Rocks’ campaign goes from grey to Green at Grays

Ben Johnson set up the winer for Stuart Green at Grays   Picture by Chris Hatton
Ben Johnson set up the winer for Stuart Green at Grays Picture by Chris Hatton
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Bognor travelled to high-flying Grays looking to rebound from the disappointing midweek cup defeat at Lewes – and came away with their second away win of the season.

Anyone who was hoping for a repeat of last season’s classic 4-3 Rocks win were disappointed as bumpy, undulating pitch greeted the teams and proved difficult for both teams to play free-flowing football on.

Injuries and suspensions meant Bognor were able to name only three subs and they included Alex Parsons who was carrying an injury.

Early play was evenly matched as both teams came to terms with pitch. Grays felt unlucky not to be awarded an early penalty as Ladapo went down after a challenge.

Fifteen minutes into the game with Bognor growing in confidence, they started to take a little control.

Jake Thomson had a shot well saved by Gough in the home goal, then Bognor had a great call for a penalty when Stuart Green was fouled inside the box, but the ref gave a free-kick right on the line.

In this purple patch the home keeper twice denied Craig Robson from corners and Ben Johnson also had a shot well saved.

Grays rallied with half-time approaching with Dan Sackman clearing off the line from Carlos and Guy firing wide.

The second half started at a fast and furious pace with Green, who worked tirelessley all afternoon, twice going through and shooting at the keeper, while at the other end Chris Winterton saved well from both Guy and Carlos.

On 52 minutes the crucial goal came when following a superb run by Johnson, GREEN fired past a stranded Gough in the home goal.

Minutes later Carlos thought he had equalised but was denied by a superb save by Winterton and on the counter attack, Bognor should have scored a second as Ollie Pearce ran through, only for Green to fire wide.

Grays now came at Bognor probing for an equaliser. Josh Warren cleared off the line, Robson and Sackman were imense in defence and Winterton continued to show what an excellent keeper he is.

In the 83rd minute Grays thought they had a penalty as Bryan went down, but to the disgust of the home fans and management team, he was booked for diving and Bognor awarded a free-kick. This lead to a few comments from the Grays manager who was then red carded.

In the dying minutes James Crane twice cleared off the line to ensure Bognor went away with all three points .

This was a superb team effort with every player giving 110 per cent for the team, and hopefully will give the side the belief and confidence to take into the next few games as they look to move up the table. Next comes a trip to face Met Police on Tuesday night.

ROCKS: Winterton, Crane, Sackman, Robson, Warren,Tuck, Whyte, Johnson, Thomson, Pearce (Thompson), Green (Hopkinson). Sub not used: Parsons.

DAVE ROBINSON