Bognor stormed to a five goal win away to Wingate & Finchley with goals from Tommy Leigh, Dan Smith with two, Tyrell Mitford and Jimmy Muitt all on the score sheet. As is the trend at the current moment, all of the best play and goals came in the second half.
Rocks welcomed back Joe Dandy to the team after returning from a virus. Mitford also got a start following his goal at the Horsham 1-1 draw at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday night. James Crane was missing from the line up due to being at a wedding.
Bognor were in search of their first league win of the 2019/20 season at a ground where they managed to get a 2-0 win last season.
Ahmet Rifat smashed an early chance in the second minute at goal on the rise but it was easily stopped by Charlie Searle. Then Ashton Leigh's cross from the left was denied by Shane Gore in the Wingate goal.
Marvin Morgan struck a left footed effort straight at Searle moments later.
James Ewington's cross from the right saw Searle tip it away just under his crossbar.
Tommy Tejan-Sei won a freekick on the far left on 6 minutes. The ball was pumped into the area with Morgan putting the ball low into the net but there was a foul in the build up and the goal didn’t count.
Bognor lost the ball cheaply allowing Olumide Oluwatimilehin to have a go but he sliced his effort well over the crossbar.
Jimmy Muitt tried to play the ball along the deck towards Dan Smith but he was cut out when having a shot himself perhaps was the better option.
Ewington got to the byline before his chance at goal but Searle got in the way with his right leg to see it out for a corner following Morgan's forward chip.
Ewington then found Roman Michael-Percil with a cross but he couldn’t steer his header towards goal. Then Bognor pounced and a through pass picked out Mitford but after using his pace to get through he lost it after the ball got tangled under his feet before shooting.
A Leigh was in a clash with a Wingate player with both receiving urgent treatment which held up play. As Rocks got started again it was Smith who hit one off a defender calling Gore into action, though the chance was off target on 24 minutes.
Muitt sprung on the attack with a pass out wide to A Leigh and his cross was searching for Mitford who was there but he was offside as Wingate got the ball away anyway.
Luke Ifil took a left sided corner and with Morgan waiting towards the back post it was T Leigh who got the crucial header away.
Smith got a cross into the box with Mitford again being denied before it bounced out to Muitt who hit it on the rise but it was deflected away by the defence.
Henry Marku had to smack the ball high out of play but Muitt's cross from the corner was headed out.
Muitt cut inside from the left and he hit it first time and couldn’t quite keep it low enough to threaten Gore, as it kept rising.
Muitt did well to beat his man on the right near the corner flag before getting the ball in instantly for Smith whose header only just rippled the right side-netting on 35 minutes in Bognor's best chance of the game to this point.
A Leigh did well to beat his man before letting fly and hitting the side-netting. This came before a long ball over the top to Ewington saw him run on and shoot low across Searle but he pulled out a wonderful save to push it around the post on 38 minutes.
Muitt's freekick was too much for Keaton Wood as the wind caught the high ball, as the defender went to ground under pressure from the Wingate player.
Doug Tuck and A Leigh combined with a chipped pass setting up the latter. His cross was blocked off for a corner. The corner was played short to T Leigh who rounded a player before curling the ball over the crossbar.
Bognor did well to get the ball in with Mitford finding Whyte with a cross after not going down from a challenge but he was facing the wrong way and the defence cleared the danger.
A Leigh was causing some real problems for the Bognor side flashing a cross along the box but won a corner but Muitt's ball in was well caught above the crowded area, as Bognor got better as the half grew older.
Morgan passed out wide to Ifil but after doing the hard work the full back smashed cross into the heart of the box but failed to find a fellow teammate.
Mitford's early cross bounced up off Smith's knee and it was Whyte underneath the ball but Gore caught it above him.
Smith was brought down by Marku just outside the box after a forward pass and he went into the book on 48 minutes. It was T Leigh who hit it low and hard into the net straight from the freekick on 49 minutes to give Bognor an early second half lead.
Dandy had a cross denied by the goalkeeper. But then it got better for the Rocks as Smith pounced on the back post following a deep cross to him and he put it in from close range on 51 minutes.
Smith and Mitford combined before Smith hit it first time with his left foot and it rolled harmlessly to Gore in the Wingate goal.
On 58 minutes Bognor added a third. Neat play in the build up from Muitt ended with when he played in Mitford who beat his man, running with pace, before smashing it high into the net.
Morgan ran across the defence before playing it square to Tejan-Sie who belted it over in response.
On 61 minutes it was Oluwatimilehin replaced by Tage Kennedy for the hosts.
Michael-Percil passed it through to Ewington and he forced a save from Searle on 63 minutes with a low effort.
Ifil ran forward and did get a shot away along the deck but it was well stopped by Searle.
More subs followed as Michael-Percil was replaced by Henry Ochieng for the hosts and Emmett Dunn came on for T Leigh for Bognor on 65 minutes.
A freekick saw Wingate win a throw in at the opposite side of the field. A decent chip forward by Morgan to Tejan-Sie saw him cut it back to Rifat before he smashed it over.
But Bognor scored again on 69 minutes when great play from Whyte saw him find Smith in the area and he diverted it in low beyond a stranded Gore.
Tuck lost the ball after a lack of communication. But the resulting cross in from the corner was poor and cleared away by Ben Clark-Eden.
Ewington was replaced by Anthony Mendy and for Bognor Tommy Scutt replaced Mitford on 73 minutes.
Tuck did well to bring the ball down neatly before finding Smith on the overlap and then he tried to find Muitt in the middle but it was a good interception in defence to deny him and then Wingate won a freekick.
Later, Whyte's ball into the area from the right picked out Smith but the flag was up to deny him for a handball as the ball bobbled up on him before Mendy went into the book.
Dan Simmonds came on for Tuck on 80 minutes for Bognor in their last change.
Smith held the ball up for Scutt to hit it but his shot sailed just over the bar on 81 minutes as Smith was still on the lookout for his hat-trick.
A Leigh did well before Dunn let fly with a long-range effort which only just flew wide of the left post as Muitt appeared to be fouled off the ball.
On 86 minutes it was Muitt who curled it into the top right corner after fantastic play from the left including Smith and Leigh on that flank.
Whyte hit one off the defender and it was a great save by Gore who stopped it and soon after three minutes was added on to the end of the game.
Ifil was still causing some trouble on the right flank but again the Rocks defence held firm to keep him out and then Tejan-Sie was denied with a block.
A very quick ball out by Whyte saw him find Simmonds and it was a wonderful ball to Smith who ran on before hitting it towards the near post but it was a good save from Gore who used one hand to push out the chance.
There was a lengthy hold up right at the end as Morgan complained to the referee about an off-the-ball incident but after a lengthy stoppage the referee decided not to reprimand anyone and he soon after blew the whistle for full time.
Bognor's first win of the league season and an impressive three points gained away from home.
Rocks travel to rivals Worthing next on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August with kick off at 3pm.
Match report by Liam Goodley
Report courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer