Rocks Review: Rocks 0 Margate 2

The Rocks fell to their first Ryman premier defeat of the season against a Margate side who never gave up and were effective in attack all afternoon.

Two goals in the second half punished Bognor for their missed chances, with Margate threatening on the counter attack all game. The result saw them slip to ninth in the table.

Bognor’s only absentee was Ashley Robinson, who is due to be out with a ligament injury for around six weeks.

An explosive start saw Mu Maan and Sam Long soon after kick-off.

Jon Marzetti received the ball on the right, but his chip towards Terry Dodd was too much for the striker.

Kane Wills set up Dodd to work with Marzetti on the right but the defender’s cross was too much for Maan.

Long’s shot was hit straight at Craig Stoner Dodd’s cross-shot forced Craig Holloway into a fine save.

James Crane turned quickly from 30 yards to let fly with a shot. Holloway pushed the ball wide of the post.

Steve Harper rounded his marker before getting a cross in. Heading towards Ben Johnson it was stopped by Holloway, who got down well to gather it.

Johnson ran on to a neat ball down the left but the defence cut out his low cross destined for Dodd or Mann.

Margate responded when Tommy Whitwell headed on for Murphy, who rolled a shot wide.

Maan turned his marker before firing at goal with his left boot from 30 yards. His effort bounced off the crossbar.

On 32 minutes Dodd did well to chip to Crane on the back post but with the goal at his mercy, Crane’s shot was blocked by a defender on the post.

Long was again a threat when he sped through before driving a low shot at goal. Stoner got a slight touch to it to send the ball wide.

Dodd’s right sided cross was bound for Maan but he didn’t make any contact.

HT – 0-0

Johnson cut inside from the right to hit a shot that Holloway just got his fingertips. Dan Kempson had to receive treatment for a late challenge near the touchline.

Dodd and Maan combined for Kempson but the substitute miscued his shot.

Murphy was causing problems at the other end. Stuart Axten and Kempson had to be alert to danger caused by the Margate man.

Dan Stubbs should have scored when he slid in to shoot but he sent the ball well over the bar.

On the hour, Kempson’s shot beat the goalkeeper but came bouncing off the post.

Margate took the lead on 66 minutes. Another mistake let the visitors in and the ball fell to Murphy, who smashed it past a stunned Stoner.

Bognor tried to respond but Johnson’s free-kick fell to Ben Andrews, whose header went directly at Holloway.

Two corners for Bognor failed to make the breakthrough. Johnson’s first one was punched clear by Holloway, before another corner fell to Andrews, only for his shot to spin over the bar.

Long drove a shot at goal, which took a deflection from his team-mate Dolby before going out for a goal-kick. Long had to be replaced after his own shot appeared to hurt his foot.

Andrews and Axten couldn’t find a way to goal when a free-kick was played to them with five minutes left.

The Rocks suffered the consequences of their missed opportunities when Margate extended their lead on 86 minutes. After linking up well with Whitwell, Dolby sped through and rolled the ball under Stoner.

Rocks: Stoner, Marzetti, Wollers (Kempson HT), Crane, Axten, Andrews ©, Harper (Stockford 71), Wills, Maan (Folkes 58), Dodd, Johnson. Unused subs: Tuck, Boyle.

Report by Liam Goodley