Rocks slip to heaviest defeat as Oxford win with ease - report and video
Two goals in each half by hosts Oxford City made it another miserable day for the Rocks - and the end of the season surely can't come soon enough for them.
A week after relegation from National League South was confirmed Bognor's final away game of the season saw them travel to Marsh Lane to take on the Hoops who have pushed up the league thanks to recent results. Justin Amaluzor and Tommy Block were on the bench as Ibra Sekajja, Tommy Scutt and Ollie Pearce all got starts.
Godfrey Poku’s early curling ball into the area bounced harmlessly to Dan Lincoln. Then Tommy Scutt laid the ball off to Pearce on the right but his high cross towards the back post was headed away by Frankie Musonda.
Calvin Davies picked out Pearce on the left. His bouncing cross was knocked into the path of Sekajja by Scutt but Sekajja was blocked. Keaton Wood gave a corner away but Rob Sinclair's delivery was hacked away by Harvey Whyte. Poku won a free-kick just outside the penalty area on 12 minutes. It was ex-Rock Joe Oastler who curled the kick over the bar.
Sam Nombe smacked one at goal but Lincoln parried it. Matt Paterson followed it up with a low strike which bounced off the post on 14 minutes. Scutt picked out Pearce on the right but his dipping delivery went out of play. Good work from Whyte saw him run past his marker before playing in Pearce. The striker fed Sekajja who cut in from the right but his low strike was stopped by Craig King.
Davies picked out Swallow who cut inside from the right and had a shot blocked by King. Scutt then teed up Swallow and again the winger forced the keeper into a save with his low strike on 28 minutes. Doug Tuck lost the ball and Eddie Jones passed it to Nombe but the cross flew through the penalty area and wide on 32 minutes.
Sinclair went to ground in the box under a challenge by Gary Charman and a penalty was given even though a goal had been scored. Paterson slotted the spot-kick home to give Oxford a 40th-minute lead. On 43 minutes Paterson scored again. A cross from the right by Sinclair fell to Nombe whose strike was deflected to Paterson, who smashed it home from deep inside the box.
Nombe was shut down by an outrushing Lincoln as City looked for a third. HT 2-0
On 50 minutes Bognor won the ball in Oxford's half but Pearce's shot whizzed over the bar. The fans were starting the chants behind the goal as Bognor really needed to create something early in the second half. Scutt's ball out wide to Pearce saw him slam the ball low back across the area but King got in the way.
Reece Fleet, controlling the midfield well for the hosts,forced a Lincoln save. Pearce was replaced by Justin Amaluzor on 57 minutes as a sudden deluge arrived. For Oxford, Freddie Grant let fly with a left-footed strike which flew high over the bar.
Lincoln was a busy boy and at the other end Davies set up Whyte, who unleashed a shot from 22 yards that came back of the post. Swallow’s free-kick was cleared to Davies, who hit the ball early but saw it whizz wide.
Poku was replaced by Mamadou Fofana on 70 minutes for the Hoops. Davies was fouled and Nombe went in the book as Rocks won a corner from the resulting free-kick. From the corner Richard Gilot's ball into the box was easily gathered by the goalkeeper. Jimmy Muitt replaced Swallow on 73 minutes and Zac McEachran replaced the impressive Nombe as well for the hosts.
Gilot's cross fell to Tuck but he was blocked, then Amaluzor couldn't put away a chance. On 77 minutes Oxford extended their lead. Davies lost the ball deep in Bognor's half and Musonda capitalised by winning it and firing it in off a Bognor player. Block replaced Gilot on 78 minutes and was instantly involved but when he lost the ball to Paterson, the striker's shot was wide. Fleet was replaced by Kavan Cotter for Oxford on 82 minutes.
Bognor had a lot of the possession at the end and should have created more chances but the players failed to eek out any kind of clear chance on goal with Oxford defending bravely and resolutely.
On 89 minutes McEachran sped through and Bognor were outnumbered. He threaded in Paterson unmarked and he cut the ball back across the box for Sinclair, who slotted in at the back post for the Hoops. Charman required treatment after he clashed with a player in a challenge. He had to leave the field, meaning Rocks were down to ten men.
This was Bognor's heaviest defeat of the season and the Rocks are playing for pride and nothing more in the final two home games, with the first the rearranged Chelmsford City game on Tuesday, followed by title hopefuls Dartford's visit next Saturday.
Rocks: Lincoln, Whyte, Davies, Tuck, Charman (c), Wood, Scutt, Gilot (Block 78), Pearce (Amaluzor 57), Sekajja, Swallow (Muitt 73). Subs not used: Nelson, Boughton.