Bognor were left to rue missed chances as they dominated proceedings at Billericay, only to slip to a 2-0 defeat in the Ryman premier.
The Rocks made the brighter start at New Lodge, asserting control of the ball in the early stages. But the visitors were caught on the counter-attack with 10 minutes on the clock.
Tom Derry crossed from the right for Town and Joseph Ellul ghosted in behind the back of the defence to head past Grant Smith in the Rocks goal.
Buoyed by their early advantage, the hosts poured forward but when penalty appeals fell on deaf ears, they found themselves on the back foot in a one-sided half of football.
With the wind at their backs, Bognor dictated the play. Doug Tuck, on for the injured Sami El-Abd, forced a good save from keeper Jack Giddens.
And Jason Prior was the next man to call the busy Billericay stopper into action.
Having survived an early appeal for a penalty against them, the visitors saw one of their own turned down when Alex Parsons was felled in the area.
And Jamie Howell’s side were left scratching their heads at how they were trailing at the break after Stuart Green’s effort was cleared off the line by Ola Williams.
Bognor continued to enjoy more of the ball in the second half but the impressive Giddens again was on hand to deny both Parsons and James Crane in quick succession.
But late controversy ensured it was not to be the Rocks’ day as Mike Fondop-Tolom profited from a misplaced free-kick from Chad Field to net a game-clinching second goal for Billericay. The striker then saw red for his over-exuberant celebrations.
The Rocks remain eighth in the table and will be keen to get back to winning ways at home to Lewes on Boxing Day.
Bognor: Smith, White, Crane, Field, El-Abd, Robson, Parsons, Beck, Prior, Kandi, Green. Subs: Rutherford Tuck, Pearce, Charman
In the Southern Combination premier, Pagham won 4-2 at home to Wick and Barnham thanks to goals by Julian Boniface (2), Joe Gromett and Alex Kew. Pagham are sixth, while Chichester City drew 0-0 at Arundel to sit one place behind them.
In division one Sidlesham had a 2-0 home win over Storrington. But Midhurst and Selsey - as well as Bosham in division two - had games called off because of waterlogged pitches.
Two of our local West Sussex League sides met in the Malcolm Simmonds Cup and it was Lavant who came out on top with a 2-1 home victory over Nyetimber Pirates.
On the local rugby scene, there were great scenes at Oaklands Park as Chichester put a run of seven straight defeats behind them with a fine 31-20 victory over old foes Guernsey.
A stunning first-half display earned the vital National three London south east win and sent the Blues and their supporters off for the Christmas break in high spirits.
Bognor suffered their first defeat in their tenth league game, losing 20-15 at home to Fareham Heathens. But they remain nine points clear at the top of Hampshire one.
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