Muitt off mark as Rocks win fifth game in six to go second
The Rocks are second in the Ryman premier - above rivals Havant - after two late goals saw off Staines.
Sami El-Abd headed Bognor in front and Jimmy Muitt scored his first goal for the club as Bognor continued their superb form.
They’ve won five and drawn one of the six games played since their FA Cup exit at Billericay and will be delighted to, for now at least, move above the team that signed Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford in the summer.
Their form will be delighting manager Jamie Howell and Darin Killpartrick, though they will continue to drum into the squad that they have done nothing yet.
Downsides to the night for the Rocks were injuries picked up by Jimmy Wild and Muitt and news that Brighton do not want the impressive Dylan Barnett to extend his Nyewood Lane stay.
Staines looked the stronger side early on and Dashane Dalling rattled Bognor’s bar after only eight minutes with a 20-yard shot that followed a series of home corner.
Bognor began to find their feet and El-Abd saw a header from a corner smothered on the line on 20 minutes.
The Rocks had an escape five minutes later when Gary Charman sliced a clearance on to his own bar as he tried to cut out a Mo Bettamer effort. Keeper Dan Lincoln dealt with the loose ball.
Ollie Pearce was played clear by James Fraser but home keeper Jack Turner saved with ease. For Staines, Dalling cause plenty of early problems but Barnett got his measure as the game went on and he was eventually replaced.
Bognor should have taken the lead as Fraser again set up Pearce, who this time was denied by an excellent Turner save.
Pearce and Fraser set up Calvin Davies for a rising 25-yard shot that skimmed the bar, then Barnett had a free-kick kept out by Turner.
Staines skipper Tommy Brewer was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a heavy challenge on Davies, before Bettamer was denied by a superb last-ditch tackle by Davies on the stroke of half-time.
Bognor lost Wild in the first minute of the second half after a clash of heads with Devante McKain. The centre-forward looked groggy as he was helped off and he was replaced by Muitt - who himself ended the game with a nasty gash down his leg.
Bognor were looking the stronger side and a great run down the left by Barnett ended with Pearce teeing up Fraser for a deflected shot that whizzed over.
Kane Haysman shot just wide for Staines and Muitt threatened for the visitors.
De-Reece Van Der Hyde was booked for a crude challenge and Fraser, possibly after picking up a knock, was replaced by James Crane.
With 20 minutes left El-Abd headed Bognor into the lead from six yards after Doug Tuck’s ball in following a half-cleared corner found the defender unmarked.
Staines tried to hit back and the outstanding Charman had to head a chance clear under pressure.
But Bognor sealed the win on 83 minutes when Muitt seized on an underhit backpass by Van Der Hyde and beat Turner, scoring from a tight angle.
Staines had plenty of late possession but struggled to give Lincoln much to do and Muitt might have got a third for the Rocks after Davies played him in on goal.
The last act saw Kyran Wiltshire fortunate to be let off with a lecture for a wild kick out at Davies.
In-form Bognor hit the road again this Saturday and a week later - they go to Lowestoft in the league this week and Slough in the FA Trophy on October 29. Then they host county league Southwick in the Sussex Senior Cup on November 1.
Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Barnett, Tuck, El-Abd, Charman, Fraser (Crane 60), Budd (Field 78), Wild (Muitt 46), Pearce, Parsons. Subs not used: Byrne, Dolcetti.
Report by Simon Cook
Get all the latest from Nyewood Lane in the Bognor Observer - out on Thursday.
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