Robson strikes again to earn Bognor a point at Horsham

Bognor battled to a draw at Horsham as Craig Robson netted his second goal in two games with a fine header to earn a point at the Camping World Community Stadium.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 7:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 7:44 am
Bognor celebrate Craig Robson's equaliser / Picture: Trevor Staff

Rocks started with the same line-up as in the 1-0 win at home to Carshalton Athletic. Ex-Rocks Harvey Sparks, Douglas Tuck and Alex Malins lined up for the hosts Horsham, whilst Gary Charman also started on the bench et to become the club's joint-record-breaker for appearances with the Hornets.

Robson was fit to start for Bognor after having to come off at half-time at home to Carshalton with a suspected hamstring strain.

Early on, Tom Day’s long forward ball bounced through to Robson who slipped but it rolled onto Amadou Tangara who was able to gather it. Kayne Diedrick-Roberts combined with James Crane on the left before he crossed it but the ball was headed away at the near post. A Bognor strike was disallowed from Calvin Davies as he stroked the ball under goalkeeper Sam Howes into the net - he was offside.

A loose throw in by Bognor was stolen by Shamir Fenelon who played the ball through defence. But Tangara was there as he dashed out of his goal to stop it before the onrushing Alex Laing. Joe Cook was back to deny Fenelon with his advance when Jordy Mongoy slipped and lost possession. Then soon after Charlie Harris smashed a chance from distance but it only just flew wide of the top right corner, hitting the side netting.

Sparks won a corner from a deflected cross. The short corner was defended by Bognor as they were back to deny him. Will Miles completely missed his chance at a volley straight from a cross deep inside the Bognor penalty area as the Hornets attacking style was swift and hard to contend with.

Bognor lost possession again allowing Tom Richards to hit one along the deck but thankfully for Rocks, wide of the left post from just the edge of the box. Crane had to head another cross out of play. Davies went into the book for clearly impeding Laing on the break.

It was 1-0 to Horsham when a swift cross was put away by the unmarked Miles on the back post on 18 minutes in a poor start for the Rocks. Horsham deserved their lead. Davies won a corner on the right. The short corner was out to Ashton Leigh but his pass back to Harvey Whyte ended with the skipper's cross getting shut down disappointingly. Good passing play saw Crane, Jake Flannigan and Leigh all involved but Leigh strayed offside to end the chance from Flannigan’s through ball.

Tangara denied another chance for Horsham as Richards hit one from a tight angle but at his near post the goalkeeper was equal to it. Mongoy had his shirt pulled as Davies pushed the ball forward. Leigh's dipping free-kick was knocked out over the bar.

But Bognor got the equaliser on 33 minutes from the resulting corner. Leigh drove it in and it was Robson who peeled off his marker to head the ball low into the net. It appeared to take a deflection as it went in.

Diedrick-Roberts played in Mongoy neatly before his turn and strike. Howes managed to push it over the bar dramatically. Leigh's corner was placed onto the back post but there wasn’t anyone there. Flannigan stole the ball and ran on before crossing it in. But the Horsham defence cleared it away.

Harris hit a free-kick bouncing into the box after Mongoy fouled the attacking Sparks. Luckily for Bognor it bounced right out for a goal kick. Fenelon beat Tangara to the ball from a long ball down the middle but from a difficult angle he hit the side netting to end a fiercely contested first half. HT 1-1

Davies was replaced by Gavin McCallum for the second half. A square ball saw Harris run on before shooting with his left boot which bounced once before fizzing wide of the left post. McCallum won a corner after Mongoy was onside. The low square pass from Leigh’s corner found Whyte but he scuffed his first time kick and it was easily cleared.

Tangara had to come out to clear up his own mess to slide and kick it out before Mongoy ran on the counter and his cross down the left was headed out or a corner. Leigh’s ball onto the back post found McCallum who was under pressure when he narrowly headed the ball over. Cook was back to defend, sliding in to deny Fenelon. Down the other end Howes clearly handled the ball outside the box, clashed with Mongoy and only received a yellow card. The ball was kicked into the open net in the follow up but the referee had already blown his whistle before it went in.

Tangara lost possession at the back but again denied the low strike as the ball rebounded back out and Tom Kavanagh was stopped from the edge of the box. Mongoy ran onto a long pass down the right flank before his low cross towards Diedrick-Roberts but his marker got there first to deny him. Then Fenelon was replaced by Lee Harding for the hosts as the Hornets needed to freshen up their side.

Leigh got Bognor on the attack. He played the ball inside to Whyte and after a one-two move with Diedrick-Roberts, but the skipper smashed his effort over. A long cross by McCallum fell out onto the left for Diedrick-Roberts who curled it back into the area but Mongoy, under pressure, spun his header over the bar. Cook ran forward but Leigh's touch was closed down by Howes as both sides could have taken the lead in the second half.

Ethan Robb was caught out but inadvertently set Diedrick-Roberts was on his way. He twirled nicely with his run before smashing it low but wide of the left post. Flannigan’s advance was deflected out to Whyte who whipped it across the goal and it bounced directly to Diedrick-Roberts who tried to control it before smashing it agonisingly wide from outside the area.

Kavanagh latched on to another cross to head wide. Then Harding hit one on the turn from a cross but somehow Tangara steered it just wide of the goal from point blank range. Laing pulled up in the box and he required treatment for an apparent hamstring injury. Gary Charman came on for his equal record breaking appearance to replace Laing.

Diedrick-Roberts came off for Nathan Odokonyero and he was involved straight away. Crane’s cross from the left found Odokonyero who glanced a header powerfully just over the bar. Bognor were caught in possession outside the box. It was played square to ex-Rock Doug Tuck but his fierce strike at goal was denied by a fantastic diving save from Tangara who diverted it wide.

Malins was to blame for missing from point blank range after the corner from the right was headed down towards goal. It seemed easier to score. Leigh was then replaced for the Rocks and Charlie Bell came onto the field in Bognor's last substitution. McCallum did well to hold onto the ball before combining with Whyte who played it backwards to Robb but he skied his chance well over the crossbar from 25 yards out.

Mongoy was denied his cross but it bounced out to Whyte who hit it early but it was always rising over the bar. McCallum ran inside from the corner flag and found Odokonyero but he deflected his shot off a defender. Somehow sub Chris Smith missed near the goal line from a cross in response.

Bognor attacked right at the death. Odokonyero’s quick feet allowed Bell in but after composing himself he belted it over the bar in the last chance of the game. The Rocks may rue missed chances here, but at the same time could well have lost this game were it not for the exploits of Tangara. Bognor are on the road next to Potters Bar Town next on Saturday.

Rocks: Tangara, Davies (McCallum HT), Crane, Robb, Cook, Robson, Whyte (c), Flannigan, Diedrick-Roberts (Odokonyero 78), Leigh (Bell 86), Mongoy. Subs not used: Dandy, Mendoza