There was relief all around Nyewood Lane as Bognor recorded their first win of the Ryman premier season.
They bounced back from their defeat against Carshalton Athletic - which left them with one point from four games - to defeat their old rivals from south London with second-hald goals by Ben Godfrey and Kane Wills.
One of the Rocks’ new signings, on-loan Crawley defender Alex Malins, made his debut at a damp Nyewood Lane. Terry Dodd started on the bench. James Crane was a late replacement in defence for Daryl Wollers.
A good flowing move saw Godfrey get hold of the ball after just four minutes - but the striker was cut short by the raised offside flag.
Then Godfrey was sent through by Doug Tuck down the left. The striker crossed for Aaron Hopkinson but as he slid in, he failed to get in a touch onto the ball to send it towards goal.
Harvey Whyte almost set up Ollie Pearce with a pass through defence but it was too far forward for the winger and it was gathered by Lincoln Daniel.
Tony Alabi then hit the hosts on the break with a run and slipped a pass through to Tom Howard. Keeper Mark Zawadski closed the striker down quickly to block his attempt on 12 minutes.
Sam Clayton ran in from the right but from outside the box, his shot was harmless and rolled into Zawadski’s arms.
Kane Wills took a lofted corner but it was punched by Daniel and then a free-kick was awarded for the visitors.
Malins headed safely to his goalkeeper from a cross by Clayton that could have been dangerous but for his calm approach. Malins then slid in to stop Manny Osei’s low shot and clear off the line. Osei had already beaten Zawadski with his run on 27 minutes.
Wills almost set Crane up with an attempt, though the utility player was just blocked before he could get a shot away.
Tuck won a free-kick just outside the D but after a long decision over who would take the free-kick, Whyte did the honours, but he could only blast his attempt straight into the defensive wall.
Crane’s half-volleyed cross from the left dipped for Godfrey but his attempt bounced up towards goal and was well saved by Daniel on 43 minutes.
Wills’ corner on 44 minutes found the towering Stuart Axten in the box but his header whistled over the bar.
Steve Sutherland’s 47th-minute mistake in defence let Godfrey in on goal. His reactions were good, but the striker’s shot was well saved by Daniel.
Osei went to ground under a challenge from Axten and required treatment on 49 minutes to his eye. A dropped ball followed, with Wills’ sportsmanship showing as he kicked the ball to the opposing goalkeeper.
Godfrey powered a shot over the bar. He won a corner taken by Wills which found Craig Robson but the defender’s volley flew high and wide, unlike the two chances from corners he had converted against Carshalton.
Good work from a throw-in by Malins saw the right-back win a corner on the right after 54 minutes. Wills’ kick found Axten on the back post but his header went straight into Daniel’s arms.
Met Police made a substitution on 55 minutes as Charlie Collins replaced Tom Howard.
The Bognor management had similar plans in mind when they decided to replace Pearce with Dodd on 60 minutes.
Whyte received a yellow card on 62 minutes but two minutes later, Godfrey brought Nyewood Lane to life with the opening goal on 64 minutes. It was a simple tap-in after Daniel fumbled the ball and the striker pounced on it to flick the ball home after a cross from Hopkinson.
Hopkinson then played in Wills neatly on the right. Wills darted into the box and forced a fingertip save from Daniel.
David Knight replaced Clayton in a Met Police substitution on 70 minutes.
Nick Hutchings received a yellow card for disputing a decision by the referee. Tuck’s free-kick just outside the box was dealt with easily by the visiting defence.
The Rocks forced another save out of Daniel on 73 minutes - a dipping shot testing the goalkeeper as the hosts tried to find another goal.
Action was happening at both ends of the field with Hopkinson forcing a a good save from Daniel on 78 minutes and following this Collins swung a shot wide of the right post down the other end.
The Rocks netted a second to make the game safe on 81 minutes. A neat ball from Hopkinson on the left found Wills in the box after Dodd dummied it and the midfielder smashed in low off the left post.
Godfrey received loud applause as he came off to be replaced by Dan Sackman on 82 minutes.
Dodd forced a decent save from Daniel, who pushed the ball away from a left-sided cross that swung in on 85 minutes.
Knight latched on to a crossfield ball and tried to flick in a cross but it was just too high.
Knight won a free-kick at the death for the visitors. Collins took it but his attempt flew harmlessly straight at Zawadski, who only had to shift to his right to save.
This was a huge boost for the Rocks after Tuesday’s worrying defeat and will see them head to Lewes on Monday afternoon in good heart. Next up at home, it’s Canvey Island next Saturday.
Rocks: Zawadski, Malins, Crane, Tuck, Axten, Robson, Hopkinson, Wills (c), Godfrey (Sackman), Whyte, Pearce (Dodd),
Unused subs: Marzetti, Boyle.