Rocks’ perfect week ends with Wingate victory

Craig Robson was thw two-goal hero at Wingate and Finchley / Picture by Tim Hale
Craig Robson was thw two-goal hero at Wingate and Finchley / Picture by Tim Hale
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Bognor’s week to remember ended in perfect style as they won 3-1 at Wingate and Finchley.

Two goals by Craig Robson and a penalty from Jason Prior - who also missed a spot-kick while it was 1-1 - wrapped up a comfortable win in north London that took Jamie Howell’s side up to fourth place.

It was their sixth win on the trot across three different competitions and came just four days after the heroic 2-1 triumph over Altrincham that put them in the last 16 of the FA Trophy.

The win was achieved against a home team who played some attractive and flowing football and with key Rocks players missing, including midfield string-puller Dan Beck, winger Alex Parsons and Harvey Whyte, with Whyte appearing on the bench but still not 100 per cent fit.

Bognor started well with well-crafted chances falling to Stuart Green and Ollie Pearce and in the 29th minute, the away side nearly took the lead when from a corner on the left, leading scorer Prior hit a cracking first-time volley which was superbly saved by Jack Metcalfe in the home goal.

The game was fairly even in terms of possession, but a superb header by the excellent Robson from a Pearce corner on 36 minutes gave them the lead, which they held on to until half-time.

It was their sixth win on the trot across three different competitions and came just four days after the heroic 2-1 triumph over Altrincham that put them in the last 16 of the FA Trophy.

The Rocks started the second half with two great chances to extend their lead on 46 and 49 minutes but Green and Prior couldn`t quite hit the back of the net.

It looked as though Bognor would pay the price for missing chances when Wingate & Finchley equalised in the 52nd minute with a fine goal from Alex Addai, who fired home when he latched on to a shot off the post from an initial effort from Ola Sogbanmu.

The game was hotting up and Bognor nearly hit back when Pearce was fouled in the box, but the resulting penalty from Prior was well saved by Metcalfe.

The home side were pressing to take the lead with two dangerous free-kicks which were eventually cleared.

In the 78th minute, Whyte came on for the hard-working Alfie Rutherford and the change seemed to immediately galvanise the Rocks – a minute later, another Pearce corner was superbly turned in by Robson when he ran through to smash the ball first time past well-beaten Metcalfe.

Bognor made sure of all three valuable points on 83 minutes when the referee awarded a second penalty when Whyte was adjudged to have been fouled in the box. This time, Prior made no mistake and fired home to give the visitors a 3-1 lead which they comfortably held on to.

Rocks: Smith, Nilsen, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Robson, Green, Rutherford (Whyte), Prior, Pearce, Field. Subs not used: Charman, Warren, Killpartrick.

ROGER NASH

* In the Southern Combination, it was not such a good day for local sides.

Chichester’s long winning run came to an end at Lancing, where Dan Hegarty’s goal could not stop them losing 3-1.

Pagham had Mark Bennett in charge for the first time and went 2-0 up with Worthing thanks to Lloyd Rowlatt and Dan Swain’s strikes, but ended up losing 3-2.

In division one Selsey earned a point with a 1-1 draw at Saltdean - Ryan Morey the scorer - but Sidlesham had only Dean Reed’s goal to show for their efforts in a 3-1 loss at Oakwood and Midhurst lost 4-1 at home to Haywards Heath, with Joel Stevens on target.

Bosham were again without a game in division two, their scheduled home game with Westfield falling victim to a waterlogged pitch.

In the West Sussex League premier division, Lavant won 5-0 away to Nyetimber Pirates.

On the local rugby scene, Chichester enjoyed a vital 27-17 away to Gravesend to move further away from the bottom two in National three London south east.

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