Rocks end up having a Wild time at Leiston
A 94th-minute equaliser by Jimmy Wild saw ten-man Rocks take a share of the points atLeiston.
In an incident-packed second half, Chad Field was sent off – but Bognor never gave up and Wild’s late leveller sparked joyous celebrations at what could prove a vital point.
Leiston had gone ahead on 84 minutes through a contentious goal and although the draw was not enough to keep Rocks top of the Ryman premier - Havant moving above them with a 6-0 win over Sudbury - the single point gained keeps them just one behind Lee Bradbury’s side.
Youngster Oscar Haynes Brown, who impressed in the midweek friendly against the Army, was on the bench, along with striker Charlie Moone.
Gary Charman passed a late fitness test to start in defence in place of banned Sami El-Abd.
Good play down the right for Bognor saw Calvin Davies slip the ball inside for Harvey Whyte but his cross was deflected for a corner. Whyte’s right-sided cross to James Fraser saw the midfielder smash it well over the bar from just inside the box.
Seb Dunbar caused Jimmy Muitt some trouble down the left but his cross was plucked out of the sky by Dan Lincoln.
Doug Tuck’s clearance bounced to Adeyinka Cole, who fired it well wide.
Pearce and Fraser combined for Fraser to hit a volley but it flashed well wide.
Whyte’s cross should have been put away by Fraser or Tuck but they were swiftly closed down on 20 minutes.
A long throw by Charman bobbled out to Pearce who slammed it goalwards but Jacob Marsden was well positioned to save.
Charman blocked a shot with his head by Joe Francis and then brave defending by Charman thwarted another chance from point-blank range moments later.
Lincoln had to punch away yet another Heath cross on 28 minutes.
Dan Beck’s pass to Fraser saw him turn his marker before shooting but the keeper made a good save.
An inswinging corner saw Lincoln use his left fist to clear. Then Cole’s chipped cross was just too much for Francis.
On 42 minutes Fraser’s hard work on the left saw him set up Whyte, who put his shot well over the bar.
Fraser and Tuck teed up Muitt, who let fly with a curling attempt. But Marsden pulled out a good save.
Bognor won an early second half corner but Pearce’s inswinging cross was headed off the line.
Charman went to ground after competing for the ball in the air. He had to receive treatment on his wrist as he fell awkwardly. Taped up, he returned to play.
Pearce was replaced by Jimmy Wild on 62 minutes before Beck drove a free-kick into the box but it bounced wide with Wild lurking inside the box.
Muitt was replaced by Haynes Brown on 70 minutes, while Patrick Brothers came on for Cole and Francis was replaced by Conor Hubble on 73 minutes for the Blues.
Wild cut inside before shooting straight at the goalkeeper and at the other end, Brothers smashed one low from long distance. It took a deflection and went for a corner.
Crane’s cross earned a corner on 78 minutes. Tuck’s kick that had to be pushed away by the goalkeeper. Then Fraser’s corner was well gathered by Marsden.
The Rocks suffered a blow when Field was sent off for a scuffle in the area. There was a suspicion the defender had retaliated but the straight red seemed harsh.
Beck was spoken to after a challenge that he looked like he had won. Heath curled a shot low towards goal but it was pushed around the post by Lincoln.
From the resulting corner, Leiston took the lead on 84 minutes. There was frustration from Bognor, who felt there had been a handball before Tom Bullard netted.
As Bognor tried to salvage a point, Fraser’s direct free-kick was hit along the deck but was well-stopped by Marsden.
Tuck was replaced by Moone on 90 minutes.
Lincoln was sent forward for a free-kick but Whyte was denied with a block and then Wild hit a shot disappointingly wide.
Crane smashed a ball into the area which was deflected for a corner. Fraser’s corner picked out Charman, whose header was deflected away.
The Rocks kept on pressing and a cross found Lincoln, who headed it at goal. His header was close but as Bognor recycled it, the ball came back into the box and Wild pounced to head in from close range – all this four minutes into stoppage time.
There were great scenes at Bognor players and fans celebrated their late reprieve – now they head to Burgess Hill on Tuesday to try to keep their promotion bid firing.
Leiston: Marsden, Brown, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Cole (Brothers 73), Heath, Blake, Muir-Merchant, Francis (Hubble 73). Subs not used: Hutchings, Pelling, Harry Lay-Fulcher.
Rocks: Lincoln, Whyte, Crane, Tuck (Moone 90), Charman, Field, Fraser, Beck, Muitt (Haynes Brown 70), Pearce (Wild 62), Davies. Subs not used: Budd, Parsons.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking sports news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!