PICTURE SPECIAL - Rocks make FA Trophy progress... next stop Taunton

He saved the Rocks in the first game - and Ibra Sekajja struck again in the replay with Hemel Hempstead to edge them into the first round of the FA Trophy.

Tuesday, 28th November 2017, 10:21 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:40 am
Ibra Sekajja celebrates his goal as the Rocks beat Hemel in their FA Trophy replay / Picture by Tommy McMillan

His 71st-minute goal was enough to put Bognor through to a tie away to Taunton, which will be played on Saturday, December 16 - one of the venues where they won on their route to the semi-final in 2015.

See Tommy McMillan's sequence of photos showing his goal and celebration above

Sami El-Abd was sent off for violent conduct in a bad-tempered end to the game, which will mean him missing three games.

Ibra Sekajja celebrates his goal as the Rocks beat Hemel in their FA Trophy replay / Picture by Tommy McMillan

It continues the Rocks' recent improvement, which has seen them win two and draw two in their last four.

With the news that Ollie Pearce would be missing for several weeks with a groin problem the team were unchanged from the line-up who started at Hemel.

The visitors began brightly, and Spencer McCall’s cross went astray as Dan Lincoln got to it first. Keaton Wood did well to deny Antonio German’s fierce strike when he slid in to block him.

Sekajja gave the ball away cheaply in midfield but David Moyo’s cross-field ball bounced out of play. Scott Shulton forced Lincoln into the first save of the night on six minutes. He cut inside on his right foot before firing a shot low from outside the box.

Doug Tuck slipped a neat ball in for Sekajja but his cross was cleared for a corner. On 14 minutes Moyo beat his marker before scooping a cross back across goal. But German failed to get contact on the ball and Tuck managed to clear the danger. In an early change for the Tudors, Matt Spring replaced Joe Howe, who was nursing a hamstring problem.

Tommy Block was fouled and Calvin Davies’ lofted free kick almost fell to Chad Field but goalkeeper Laurie Walker got there instead. Hemel looked likelier to score and Jordan Parkes’ right-footed free kick only just curled wide. Walker had to dash out of his goal to head out Wood’s forward pass towards Sekajja.

Jimmy Muitt cut the ball back in search of Sekajja but the danger was cleared by the Hemel defence. A deflected Shulton chance committed Lincoln into a fine save low to his right. McCall followed up but Davies blocked the attempt close to the back post.

James Kaloczi clearly caught Sekajja late in a challenge and was the first to go into the referee’s book. But when Davies chipped the ball in from the free kick on 35 minutes, it was easily cleared away. In a nervy moment, Field gave the ball straight to Moyo, who rushed on to force Lincoln into a near-post save from a slight angle.

On 44 minutes Ben Swallow’s free kick was almost headed into his own net by Kaloczi. The dipping corner almost fell into the path of Kristian Campbell but it was deflected away before Field got in the way of a clearance.

HT 0-0

A slow starting second half saw El-Abd and German get into an altercation on 50 minutes. The referee warned both players but avoided showing either a card. Muitt did well to control the ball before passing to Swallow but his run was closed down. Davies capitalised on the loose ball but his low cross from the right was stopped by Walker.

Campbell got in the way of another cross from the visitors. On 61 minutes, Sekajja threaded the ball forward to Tuck, who with one touch beat a defender before shooting just wide of the far post. Swallow’s through ball saw Sekajja on the run and he forced Walker into another save seconds later.

Sekajja went into the book for arguing with a decision soon, then Block was also shown yellow after he a challenge where he seemed to win the ball. Another hamstring issue for the visitors saw Lloyd Doyley have to be replaced by Tom Day on 67 minutes. Swallow’s free-kick was knocked out to Tuck and from 25 yards he struck it quickly with his left boot but it was always rising over the bar.

Bognor took the lead on 71 minutes. It was Field’s lofted pass that split the defence and Sekajja was unmarked and ran on before cleverly prodding the ball beyond Walker and celebrating in style. In response, Spring’s chipped ball into the box rolled harmlessly out for a goal kick at the other end. Shulton had another go at goal on 79 minutes, forcing Lincoln into a save down to his left.

El-Abd got in the way to deny the same player seconds later. On 83 minutes a sharp clearance saw Sekajja run on to the attack and beat the last defender with ease, but with only Walker to beat it was the goalkeeper who came out on top with a crucial save.

Frustrations flared when Muitt had beaten Ebby Nelson-Addy for pace inside Bognor’s half. The substitute clearly caught the ankle of Muitt and the referee sent the Hemel player off straight away. But in the aftermath, Bognor’s El-Abd was also given a straight red card for complaining as tempers flared.

Harvey Whyte replaced Swallow on 89 minutes after the dismissals. Two minutes into stoppage time Shulton swung the ball into the area and Kaloczi nodded it wide of the post. Whyte’s chipped ball forward was won by Sekajja and his knock-on found Muitt. He ran on before shooting low and forcing Walker into a decent save.

Right at the death another Kaloczi header had to be pushed over the bar by Lincoln - and the Rocks had done enough to go through to the next round of the FA Trophy after five minutes of stoppage time.

It’s back to league action this Saturday as Bognor take on Concord Rangers at Nyewood Lane.

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Campbell, Tuck, El-Abd (c), Field, Muitt, Block, Sekajja, Wood, Swallow (Whyte 89). Subs not used: Beck, Lea, Scott, Boughton

Hemel: Walker, Howe (Spring 15), Connolly, Parkes (c), Doyley (Day 67), Moyo (Nelson-Addy 75), Kaloczi, Shulton, Osborn, German, McCall. Subs not used: Hoskins, Boness