Rocks rolled aside by Reading

Harvey Whyte had an early chance for Bognor against Reading   Picture by Chris Hatton
Harvey Whyte had an early chance for Bognor against Reading Picture by Chris Hatton

Bognor rang the changes to give some of their younger prospects a run-out – and they put in a decent performance, if one not strong enough to prevent the expected for Reading’s development team.

It was a third straight pre-season friendly defeat for the Rocks but they won’t be too worried by that after a good effort against an impressive Royals outfit.

Bognor gave starts to Jamie Stong, Johan Van Driel and Dale Hayes and had numerous other youngsters on the bench.

The Rocks were the first to have to defend as Connor Shaugnessy blasted a first-time effort over the bar. The hosts bounced back when Van Driel headed wide of the near post from a neat cross from Harvey Whyte.

Chris Winterton had to come out to deny Dominic Samuel on the run in the box on eight minutes after some good Reading pressure.

Charlie Oatway tried his luck from 25 yards but it just swerved wide.

On 13 minutes Reading took the lead through Dominic Samuel after he was set up by Nana Owusu, who cut in from the right. It was a simple tap-in from 10 yards.

Tarique Fosu cut across the area before firing a shot at goal with his left boot but his attempt was blocked. This was shortly after Van Driel went to ground on the touchline and the Rocks continued play with ten men.

Liam Kelly’s corner kick on 31 minutes was heading for Samuel in the box but Winterton punched the ball away.

Kelly tried his luck from long distance minutes later as he smashed another ambitious shot high and wide.

Darren Wheeler scuffed a rare Bognor attempt from around 30 yards after outpacing his defender.

The Rocks won a free-kick on 37 minutes. Young full-back Strong struck the free-kick low into the wall. The deflection fell to Oatway who saw an effort blocked before a further attempt was called offside.

Samuel curled another Reading attempt narrowly over the bar moments later.

Good work from Sami Fridjonsson down the left ended with a pass square to Samuel, who slid in Reading’s second goal of the evening on 42 minutes.

Rob Dickie failed to control a high, long ball and Whyte almost capitalised as he combined with Ben Johnson. The left winger set up Wheeler on the overlap but his cross fell into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Dan Lincoln.

HT 0-2

Bognor’s best chance of the whole game saw Oatway blast wide of the right post on 48 minutes after he combined well with Whyte and Johnson.

Van Driel conceded a free-kick when Kelly ran in quickly towards the box. Kelly took the free-kick but it was straight to Winterton.

Kelly’s volley on 58 minutes smashed off the crossbar. Jake Thomson replaced Van Driel seconds later as the Rocks looked to bounce back.

Samuel should have done better on 68 minutes when his header from a corner fell to him the box. Unmarked, the striker could only feebly head the ball straight at Winterton.

Samuel nodded another clear attempt over the bar before Rocks had a great chance with Thomson firing straight at Lincoln.

Fridjonsson had the ball in the net again for Reading on 80 minutes but it was it was disallowed for offside. Fridjonsson sent yet another chance well over the bar as he pounced on a square pass inside the area after Filipe Morais had played it back.

Rocks sub Tela Trivelta struck another hopeful attempt wide, dragging it well wide of the left post on 85 minutes.

Owusu managed to win a corner on the right with three minutes left. And after two attempts at the corner, Fosu struck at goal, but Bognor’s defence reigned supreme, blocking another shot from the quick winger.

Ryan Morey played a wonderful ball in for Thomson, who had been set up a treat before firing low at goal. Lincoln was equal to it.

Next up for Bognor is a trip to face AFC Portchester on Friday (7.30pm).

Rocks: Winterton, Strong, Hayes, Tuck, Sackman, Crane, Van Driel, Wheeler, Whyte, Oatway, Johnson. Subs: Morey, Trivelto, Pearce, Hawker, Mendoza, Atkinson, Alcock, Richer.

Report by LIAM GOODLEY

Get the latest from the Lane in the Bognor Observer - out on Thursday morning