Rocks beat Pagham - but it’s marred by serious injury

Dan Beck helped the Rocks to victory at Pagham / Picture by Tim Hale
Dan Beck helped the Rocks to victory at Pagham / Picture by Tim Hale

The Rocks enjoyed a comfortable win against a strong Pagham side, although the evening was marred by a serious injury to Harvey Whyte in the dying moments of the first half.

Following a strong but fair tackle Whyte fell awkwardly and appeared to twist his knee. It was quickly obvious that this was a potentially-serious situation and after being carried from the pitch he was taken to hospital.

The extent of the injury is not yet known.

Bognor began the match with two new faces – former Farnborough keeper Aaron Bufton and Walter Figueira, a winger who played for Chelsea under-21s before spending time playing in Greece.

The visitors controlled the game in midfield from the start and looked comfortable in defence. Doug Tuck had a particularly good match and Figueira immediately shone on the right wing with his pace and ball control.

Although Bufton did not have too much to do, he did make one excellent save midway through the half and looked assured throughout the match.

Despite having the majority of the ball, it took Bognor just over half an hour to score. A good move involving Jimmy Wild and Janes Crane resulted in a tempting ball into the six-yard box and James Fraser reached it a split second before Jamres Binfield in the Pagham goal to poke the ball into the net.

Despite the match being a pre-season friendly it had an edge to it and a bad foul was met by retaliation from Dan Beck, resulting in an unnecessary melee.

Referee Marc Meeten handled it well, and when a similar situation threatened to occur some minutes later, he made it very clear he would take strong action over any further similar offences.

Sensibly he blew for half-time slightly early, giving both teams’ managers time to sort their players out. Happily there was to be no repetition in the second half.

Bognor made it 2-0 after 60 minutes. Figueira beat two players before threading a ball through to Ollie Pearce some 20 yards from goal.

Pearce controlled the ball well and laid it off to Wild, who strode forward and slotted the ball comfortably past the keeper for his first goal for the club.

Within five minutes the Rocks had scored again. This was a cracking goal as Wild pushed a ball over the last defender for Pearce to run on and smash a powerful shot in from the edge of the area.

The final goal, ten minutes later, was an accurate header from Figueira as he flicked in Pearce’s cross. He might have scored again just afterwards when he beat three players but his shot was somehow cleared off the by a defender.

Bognor: Aaron Bufton, Harvey Whyte, James Crane, Doug Tuck, Chad Field, Sami El-Abd, Walter Figueira, Dan Beck, Jimmy Wild, Ollie Pearce, James Fraser. Subs: Gary Charman, Darren Budd, Daryl Wollers, Ed Sanders.

SIMON COOK

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