Bognor so close to nabbing winner - then Margate get one instead

Bognor fell victim to a second straight home defeat after a final-minute winner from Margate condemned them to a 2-1 defeat.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 10:21 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th January 2020, 10:54 am
Bognor celebrate the equaliser against Margate / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Harvey Whyte cancelled out Roman Campbell’s opener before Keiron Monlouis’ last gasp strike sealed all three points for the visitors and left Bognor tenth in the Isthmian premier table.

Margate were the better side in the opening ten minutes and had a great chance to score first, but Amadou Tangara pushed the ball away from a firm strike by Kaddel Daniel.

Margate once again had another good chance to break the deadlock as Campbell did well to keep the ball in and lay it off to Jack Richards, whose cross met the head of Monlouis - but he couldn’t divert.

Harvey Whyte levels for Bognor against Margate / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Bognor were crumbling and Margate were mounting the pressure once more, and Richards was left unmarked on the edge of the area after a counter attack from the visitors but his effort narrowly went wide.

On 18 minutes Bognor seemed to finally come into the game. Doug Tuck came close with the first real effort of the game for Bognor but the ball dipped just over the bar.

A quiet ten minutes was almost brought to life by Bradley Lethbridge, his curling effort from outside the box going went wide. Lethbridge had another chance to get his side ahead but keeper Joseph Tupper stood strong and blocked his close-range effort.

A quiet spell by Margate was nearly turned on its head as the visitors broke free and Tangara was forced into another save from Noel Leighton’s shot.

Dan Smith tries his luck v Margate / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Margate were back on top and once more found themselves in behind the Bognor defence but an important toe from Tuck to cut out a shot kept the score at bay. The best chance of the half was from a Tommy Leigh free-kick - the ball looked destined for the bottom corner but it was somehow kept out. HT 0-0.

Four minutes into the second half Margate took the lead. The ball was lost in midfield by Josh Flint and Monlouis broke free and set Campbell through and he poked the ball past Tangara.

It took only two minutes for Bognor to equalise when a scramble in the box was touched home by captain Whyte to level the score

Dan Smith almost made it 2-1 to Bognor but for a crucial save from Tupper. A cross whipped into the back post to Crane was nodded back to Smith who only had to tap home from six yards but Tupper somehow recovered and made a fantastic save to keep it level.

Leighton almost made it 2-1 to the visitors but he couldn’t direct his header on target. Whyte surged from his own half to counter for Bognor and linked up well with substitute Mason Walsh, but Whyte couldn’t double his tally as his placed shot went just wide of the post.

In the final minute of the game everyone at Nyewood Lane were wondering how Bognor didn’t take the lead. Efforts from Smith, Aaron Hopkinson, Crane and what seemed like four other players in the space of a matter of seconds somehow couldn’t force the ball home from close range.

The last kick of the game broke the Rocks' hearts. Monlouis was left unmarked on the edge of the box and curled the ball into the top corner from 20 yards out to take home all three points.

It was cruel on the Rocks but a second home defeat in four days has done nothing to boost their promotion hopes. They are back in action away to Leatherhead next Saturday.

Bognor; Tangara, Kavanagh, Crane, Wood, Dandy, Tuck, T.Leigh, Whyte, Lethbridge, Smith, Flint. Subs; Walsh, Hopkinson, Wakley, Baker.