Bosham suffer a Roff ending

Bosham's Ben Bishop in action earlier in the season / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Bosham's Ben Bishop in action earlier in the season / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Bosham FC's recent excellent form came to a frustrating end as third-placed Roffey left Walton Lane with the points after an absorbing game in which the better side lost.

Roffey left it very late to snatch the win with a strike from livewire marksman Tom Pillings - inflicting the Robins' first defeat since November to halt their climb up the SCFL division-two table.

Bosham forced the pressure early on and Conor Crabb went close to breaking the deadlock after five minutes with a free-kick that hit the post with keeper Jack Reeves well beaten.

The pacy Alex Barnes was next to sniff a chance as he broke clear of the Roffey defence and charged into the area. Reeves came out but Barnes rounded him easily but a huge bobble saw the striker’s subsequent shot balloon over the bar.

League top scorer Pat O’Sullivan was being kept quiet by the Reds' rearguard but did get a sniff at goal after 20 minutes when latching on to a poor clearance from a corner and hitting a first-time volley. But Josh Harris made a good save.

The visitors were making their intentions clear in search of goals to maintain their push for the title and a few minutes later they deservedly took the lead as Bosham gave Paul White too much time to find the top corner from long distance, leaving Harris well beaten.

Bosham came back with purpose but had to be wary of quick breaks from the Blues. Marek Koutsavakis brought out the best in Harris with a cross-shot from which the Bosham keeper made an excellent save to keep the hosts in the match and.

Rght on half-time the Reds got level through the dangerous Barnes. Defender Max Reeves slipped, allowing Barnes to streak clear and confidently beat Reeves in the bottom corner to send Bosham into the break level.

The Reds began to enjoy more possession in the second period and looked dangerous on the break. Ben Bishop was a constant thorn in the Roffey back-line and Jimmy Ruston was showing the skill and pace of a seasoned player to create opportunities.

Barnes had the best chance following good work from Ruston and fired goalwards with a volley but it was blocked. For Roffey Pillings had an opportunity on the hour but Harris made a smart save.

Roffey should have gone ahead through Koutsavakis when he had an open goal in front of him after winning a challenge against the onrushing Harris. However, with no pressure, he hit the post.

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Late on Bishop had another good chance for the hosts with a volley but the effort flew just wide and then, in injury time, Bosham were hit by the ultimate sucker punch as Pillings broke Reds hearts with a winner, a point-blank header after excellent work from O’Sullivan.

Bosham had put themselves under needless pressure and were made to count the cost, agonising over how the visitors had just stolen the points.

The Robins travel to Montpellier Villa this week and will hope for better things.

Bosham: Harris, Bulbeck, Briance, Buxton, Reynolds, Hurst, Barnes, Crabb, Ruston, Bishop, King. Subs: Jarrom, Wilson, Terry.