There was more home misery for Bognor as they failed to build on the win at Harrow by slipping to a 2-1 defeat to bottom side Hornchurch.
A late family problem meant Ashley-Paul Robinson was not available so the only change from Bognor’s team that won so well in midweek was Alex Parsons starting the game. AFC Hornchurch gave a debut to centre-forward Tuohy, on loan from Conference club Woking.
Just five months ago these two clubs were involved in the Ryman play-offs, but this meeting found both floundering nearer the bottom than the top.
Hornchurch kicked off and attacked straight away. A cross from Eckles-Richards from the left was well chested down by Purcell and Tom Davies opened the scoring for the visitors in 35 seconds – without a Bognor player touching the ball.
Not the best of starts for the home team, but it seemed to be the incentive to get their game going. Johnson and Tuck started knocking good passes around and Bognor took the game to Hornchurch.
On 11 minutes a good move by Bognor and a telling final ball by James Crane allowed Ollie Pearce to tap in from close in.
Bognor now dictated and on 21 minutes Pearce almost got on to a through ball from Parsons. With the hosts now in full control and Ben Johnson, Doug Tuck and Jake Thomson pulling the strings it seemed only a matter of time before they would take the lead. Parsons went close but was denied by the keeper and from the resulting corner an unmarked Robson headed wide.
Having weathered the storm Hornchurch finished the half strongly, Dan Sackman’s late tackle denying Tuohy when through and a good stop by Chris Winterton from Eckles-Richards meaning the teams went in all-square at half-time.
Bognor started the 2nd half strong and on 48 minutes Mott in the visitors made a fine save to a Pearce effort out following a goalmouth scramble.
Play became scrappy and fragmented. The longer it went on the stronger the visitors looked, and they certainly weren’t playing like team at the bottom of the league.
Eckles-Richards and Joseph both had half chances for Hornchurch as Bognor seemed short of ideas on how to open up the visitors’ defence.
On 78 minutes a missed tackle by Robson out wide on the Bognor right allowed Eckles-Richards to lob Winterton fron 30 yards and put Hornchurch ahead again.
With ten minutes to go Bognor made changes which seemed to bring a little bit of life back into the hosts’ play. Arron Hopkinson set up Johnson on 82 minutes but his shot was just blocked by the keeper.
Minutes later Josh Warren burst through and passed to Johnson, who laid off to Thomson, but yet another fine save by Mott denied Bognor an equaliser.
Despite four minutes of added time Bognor still couldn’t force an equaliser, leaving the visiting fans with a happy journey back to Essex, while Bognor were left to reflect on another disappointing home performance.
Hopefully they can recapture their good away form next week away to Dulwich and bounce back from this defeat.
ROCKS: Winterton, Medway, Crane, Sackman, Robson, Whyte (Hopkinson), Tuck (Da Costa), Thomson, Johnson, Pearce, Parsons (Warren).