Rocks Review: Lowestoft 2 Rocks 0

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A somewhat patched-up Rocks side endured a five-and-a-half hour coach trip north and kicked off against a very strong, gusting wind as well as a strong Lowestoft team.

Within two minutes Bognor had collected a booking as Craig Robson prevented a Lowestoft forward from getting away by pulling his shirt, and within four minutes they had conceded a goal.

Chris Henderson outpaced the Bognor defence on the left and his low hard cross into the six-yard box was parried by Mark Zawadski into the path of Jack AINSLEY to drill home.

If Zawadski could be considered slightly at fault for the goal, he more than made up for it with a string of fine saves as the home side took the game to Bognor. A free-kick following a Robson foul on the edge of the box set up Andrew Fisk, but his well struck free-kick was superbly saved by the Bognor goalkeeper.

As the half wore on, the visitors did come more into the game and Arron Hopkinson was a particular threat with his fast and direct running.

Midway through the half his tantalising cross after a great run down the left was just gathered by Ashlee Jones in the Lowestoft goal as Harvey Whyte was a split second too late.

Bognor then had a wonderful chance to equalise as Terry Dodd was released by Doug Tuck. With just the keeper to beat, Dodd weakly chipped the ball straight into his arms.

Shortly afterwards, Bognor’s attacking earned a series of corners and dangerous free-kicks and from one of them an unmarked Robson rose well to power a header just past the post when he would have expected to score.

Shortly before the break, Lowestoft should have increased their lead, but Jack Ainsley and Michael Frew were both denied by great saves by Zawadski.

After the break and with some assistance from the wind Bognor came out strongly and probably had the greater share of possession in the second half. Six corners were earned in the opening stages but not once did Bognor actually threaten Jones in the Lowestoft goal.

Ollie Pearce came on to add to the attacking options. However with Hopkinson having looked so dangerous in the first half, it appeared the Bognor defence and midfield were incapable of getting the ball out to him and for long spells he appeared an isolated figure on the wing.

As the game wore on Bognor largely controlled play until the final third and when Lowestoft did get the ball they looked the more likely to score. Towards the end there was a clear push in the back on Dodd as he went for the ball in the area, but appeals were half-hearted and the referee waved play on.

Substitute Bradley Woods-Garness almost scored with a powerful shot from twelve yards, but again Mark Zawadski made a superb diving save.

Jon Marzetti suffered what looked to be a badly-gashed leg in a strong tackle and had to be replaced by Daryl Wollers, who is struggling himself as he awaits his hernia operation. Shortly afterwards Harvey Whyte collected his second yellow card in a week for persistent fouling.

As the game entered added-on time, Robbie Pearce tried a shot from at least thirty yards, but his shot although powerful was well over the bar. Almost immediately Lowestoft’s Lee Smith tried a similar shot and aided by the wind it clipped the bar with Zawadski beaten.

In the dying moments Kane Wills lost the ball in midfield and Lee Smith advanced with the ball before laying on a perfect ball, again low across the six yard box, for substitute Danny CUNNINGHAM to convert for Lowestoft’s second.

Bognor: Zawadski, Sackman (Pearce 55’), Marzetti (Wollers 77’), Crane, Axten, Robson, Tuck, Wills, Dodd, Whyte, Hopkinson. Unused subs: Kempson, Howell.

Att: 532

SIMON COOK