Time Is Running Out For The Rocks .
By David Seabourne
Still Second From Bottom
Bognor fell to a two-goal defeat as goals at either ends of the match killed off the spirit in a forgettable fixture at a freezing cold Nyewood Lane.
A long ball forward by Manny Adebowale was too much for Stefan Ljubicic in the early going for Bognor.
A similar cross-field ball from the left by Keaton Wood saw Harvey Whyte on the run but again the ball went out of play.
Harry Honesty won the first corner of the day for East Thurrock.
The short corner by Montel Ageymang to Reece Harris saw the latter swing the ball in but it was eventually defended and cleared.
East Thurrock were enjoying a number of corners in the first 10 minutes but all of which all were being cleared back out again.
But, as has been the case on many occasions this season, the visitors took an early lead on 6 minutes. Sam Higgins put the ball in nicely for Reece Harris to slot in at the near post with a sharp header.
Then Sami El-Abd gave the ball away cheaply and then Higgins hit an ambitious shot from distance but Dan Lincoln was equal to it.
Ryan Sammons tried his luck from distance as well with a strike along the deck but Lincoln denied him with a save down to his right on 12 minutes.
On 18 minutes Adebowale knocked a chance wide of the left post after a header from El-Abd bounced to him kindly in the box. Bognor's best chance of the game so far.
Ljubucic threaded it through to Richard Gilot who passed onto Jimmy Muitt. The striker poked the ball beyond goalkeeper Lucas Lidakevicious but couldn’t quite get to it to beat the defender.
Then Muitt's corner was headed over by Keaton Wood in the follow up.
Lincoln pulled out a fantastic save to deny Harry Honesty with a low strike, pushing it around the right post on 23 minutes.
Ljubicic won a rare corner on the left for Bognor. Muitt took it on 31 minutes. Nothing came of it but a freekick was awarded on the other side. But Muitt's swirling freekick was missed by Ljubicic in the air.
On 42 minutes the loose ball appeared to be El-Abd's but instead he committed a foul and a freekick was awarded. El-Abd received a yellow card for the challenge as the half came to a sad end.
Play seemed more positive in the early stages of the second half.
Ljubicic had a shot blocked from inside the box.
Then Muitt’s resulting corner was met by the diving head of Kristian Campbell but his chance was easily saved by the goalkeeper.
Adebowale's long ball over the defence saw Campbell go to ground but the ball bounced through to Lidakevicius as the referee ignored the penalty claims.
Joe Christou played in Michael Clark and then his pass back to Christou saw him beat his marker before shooting across the goal and narrowly wide of the left post on 56 minutes.
Ageymang's corner was punched clear by Lincoln as Bognor struggled to get the ball forward on numerous occasions.
Ollie Pearce replaced an under-par Adebowale on 59 minutes.
Bognor sprang on the counter attack in a rare move forward.
Pearce cut the ball back to Muitt who turned before hitting the ball low and forcing the goalkeeper into a diving save on 65 minutes.
Muitt was clearly impeded by Sammons on the right leading up to this and the referee allowed play on and brought it back for a yellow card for the visiting full back on 69 minutes.
Then on 71 minutes Pearce's floated corner eventually fell to Muitt who back-heeled it back straight at the goalkeeper.
On 72 minutes Ben Swallow replaced Gilot for Bognor as the management saw that changes were needed.
Bognor had two great chances to score on 73 minutes. Muitt cut the ball back for Pearce who slammed it at goal and forced a parried save from the goalkeeper. Then Doug Tuck on the rebound was also blocked off.
Whyte went in the book for a challenge that looked as though he won the ball on 81 minutes.
Rocks final substitution saw Ibra Sekajja on for Ljubicic on 85 minutes.
Higgins went into the book for time wasting during his own freekick.
Christou's strike from the set play flew well over the bar though.
Late on Higgins went to ground in the box. A penalty was awarded despite calls from the home support claiming he dived.
This came shortly after Higgins had appeared to time waste again, running away with the ball. Higgins slammed home the ball high into the net inside stoppage time to end a miserable game for Bognor.
Bognor (3-5-2): Lincoln, Whyte, Campbell, Tuck, Adebowale (Pearce 59), El-Abd, Gilot (Swallow 72), Block, Muitt, Ljubicic (Sekajja 85), Wood
Sub’s not Used: Charman, Scutt
Attendance – 402
Match Report by Liam Goodley
Report Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer