BOGNOR hit eight past Lancing to stroll into the next round of the Sussex Senior Cup - with Ollie Pearce and Terry Dodd netting another five between them to lead the team to their highest-ever margin of victory at home in the competition.
The victory was also the club’s joint-highest win in the county cup - this on a night when keeper James Shaw was the visitors’ best player - by some distance.
The Rocks - beaten in the final of this competition last season by Brighton - threatened from their first attack in the opening minute. Pearce won a corner and when it came in, Stuart Axten had a free header which keeper James Shaw got down to save.
After a fairly pedestrian opening ten minutes, Doug Tuck forced Shaw into a diving stop with a low drive from 20 yards after Pearce had failed to connect with Dan Kempson’s ball across the box.
Another ball across the Lancing goalmouth just needed a touch in from a white and green shirt, but didn’t get one.
Kempson connected beautifully with a pass to him on the angle of the penalty area and rattled a post with his left-footed drive.
The Rocks took charge of the tie with two goals in two minutes midway through the first half. First Axten touched the ball in from close range from a ball was put in from the right by Arron Hopkinson, though there was a suspicion it may have been an own goal by Shaw.
Immediately the Rocks attacked again and Dodd sidestepped a defender and hit a deflected shot home from six yards after the ball was nodded down to him.
Pearce was close to a third on 29 minutes, hitting a shot on to the top of the bar after a run on goal down the inside left channel.
Dan Sackman skewed a shot horribly wide after a clearance fell to him 15 yards out on the half-hour.
Pearce made it three on 32 minutes when he was in the right place at the right time to smash home Dodd’s ball across goal after Dodd himself had seen a shot cleared off the line.
Lancing made an early change, bringing on Josh Spinks for Ollie Davis.
A couple more Rocks forays forward were halted by offside flags as Lancing struggled to keep possession or win the ball in the home side’s half.
In the final minute of the first half, Pearce ran through and should have got his second but the overworked Shaw tipped it around the post.
There was a second Lancing change at the restart as Brad Bant was replaced by Ben Coles.
Mark Zawadski had been having a quiet night but caused some serious action for himself with a sloppy pass out from his area. It fell to Ryan Waterman, but after he ran goalwards with it, the keeper blocked his shot.
Soon the action swung back to the other end and Pearce tested Shaw with a cross-shot after jigging into the area.
Dodd’s close range header from Axten’s header across goal from as corner brought a top-class tip-over from Shaw, who’d made enough saves to last him a month.
James Crane replaced the hard-working skipper Kane Wills on 62 minutes.
The Rocks were getting wasteful and Pearce sidefooted another shot wide - but finally they did get a fourth on 69 minutes when Hopkinson got away down the right and crossed for Dodd to tap it in at the far post.
That sparked Lancing’s final change - Jared Rance their third sub replacing George Fenton.
The fifth soon followed, Tuck curling in a beauty from outside the area. And the goal flood continued with Pearce’s second on 75 minutes, beating Shaw to another Hopkinson cross.
Craig Robson replace Hopkinson, who’d put in a great shift, with 11 minutes left.
Sub Crane got the Rocks’ fourth goal in 12 minutes, putting away the rebound after Shaw had beaten out Pearce’s shot.
A neat bit of work by Tuck in midfield put Crane in on goal but he tried an ambitious lob that was way over.
Ben Johnson, replacing Kempson, completed the night’s substitutions.
The game had become something of a training exercise for Bognor and Pearce finished another sweeping move for his hat-trick.
Robson should have made it nine with a free header but it was straight at Shaw.
Lancing must have been mightily relieved to hear the final whistle and went home knowing they had been taught a ruthless footballing lesson by a team who play two divisions higher than them but looked ten leagues apart on this showing.
Rocks: Zawadski, Hinshelwood, Weir, Tuck, Axten, Sackman, Hopkinson, Wills, Dodd, Pearce, Kempson. Subs: Robson, Crane, Johnson, Godfrey.
Lancing: Shaw, Fenton, Bant, Davis, Sharman, Romain, Joseph, Waterman, Shepherd, Callaghan, Melia. subs: Conway, Rance, Spinks, Coles, Kirby.
Ref: Graham Kane (Brighton)
by STEVE BONE