Rocks knock spots off Wingate and Finchley

Ben Johnson slots home his second penalty against Wingate    Picture by Tommy McMillan
Ben Johnson slots home his second penalty against Wingate Picture by Tommy McMillan
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Bognor twice came from behind to beat Wingate & Finchley 3-2 at rainy Nyewood Lane.

Ben Johnson netted twice from the penalty spot before on-loan Jason Prior scored a winning third goal later in the game.

Prior was back after recovering from a hamstring tear for his final appearance before his month’s loan comes to an end this week. Defender Craig Robson was watching from the main stand after he was given a one-game suspension.

Early on Stuart Green cut the ball inside from the right for Jake Thomson, who tried his luck from outside the box – but the ball curled over the bar.

A cross from the right fell to Johnson but he couldn’t put it away.

Wingate took the lead on eight minutes when Harry Medway passed back to Chris Winterton, who totally missed the ball to allow David Knight in to poke the ball into an empty net.

Iffanyi Allen smacked a low shot just wide of the post on 14 minutes.

At the other end, Ollie Pearce smashed the ball at goal but it took a deflection off a Rocks player and went out for a goal kick.

Medway received a yellow card for a foul on Rob Laney near the halfway line. It appeared the defender got contact with the ball but the referee thought the tackle was dangerous.

Johnson forced a handball from Mark Weatherstone and the referee pointed to the spot and booked the Wingate player. Johnson slotted it low into the net on 23 minutes to draw the scores level.

Johnson was oozing confidence and got another cross into the box but Prior couldn’t quite get there at the back post.

Knight received a yellow card for complaining after a foul on 28 minutes.

The same player struck a shot at goal which Winterton was equal to. Tommy Tejan-Sie and Ola Sogbamnu had attempts blocked by Bognor defenders.

Allen forced a diving save from Winterton on 32 minutes. Prior slid in late on Sogbanmu and received a yellow card on 33 minutes.

Thomson’s cross found Prior in the box and he forced Bobby Smith into a decent save. The rebound fell to James Crane, who headed over the bar on 35 minutes.

Wingate took the lead again on 37 minutes. Tejan-Sie’s shot bounced low and beyond the outstretched arms of Winterton and into the bottom corner.

Crane was brought down during a run in the box in a similar area to where the earlier handball had taken place. A penalty was awarded but there was a delay in taking it as Mark Goodman had to be replaced by Harold Joseph on 41 minutes. Up stepped Johnson once more and he slammed it high into the top corner to make it 2-2 at half-time.

Green was brought down on the right on 47 minutes by Ahmet Rifat. Johnson swung in the free-kick but a defender headed clear.

Thomson saw yellow after clipping the heels of a midfielder on the run on 51 minutes.

A few minutes into the second half, the rain arrived and was to continue for the rest of the game.

Johnson’s cross from the left found Pearce in the box on 60 minutes. Pearce turned and shot instantly but it was straight at Smith in goal.

Green came off injured but the substitution was delayed and so Bognor were playing with ten men for a few minutes. Charlie Oatway came on for him when the referee finally allowed the change.

Winterton intercepted a driven cross by Ronayne Marsh-Brown on 68 minutes.

The greasy turf helped as Prior latched on to a clear by Oatway. He pushed the ball into space for Johnson, but his cross came to nothing.

Sogbanmu set up Tejan-Sie, whose cross bounced agonisingly wide.

Johnson, who had taken a fall, was replaced by Alex Parsons on 71 minutes.

Thomson’s corner was flicked on by Prior and Crane on the back post forced a fingertip save by the goalkeeper with an effort that clipped the bar.

Rocks manager Jamie Howell slipped over trying to receive the ball on the touchline.

Soon Pearce fired over the bar on 76 minutes – then Thomson’s corner found Prior, who struck it on the volley but over the bar.

Harvey Whyte ran down the right on 79 minutes and crossed to Tuck, who shot into the ground – and Prior was waiting on the back post to slot it home and give Bognor the lead.

Crane hit an ambitious effort from an acute angle outside the box on 89 minutes. The ball ricocheted on to the top of the net.

Wingate fired well over the bar with a last-ditch attempt, but Bognor really never looked under threat in the dying moments as they took an important three points going into their big fixture away to Margate next Saturday.

Rocks: Winterton, Whyte, Crane, Tuck (Robinson 90+), Sackman, Medway, Green (Oatway 63), Thomson, Prior, Pearce, Johnson (Parsons 71). Unused subs: Lawson, Branford.

LIAM GOODLEY