More late Bognor drama - but this time it's at the right end
One week they concede a late winner - the next week they score one. There's never much shortage of late drama where the Rocks are concerned but a week after heartbreak at the hands of Margate, this time fortune went in their favour at Leatherhead.
Tommy Leigh's 91st minute header sent Bognor fans into raptures as they put back-to-back defeats behind them to claim three important points against the Tanners, completing the double in the process.
Early on Leigh had to clear a cross from a free-kick with Jerry Nnamani lurking. Then Rocks keeper Amadou Tangara had to punch clear a similar cross in open play. Leatherhead stole the ball in midfield before Travis Gregory beat Bognor's debut-making Pompey defender Matt Casey to cross and win a corner off Harry Kavanagh. From the corner, Melford Simpson nodded over the crossbar.
A long ball got Dan Smith on the run before he beat his defender, but he smashed it at goalkeeper Zaki Oualah. But Bognor took the lead on 11 minutes. Leigh got Bognor on the break before he found Doug Tuck with a pass and he squared the ball to the back post, where Brad Lethbridge was waiting. He cut inside before shooting low into the bottom corner.
Gregory's left-sided corner found Simpson and he glanced his header only narrowly over on 14 minutes. Tuck found Mason Walsh before he crossed towards Lethbridge but two defenders were in his way. Lethbridge controlled Keaton Wood's forward ball before playing it to Walsh but his strike was hit directly to Oualah.
Bognor had the ball in the net again as Walsh's cross picked out Smith who headed it low and in despite an effort to save it by Oualah on 20 minutes, but it was disallowed for offside. Leigh hit one from 25 yards, forcing the goalkeeper into a save, as Bognor were starting to exploit space in the Tanners half.
Leigh's corner was headed back inside by Walsh but it was headed off the line on 23 minutes by a Leatherhead defender. Tangara dealt with a Wood back pass by hacking it out of play on 27 minutes. Gregory latched on to a loose ball but struck his effort wide from outside the box on 30 minutes.
Casey's backwards header led to Wood slipping, allowing the Tanners in, but Simpson’s fierce effort was pushed away by Tangara. Charlie Hester Cook gave Leatherhead an equaliser on 41 minutes. Bognor failed to clear a cross from the right and the ball bounced out to Hester Cook who capitalised on a slip-up before dispatching the ball low beyond Tangara.
Zachary Robinson replaced the injured Jake Embery for Leatherhead, Embery having to be helped off the field. HT 1-1
Walsh was replaced by Arron Hopkinson for the second half, which started with Robinson's cross bouncing across the area - and it was missed by Casey in the box as another chance went begging for Leatherhead. Hopkinson made headway inside the Tanners half but knocked it well over the bar with his left foot.
From a free-kick Lethbridge smashed a shot high over the bar on 49 minutes. Hopkinson got in a cross but it was gathered by Oualah. Wood went into the book on 54 minutes for clipping Robinson with a challenge. Simpson was replaced by Misha Djemaili on 58 minutes for the Tanners.
A long ball over the top by James Crane was headed on by a defender before it bounced out to Hopkinson, who bobbled a shot wide. On 65 minutes Tangara slipped before William Seager fired in a low shot, but Tangara stopped it and the flag went up. Leigh pulled the ball back for Hopkinson but he sliced his chance high over the bar.
Robinson's cross was diverted by Whyte towards the near post but Tangara pushed it away on 73 minutes. On 79 minutes Lethbridge lost control before a pass picked out Robinson, who chipped the ball high over Tangara and, fortunately for Bognor, over the crossbar. Finlay McNabb was replaced by Craig McGee on 82 minutes while Lethbridge was replaced by Joshua Flint for Bognor.
Bognor had a great chance on 86 minutes as Hopkinson and Kavanagh worked hard on the right before a ball along the deck for Tuck ended with him skying his effort. But it wasn’t over as, in injury time, Kavanagh's ball into the box found Leigh, who nodded it low beyond Oualah to send the large Bognor travelling support into party mode.
The Rocks visit Folkestone Invicta in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday then host the same team in the league next Saturday.
Rocks: Tangara, Kavanagh, Crane, Tuck, Casey, Wood, Whyte, T Leigh, Smith, Lethbridge (Flint 82), Walsh (Hopkinson). Sub’s not used: Wakley, Mendoza, Baker.