Bognor crashed to a three-nil defeat to rivals Worthing. Two of the goals came from ex-Rock Ollie Pearce in a hotly contested match at a scorching Woodside Road.
This highly anticipated ‘El-Classicoast' game went ahead without the Mackerels skipper Darren Budd after a nasty fracture to his right leg saw him out of action.
A late change saw Joe Dandy replaced by James Crane as the defender was injured in the warm up.
Jimmy Muitt chipped it down the right flank and it was Dan Smith who fired it across the area in the early going but it flew wide, out of the reach of fellow Bognor players.
Muitt cut across his defender before shooting low with his left foot committing a save from Roco Rees. Tyrell Mitford fired the ball square before Whyte found Muitt but after beating his man he blasted narrowly over.
A ball through towards Smith went straight to the goalkeeper from Whyte’s pass.
Then Keaton Wood fouled Pearce, winning a freekick for the hosts. Jesse Starkey hit the freekick but it was palmed away with one hand by Charlie Searle.
Alex Parsons was offside following a cross from Reece Meekums as Worthing responded to Bognor's early pressure.
Starkey drove the ball high towards the back post but it bounced out of play for the Mackerels.
A cross by Meekums was headed towards his goal by Ben Clark-Eden and committing Searle into a diving save.
Down the other end Tuck found Muitt beyond the defence before he sped on and he spotted Mitford in acres of space in the box but Marvin Armstrong as the last man stopped him in his tracks in an unselfish move, appreciated by Mitford.
Starkey got the ball bouncing into the heart of the box and Pearce beat his man but could only divert the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Wood brought Parsons down and he went into the book on 17 minutes. Aguiar shot it but thankfully straight at Searle.
Straight after this the Rocks attacked and a long bouncing pass saw Smith round his marker before shooting low with his left foot but straight at Rees.
Muitt beat the back-line again before looking to strike but instead it rolled across the box towards Smith but the ball stuck under his feet and he couldn’t get a shot in.
A quick freekick saw Pearce try his luck and his strike was pushed back out but the chance wasn’t over as Meekums followed it up after cutting inside from the left before smashing the upright on 21 minutes.
A drinks break followed as Smith required treatment before a long ball forward picked out Alex Parsons, but after beating the defender he scuffed his cross.
Then Muitt sped past his marker on the right before whipping a cross into the back post and found Smith and his header bobbled down but was diverted away by Rees on 27 minutes for a corner - a good chance for the Rocks denied.
Tommy Leigh tried to spin his marker but it was Aguiar who brought him down on the turn and he went into the book on the half way line.
On 33 minutes Worthing took the lead as a cut pass from Aguiar saw him find the run of Armstrong and his curling shot was pushed on by the right hand of Searle but he couldn’t keep it out as it bounced into the unguarded net.
A long ball over the top saw Tuck pick out Muitt but he knocked it high over the bar with his first touch on 37 minutes.
Aguiar pounced on the loose ball after Mitford failed to control it in Bognor's half but he smacked it over from around 25 yards out.
Parsons bounced a cross in and a neat flick from Pearce saw Searle save it on 41 minutes.
Muitt spun his man before playing it back to Smith on the run in but his low shot was easily saved by Rees.
Meekums did well to control the ball before running on and speeding across the defence but his low strike flew wide of the left post inside first half stoppage time.
Ashton Leigh gave the ball away allowing Pearce to win a freekick. But Starkey curled the ball well over the bar with his left foot on 49 minutes.
Bognor were struggling to get any movement off the ball that they wanted and a ball out wide from Doug Tuck to A Leigh saw him eventually cross it in but the defence easily cleared the chance.
An in-swinging cross from a left corner was only just diverted wide off the line Jalen Jones in pursuit.
Aguiar’s long ball into the area was gathered by Searle but Worthing went further ahead soon after. A misplaced pass by Tommy Leigh saw Pearce pounce just outside the area and he ran on to beat Searle with his low strike on 57 minutes.
James Crane showed his frustration as he fouled a player on the touchline and went into the book. Then Whyte followed suit picking up a yellow on 63 minutes for another foul.
Mitford hit another cross from the left straight down the throat of Rees in response as things just weren’t working for Bognor.
Worthing went three nil up on 65 minutes. Pearce was allowed to round the defence before shooting low into the bottom right corner beating the outstretched Searle.
Searle couldn’t keep the ball out of play as he reacted after a corner was awarded, clearly not happy with Parsons’ challenge.
Smith and Muitt both had lowly struck chances denied before this. Smith was also denied a penalty after he appeared to be shoved in the area on 69 minutes.
Chances were drying up for Bognor and they failed to string passes together and when they did get the ball up the field they hardly troubled Rees in the Worthing goal.
A change was needed, and Tommy Scutt replaced A Leigh on 72 minutes.
Crane gave the ball away and again Pearce fired it at goal but, luckily for Bognor, over the bar. Scutt hit one wide with his left foot narrowly wide of the post moments later.
Muitt and Smith combined before the latter hit it from outside the area but the ball rolled down his shin and flew wide of the post on 82 minutes.
On 85 minutes Emmett Dunn came on for Mitford as Rocks were trying to find a way through the Worthing defence.
Jasper Pattenden latched onto a loose ball and he split the defence to find Parsons and he ran through and shot low forcing Searle into a legged save on 88 minutes.
But Bognor really didn’t look up to it in this game and the final whistle went after three additional minutes of stoppage time. The second half was a rather forgettable experience for all concerned.
They will hope for an improved performance in their next game at home to Carshalton Athletic on Saturday 31st August, kick off from 3pm.
Match report by Liam Goodley
Report courtesy of the Bognor Regis Observer