Report by Steve Price
From Chi's perspective this match was all about the thrilling last 10 minutes. A comeback that'll stick long in the memory and which may prove significant when we get to the business end of the season.
That Chi were staring down the barrel of a 3-0 defeat was frustrating. Bognor had competed strongly, especially as they built their 2 goal lead in the first half, and they had taken their goals well. However, the visitors had created more chances than the home side and, apart from coming off second best in a number of early 50 - 50 challenges, they had played well. That Chi hadn't scored was down to a number of factors including a defender's brave goal line headed deflection from a Price strike in the first half and another goal line deflection in the second half, this time from White's shot that was goal-bound until it struck the defender's back. In the meantime Martin - who had such an influential game at the base of midfield - had hit the bar, Bennetts had gone close as had Peyman. Price had seen a second shot cleared of the line and had the misfortune to sky a shot in front of goal, a bobble causing a cross to hit his ankle. The goals weren't coming but it wasn't for want of effort, particularly in the second half. It was looking like one of those days.
What Chi needed was a piece of good fortune and it came with 10 minutes remaining. Ironically, Chi had hit some good crosses at different times, especially White, but no one had been able to convert them in to goals. This time one of the more innocuous balls of the morning was played from the left. Somehow the 'keeper fumbled and Peyman reacted sharply to poke the ball in to the net. A glimmer of hope but surely this was just a consolation goal, a little reward for all the effort on a very cold morning.
To their huge credit this team has always kept going until the final whistle and here they challenged and fought as we've come to expect. Belief was visibly coursing through the visitors and draining from the home side. Leonard pressed, the defender lost his composure and suddenly the Chi midfielder broke through the back line, eyed the goalie and cooly finished. Almost from nowhere the visitors were within touching distance of getting something from the game but now only 5 minutes remained on the clock.
Bognor were shaken but had time on their side and some quality of their own - it wouldn't be enough however as the momentum with Chi was irresistible. Leonard, that man again, won the ball on the left. Showing quick feet he cut inside and then from about the corner of the box he unleashed a blinder, beating the 'keeper and grabbing a point. Leonard richly deserved this moment and Chi deserved at least this point.
It had been a good game. Though just a point, it felt like a win and we can look forward to carrying the momentum in to the next game. Well played boys - reward for perseverance.
Team: Thorn, Good, Simmons, Robinson, Brennan, Daley, Martin, Leonard, Bennetts (c), Peyman, Price, Fellick, White.
Man of the Match: Leonard.