Back from the dead! Remarkable Rocks comeback stuns Grays

Kane Wills was among the scorers at Grays   Picture by Tommy McMillan
Kane Wills was among the scorers at Grays Picture by Tommy McMillan

In the most remarkable game of the season, Bognor came from three goals down to seize an incredible 4-3 win in Essex.

Towards the end of the first half, the home team were totally dominant and three goals to the good.

A goal from Leroy Griffiths in the 11th minute following sloppy defending seemingly set them on their way. This was followed by goals from the most dangerous player on the field, Joao Carlos, on 32 minutes and near to the half-time whistle.

Yet the Rocks got a glimmer of hope when substitute Dan Sackman swept the ball into the home net during first-half injury time to reduce the arrears.

The second half started like the first with Grays forwards Griffiths, Carlos and Daniel Gilchrist going close - and only some fine saves from Grant Smith in the Rocks goal stopped the home team extending their lead.

The Rocks continued to hold firm and were beginning to play the better football on what was a difficult, bobbly pitch and it was no surprise that they got their second goal on 61 minutes when a good through-ball to Kane Wills saw the Rocks captain calmly slot home.

The equiliser came nine minutes later when the hard-working Ollie Pearce fired a hard, low shot from the right which bobbled on the hard pitch and totally deceived the Grays keeper John MvIver to go into the net.

The Rocks were now dominating the game and confidence was high and when Arron Hopkinson scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 73rd minute, the travelling Rocks fans erupted in delight and not a little amazement.

The Grays keeper somehow spilled the ball from a cross and Hopkinson retrieved the ball and shot low and hard into the home team’s goal.

Bognor could have extended their lead in the 88th minute when Wills burst through and passed to Terry Dodd but he couldn`t control the ball and McIver gathered.

Dodd again had a great chance a few minutes later when through, but the Grays keeper saved well.

The only ugly incident came right at the end when the home team captain Ryan Kirby was red-carded for an elbow used against Dodd.

This was such an important win and lifts the Rocks back up to fourth in the Ryman premier - and everyone knows that grabbing all three points could be the difference between being in the play-offs or not.

BOGNOR: Smith, Hinshelwood, Crane, Tuck (Chamberlain 60), Wollers (Sackman 23), Robson, Hopkinson, Wills, Thompson (Igoe 66), Pearce, Dodd. Subs not used: Weir, Johnson.

ROGER NASH