Rocks Review: FA Cup - Sutton 4 Rocks 0

The Rocks crashed out out of the third qualifying round of the FA Cup after a masterclass of attacking football from the hosts.

Three goals in the first half had broken the Rocks’ spirit before another goal came deep into the second half to end the misery.

Kane Wills was absent through an ankle injury and Bognor started with the three-pronged attack of Luke Nightingale, Jason Prior and Terry Dodd that was used successfully at Ramsgate in midweek.

Top goalscorer for the Us, Craig Watkins, started on the bench.

It was apparent from the start Bognor were going to have a difficult afternoon. Inside the first minute Tony Taggart played in Craig Dundas but his shot from a tight angle was deflected into Craig Stoner’s arms.

At the other end, Dodd slipped a ball in towards Prior, splitting the defence, but it was called offside.

Sutton made a defensive mistake when goalkeeper Kevin Scriven passed straight to Dan Beck in midfield. The skipper spotted Scriven off his line, but his chipped effort flew well wide.

Taggart flicked the ball over Matt Whitehead to set Piper up. The full-back juggled the ball over his marker before hitting a volley, though it didn’t trouble Stoner.

On 16 minutes Prior’s shot from outside the area was blocked, and moments later Nightingale shot at goal only for a home player to get in the way.

A large contingent of Rocks fans had made the trip to Gander Green Lane but Sutton were ruthless in attack and on 22 minutes grabbed the opening goal. Fola Orilonishe got into good space to hit a deflected shot away for a corner. From the corner the ball fell to Griffiths who scuffed his shot, but Dundas was there in the six-yard box to tap home.

Scriven saved a Prior header comfortably in the 25th minute before perhaps the Rocks’ best shot on target: Dodd held the ball up well on the right to square to James Crane, who aimed a shot at the top corner but Scriven palmed it over the bar.

Sutton got their second on 29 minutes. The Rocks were suddenly left bare at the back, allowing the hosts to spring on the counter and Griffiths diverted the ball over Stoner for the unmarked Taggart to stab home.

There was some hope going forward for Bognor. Chris Breach lofted the ball forward to Prior, who won a corner - but it came to nothing.

Beautyman brought a fantastic save from Stoner on 37 minutes with a powerful drive. The goalkeeper deftly tipped the ball over the bar.

Sutton’s quality going forward showed again on 43 minutes. Good play down the left by Orilonishe allowed him to get a pinpoint cross to Taggart, who nodded into the top right corner for 3-0.

HT 3-0

Dodd had found Prior in space, but the striker had timed his run incorrectly and was flagged offside.

Page headed well over the bar as he rose to meet Taggart’s right sided delivery.

Dodd had the ball in the net but he too was ruled offside.

Frustration may have been behind Beck’s late tackle on Beautyman. The midfielder received a yellow card but Taggart blasted the free kick into the defensive wall.

Griffiths let fly with a shot from the edge of the box, which flew high and wide.

A long ball forward towards Prior by Ben Johnson bounced tamely into Scriven’s arms as Bognor lacked impetus going forward.

Ex-Havant player Taggart belted a shot on the rise from just outside the D with his left boot, and it was inches away from the left post.

Substitute Jon Marzetti was the second Rocks player to receive a yellow card on 74 minutes, when he slid into Orilonishe late from behind near the touchline.

Within a minute Sutton had their fourth. Despite Stoner’s attempt at stopping Griffiths’ curling shot, the ball still dropped into the bottom corner.

The Rocks had the ball in the net again on 76 minutes. This time Johnson whipped in a cross for Prior who netted with ease. The goal was disallowed as the striker was clearly offside.

Johnson’s throw-in was blocked by the arm of Telfer as he stood right in front of him. But the referee just gave a warning.

Sutton had the last chance when Orilonishe squared to substitute Tom Kavanagh just outside the box but his shot missed the target.

ROCKS: Stoner, Crane (Marzetti 64), Whitehead (Wollers 81), Breach, Axten, Bond, Beck, Dodd (Ide 64), Prior, Nightingale, Johnson. Unused sub: Blatchford.

Attendance: 622

LIAM GOODLEY