Rocks Lose Last Game In The League.
By David Seabourne
Rocks Finished in 14th
Bognor finished fourteenth in the Bostik Premier League as they lost their final game of the season against playoff chasers Folkestone Invicta at the Fullicks Stadium.
However, Folkestone finished in sixth position even after this win, because Worthing fell to a 4-2 defeat at home to Merstham who climbed into the final play-off position on the last day.
Both Mason Walsh and Doug Tuck were missing from the Bognor line up with Jimmy Muitt starting the game on the bench.
Joshua McCormick at right back and Emmett Dunn in midfield both got opportunities with Jimmy Wild maintaining his place alongside a returning Leon Maloney.
Richard Gilot gave away a freekick on the left with Scott Heard going to ground. Heard however blasted his own freekick straight across the area and out of play.
It was very much a midfield tussle as Dunn conceded a freekick but Michael Everitt's ball in was poor and broke down for an offside decision. Then Johan Ter Horst's shot flew wide of the right post.
Wild was back to head out a corner and then another cross from Folkestone after Keaton Wood couldn’t keep the ball in.
Wild held the ball up well before turning and finding Maloney with a good pass. But he was blocked off following his shot.
Another corner was awarded to the hosts as Wood was put under more pressure on the right. The corner was floated in and Everitt headed it wide with Dan Lincoln flailing a right arm at it.
Lincoln had to come out of his area to boot the ball out of play with Ira Jackson in hot pursuit.
This came before Wild held up the ball before crossing it low onto the back post but Tim Roberts easily gathered.
Reece Myles-Meekums found Harvey Whyte with a cross but his first-time strike was blocked before his second was skied over the bar on the follow up.
Finn O'Mara headed out of play with Roberts wanting to gather it in a mix up at the back. Whyte's corner found Chad Field but he glanced his header agonisingly wide.
Following this it was Maloney's twisting run that saw him beat O'Mara but when he powered to trip the striker up the referee instead gave a freekick for simulation and a booking for Maloney on 22 minutes.
Kieran McCann did well to beat his man before getting the ball across the face of goal but no other Invicta players were up in position with him.
Good work from Dunn saw Rocks spring on the attack and his long run opened up a chance. He passed onto Myles-Meekums who pegged it back to Joe Tomlinson but he struck it well over the bar from 25 yards out.
O'Mara did very well to drive the ball across the box from the left on the rise and it was Ter Horst in the heart of the box who tapped home on the volley beyond Lincoln. But the goal was disallowed for offside.
Ter Horst was blocked with another close range chance before Heard's rolling shot went straight at Lincoln from the edge of the box.
Tomlinson won a freekick and Whyte took it but it was easily cleared away.
Down the other end it was Jackson who had a low and hard shot but Lincoln tipped that chance around the left post on 36 minutes. The corner on the follow up was headed wide at the near post.
Bognor failed to deal with a lofted pass into the box and then the ball fell out to Jackson again but his shot was only just deflected narrowly over the bar.
Heard’s corners were causing Bognor problems as Lincoln had to punch out another driven cross from the right side soon after.
Great link up play saw Maloney cut down by Jackson after running down the right and combining with Wild. Jackson got a yellow card and then Maloney's curling attempt flew just over the crossbar.
Heard set Folkestone on the attack. He found Ade Yusuff who committed Lincoln into a parried save out to the same player who chipped it high over the crossbar, and head in hands, he knew he should have done better just before half time.
Ashton Leigh and Jimmy Muitt replaced McCormick and Maloney as the second half kicked off with a double change for Bognor.
Dunn poked the ball onto Leigh who brought the ball down nicely for Wild who hit the ball instantly on the turn but it was always rising over the bar on 49 minutes.
Mykes-Meekums was enjoying some space on the left and he found Muitt on the right but his bouncing shot was well saved by the goalkeeper.
Dunn came off for Tommy Scutt for Bognor on 56 minutes.
Tomlinson crossed it in from the right and Wild missed the header before it fell to Leigh on the back post. He hit it first time high towards goal but it was acrobatically tipped over by Roberts.
Good play from Leigh saw him find Myles-Meekums who cut inside before curling it from outside the box onto the crossbar. Muitt's follow up strike was saved as well but the offside flag was up.
A chipped ball forward saw Josh Vincent's diving header from inside the box hit the side netting.
Scutt got the ball over to Muitt before he passed it back to Tomlinson but he leant back when he struck it over the bar from outside the box.
Bognor were hit with a long ball from Vincent which opened up Bognor with Field the only man back. It was Jackson was who ran on and composing himself he slotted it beyond Lincoln low into the net on 68 minutes. A Bognor defender on the line couldn’t stop the ball going in.
A corner from Heard picked out Vincent who curled it wonderfully on the volley with his boot but luckily for Bognor it flew wide of the post on 72 minutes.
Muitt did well to cross the ball onto Wild who controlled the ball before turning and shooting unfortunately straight at Roberts on 79 minutes. Wild shot on the turn with his left foot but again Roberts was equal to it moments later.
On the counter Yusuff committed Lincoln into a save, using his legs. And then from yet another Heard corner it was Callum Davies who somehow missed from point blank range, spinning his deflected chance over the bar.
Leigh cleared the ball off the line as Jackson had put the ball with a brave block from the full back.
Vincent swung in another cross from the right before Davies spun his header over the bar with a deflection.
Then Bognor sprung on the attack in response though with Scutt finding Muitt and then he crossed it for Wild but hitting it first time he smashed it high over the bar.
Wood went into the book for a late challenge on Jackson.
The same player curled the freekick over the bar. Lincoln did very well to push out another header from yet another Heard corner before pinball action saw Field and Wood have to hack it away.
Bognor were able to keep out Invicta for the remainder of the game but will be disappointed not to pick up any points here.
They now have the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton where they will take on Burgess Hill Town in the final on Tuesday 7th May at 7.45pm.
Match Report by Liam Goodley
Report courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer
Sussex Senior Cup Final ticket sale time.
Mon 29th April - 1230-1430 (Academy game 1pm KO
Priced are: adults £10, concessions £5 (65+ and students with valid student ID card), children £3 (16 and under).
Rocks supporters will be seated in the West Lower Main Stand.
Coach To Sussex Senior Cup Final.
Price £10.00 for supporters club members. £15.00 Non members .
Meet at Nyewood Lane at 5.45pm
Please call David Robinsonon on 07876497929 .