Smith committed the goalkeeper into a save soon after. This, following good work from Bradley Lethbridge whose advance had broken down just before.
Early in the second half Tomlinson's run was spotted by Tuck who passed to him with a floated chip on the left but after doing the hard work the Brighton loanee's cross left much to be desired and was easily cleared.
Muitt also forced the goalkeeper into a save before Bognor would score a third. The goal came on 49 minutes when an unselfish Muitt cut the ball back for Lethbridge in the heart of the box who slotted it low into the bottom corner.
Then Lethbridge, Muitt and Smith were all denied with low strikes soon after as Bognor were all over Whitstable.
Bognor made it four on 55 minutes as Lethbridge found Smith inside the area and he ran on before shooting the ball low into the bottom left corner as the game was all over with over half an hour to go.
Tommy Scutt replaced Chad Field on 57 minutes.
Then Lethbridge was the provider with his cross to the back post but Tomlinson’s header flew wide whilst the linesman had his flag up for offside.
Muitt used his pace to beat his marker before cutting the ball back to Scutt who also confidently made his way to the edge of the of box before letting fly with a curling shot which was parried away by Eason before Tomlinson couldn't quite follow it up.
On 65 minutes Lethbridge was replaced by Mason Walsh as Bognor could afford to rest key players for upcoming league games, starting with Carshalton Athletic away next week.
Scutt got the ball in the melee before striking it but again Eason denied the chance on 67 minutes.
Bognor got their fifth goal on 73 minutes. A square pass from the left found Walsh who let the ball come across his body before smacking it high into the top right corner, another fantastic finish.
Corey Heath replaced Wood on 74 minutes, who didn't have much to do in the back line all afternoon.
Then Heath was shown a yellow card for a needless late tackle near the touchline with his studs raised on 80 minutes.
Smith then found Muitt with a pass and the forward made his way into space before curling a shot towards the top right corner. He was after his hat-trick but Eason pushed it away with his left hand tipping it around the goal neatly on 82 minutes.
An ironic cheer emanated from the Whitstable fans behind the goal as they won their first corner of the half. But the hosts headed wide from the corner as they rose highest in the box but the final whistle sounded to send Rocks into the next round.
They now will find out who they face in the following round on Monday.
The Rocks return to league action when they travel to Carshalton Athletic on Saturday 15th September with a 3pm kick off.
Match Report by Liam Goodley
Report Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer