Rocks Lose Last Away Game In National League.
By David Seabourne
Two Home Games To Go.
Rocks were beaten soundly away again as they let four goals in, conceding two in either half of the match against a strong Oxford City team.
Bognor's final away game of the season saw them travel to Marsh Lane to take on the Hoops who have pushed further up the league thanks to recent results.
Justin Amaluzor and Tommy Block moved to the bench as Ibra Sekajja, Tommy Scutt and Ollie Pearce all got starts.
Sixteen Rocks fans packed the coach, plus more made their own way there to see the team in the all maroon kits.
Godfrey Poku’s early curling ball into the area bounced harmlessly to Dan Lincoln who gathered the it in his penalty area.
Tommy Scutt laid the ball off to Pearce on the right but his high cross towards the back post was headed away by Frankie Musonda.
Then Calvin Davies picked out Pearce on the left. His bouncing cross was knocked neatly back into the path of Sekajja by Scutt but Sekajja was blocked with his strike on 7 minutes.
Keaton Wood gave a corner away on the right. Rob Sinclair took the corner but his cross to the near post was hacked away by Harvey Whyte.
Poku won a freekick on the run just outside the penalty area on 12 minutes. It was ex-Rock Joe Oastler who curled the ball over the bar direct from the freekick.
Sam Nombe received the ball inside the box and smacked one at goal but Lincoln parried it back out. On the rebound Matt Paterson followed it up with his low strike which bounced off the left post on 14 minutes.
Sekajja won a freekick after he was clearly fouled. The freekick was taken by Swallow but it was poor and cleared out again.
Scutt picked out the run of Pearce on the right flank but his dipping freekick went out of play.
Doug Tuck lost the ball to Nombe who passed it through to Paterson in space and he drew another fine diving save from Lincoln. The goalkeeper had to rise highest to punch away the corner.
Good work from Whyte saw him run past his marker before playing it to Pearce. The striker placed the ball out wide to Sekajja who cut in from the right but his low strike was denied by Craig King who dived down to his left to stop it.
Davies picked out Swallow who cut inside from the right and had a shot denied high in front of his goal by King.
Scutt played the ball square out to Swallow on the right and again the winger forced the goalkeeper into a save with his low strike on 28 minutes.
Tuck lost the ball on Bognor's touchline as Eddie Jones passed it back to Nombe but the cross flew through the penalty area and wide on 32 minutes.
Sinclair went to ground in the box under a challenge by Gary Charman and he won a penalty when the ball found the net. But the linesman had his flag up for offside which confused the spectators and indeed the Bognor players.
Paterson slotted the ball away from the spot high into the net on 40 minutes to give Oxford the lead.
On 43 minutes Paterson had scored again. Following a cross from the right by Sinclair which fell to Nombe who’s strike was deflected to Paterson who smashed it home from deep inside the box.
A forward pass by Paterson saw Nombe get there but his run was shut down by an outrushing Lincoln who did just enough to deflect it away.
On 50 minutes Bognor won the ball in Oxford's half but Pearce's shot whizzed over the bar after his short run.
The fans were starting the chants behind the goal as Bognor really needed to create something early in the second half.
Then Scutt's ball out wide to Pearce who slammed the ball low back across the area and King got in the way.
Reece Fleet, who was controlling the midfield well for the hosts, then smacked a shot into the turf with Lincoln saving it as Bognor were second to the ball 80% of the time.
Pearce was replaced by Justin Amaluzor on 57 minutes as a sudden deluge of rain began to pour down.
Then Poku squared the ball onto the left before Freddie Grant let fly with a left footed strike which flew high over the bar.
A ball down the left saw Paterson run onto it. His chipped cross was chested down by Davies but he was closed down quickly and Nombe hit one on the slide. Lincoln had to push the ball back out from the scuffed strike as the ball fell kindly for Nombe.
Davies cut the ball back inside to Whyte who unleashed a shot from 22 yards but his attempt bounced wide of the left post on 65 minutes.
During a good spell for Bognor Swallow’s freekick was low and cleared out to Davies who hit the ball early on the rise but his attempt whizzed wide of the right post on 69 minutes.
Poku was replaced by Mamadou Fofana on 70 minutes for the Hoops.
Davies was fouled and Nombe went in the book as Rocks won a corner from the resulting freekick.
The corner bounced out to Richard Gilot whose cross back into the box was easily gathered in the area by the goalkeeper.
Jimmy Muitt replaced Swallow on 73 minutes and Zac McEachran replaced the impressive Nombe as well for the hosts.
Gilot's cross fell to Tuck but he was blocked with his strike and then Amaluzor couldn't put it away on the rebound as the goalkeeper came to collect it.
On 77 minutes Oxford extended their lead. Davies lost the ball deep in Bognor's half and Musonda capitalised by winning the ball and firing it off a Bognor player and high into the net beyond an outstretched Lincoln.
Tommy Block replaced Gilot on 78 minutes as Bognor were struggling to get back into this.
Block was instantly involved and also lost the ball to Paterson but fortunately his chipped shot flowed wide of the post as Lincoln had it covered.
Fleet was replaced by Kavan Cotter for Oxford on 82 minutes.
It was all going wrong for Bognor as Sekajja committed a foul throw on the left side.
Bognor had a lot of the possession at the end and really should have created more chances. But the players failed to eek out any kind of clear chance on goal with Oxford defending bravely and resolutely.
On 89 minutes McEachran capitalised as he sped through and Bognor were outnumbered. He threaded in Paterson unmarked and then he cut the ball back across the box on a plate for Sinclair who slotted in at the back post for the Hoops.
Gary Charman required treatment at the end as he clashed with a player in a challenge. He had to leave play meaning Rocks were down to ten men. But it was all over for Bognor who now have just two games left.
They play for pride in the final two home games with the first at the rearranged Chelmsford City game on Tuesday 24th April at 7.45pm.
Admission Prices will be:
All Under 18s £2.00
Match Report by Liam Goodley
Report Courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer