PICTURE SPECIAL: Rocks run riot against lacklustre Leatherhead
Bognor were comprehensive 5-0 winners at home to ten-man Leatherhead as they made it nine goals in two games and moved up to third place in the Ryman premier.
Another three points will guarantee them a play-off place and they will be confident now of a top-three finish that will mean at least the play-off semi-final would be at home.
See pictures by Tim Hale showing all five goals and celebrations, above
Dan Beck returned to the line-up with Doug Tuck on the bench. After great individual performances at Burgess Hill in midweek, Stuart Green and Snorre Nilsen got starts.
Early on, Nilsen found Alfie Rutherford but his run was curtailed by the linesman’s offside flag.
Connor Tighe played in a neat ball from the right and found James Crane. The full-back took a few steps before powering a shot narrowly over the bar.
Beck’s free-kick on the right was headed out by Phil Walsh to Jason Prior, whose volley was blocked.
Walsh cut out another neat cross by Harvey Whyte as Bognor looked to threaten on the break.
Tighe won a corner on the right on 26 minutes. Beck found Prior with it but Prior’s header was easily cleared.
On the half-hour, a forward ball was nodded by Prior to Rutherford and Adam Green fouled Rutherford just outside the area. He was the last man and was sent off.
Following the free-kick, struck low by Prior and pushed out by the goalkeeper, the ball was headed back into the area by Whyte and Sami El-Abd met it in a scramble on the line. The ball crossed the line and the referee awarded the goal.
The Rocks added to the score on 38 minutes. Following a neat pass by Green to Tighe, the Brighton youngster’s deflected shot spun up kindly for Green, who hit it sweetly on the volley high into the net.
Following a run by Rutherford, the ball bounced out to Tighe who struck it first time on 44 minutes but it flew over.
Josh Hare replacing Tomi Adeloye for the Tanners at the start of the second half.
Bognor were knocking the ball around comfortably and Green found Tighe on the right but Tighe’s cross was wildly off target.
Jerry Nnamani had to boot the ball clear for a corner on 52 minutes. Beck’s corner bounced out to James Crane, who struck it early and despite a deflection, the ball dipped into the net on 53 minutes to give Bognor a 3-0 lead.
Ollie Pearce replaced the hard-working Green on 54 minutes.
After Frannie Collin had hit a free-kick wide and then Beck cleared the danger from a corner, Tighe latched on to the ball and played in a wonderful incisive pass to allow Pearce to run through acres of space before composing himself and slotting low into the bottom corner, making it 4-0 with only 56 minutes gone.
Beck’s lay-off from a free-kick saw Prior smash his effort high over the bar.
Crane’s cross from the left bounced awkwardly for Prior - then Prior found Whyte with a square pass and Whyte’s quick shot swung wide of the post from outside the box.
Grant Smith had to push away an attempt by Kiernan Hughes-Mason in a rare attempt from the visitors on 63 minutes.
Gary Charman replaced Prior a minute later.
The Tanners won a free-kick after a foul by Chad Field but the kick by Collin was headed by Ryan Mahal into the grateful arms of Smith.
Hughes-Mason struck wide with a curling effort on 70 minutes.
The Rocks made their final substitution on 72 minutes as Tighe came off for Doug Tuck.
Nilsen struck at goal from inside the box with about 15 minutes left. Wells pushed the ball out and a defender cleared the loose ball.
Pearce spotted the goalkeeper off his line moments later but his long-range effort went wide.
Then Pearce cut inside but scuffed his shot well wide.
After Whyte won the ball in midfield, leading to a run and shot by Crane, Pearce was on the back post to poke the ball in from point-blank range on 84 minutes.
Whyte uncharacteristically lost the ball in his own half, allowing Hughes-Mason another chance with a long-range effort, but his attempt bounced wide.
Whyte received a booking for a sliding challenge and the Tanners brought on Stephen Okoh for Mahal on 88 minutes.
Nilsen worked his way into the box but his low shot left much to be desired.
A couple of late Tanners corners could not yield a consolation for them and Bognor deserved to be such comfortable winners.
They host Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday hoping for more of the same.
Rocks: Smith, Whyte, Crane, Nilsen, El-Abd, Field, Green (Pearce 54), Beck, Prior (Charman 64), Rutherford, Tighe (Tuck 72). Unused subs: Wollers, Parsons.
Report by Liam Goodley
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