Unlucky Rocks slip out of FA Trophy: Hayes and Yeading 2 Rocks 1

Ben Godfrey is pursued by Stuart Axten after putting the Rocks ahead against Hayes  Picture by Tommy McMillan
Ben Godfrey is pursued by Stuart Axten after putting the Rocks ahead against Hayes Picture by Tommy McMillan

The Rocks’ hopes of progressing to the first round proper of the FA Trophy were snuffed out by Skrill Conference South opponents Hayes & Yeading.

Playing at Woking FC, with whom they have been ground-sharing for the past three seasons, the home side had the decisive cutting edge that saw them into the next round.

However, they were made to fight every inch of the way and at times it was difficult to see who was playing at a higher non-league level.

Hayes had the better of the opening exchanges but the Rocks went into the lead on 11 minutes when Ben Godfrey pounced on a mis-punch from Jamie Young in the home goal to slot home from close range. This was Godfrey’s first goal in a number of games and the relief was evident.

However, Bognor`s lead didn`t last long and in the 20th minute, a pinpoint cross from Louie Soares was cleverly headed past Rocks keeper Mark Zawadski by Jake Reid.

Bognor could have taken the lead once again when a fierce first-time shot from Godfey was only just put round the post for a corner by Young.

Hayes were pressing and a Rocks defensive error just before the half-time whistle could have been expensive but for a fine save by Zawadski.

The second half saw the home side trying to take the game to the Rocks, but good defensive play kept the scores level, although a free header for Reid sailed over the bar in 49th minute.

At the other end, a free-kick to Bognor well taken by Terry Dodd resulted in a fine save from the home keeper.

The game was proving entertaining and it was end to end with chances again falling to Godfrey for Bognor and Soares for Hayes & Yeading.

Dodd could have done better in 76th minute when he hit the ball over the bar following a great through ball from the lively Kane Wills, and one minute later, Frankie Merrifield hit the bar for the home side.

The winner came in the 81st minute when Adam Everitt scored what proved to be the winner when he fired in from the edge of the six-yard box when the Rocks defence failed to properly clear.

The home side were really testing Bognor and only some good and well-organised defensive work prevented to home side extending their lead.

ROCKS: Zawadski, Malins, Crane, John, Axten, Robson, Hopkinson, Wills, Dodd (Chamberlain), Godfrey (Pearce), Tuck. Subs not used: Sackman, Weir, Ender.

The Rocks are back in league action on Tuesday night when they go to AFC Hornchurch.

ROGER NASH