In scenes that even Jack Pearce said he had never experienced before in half a century in football. Mongoy was shown a red card when referee Graham Swanton booked him for time-wasting – thinking he had also booked him earlier in the game.
That meant Joe Cook, who was replacing Mongoy with about ten minutes left, was not allowed to come on – and the team had to defend their 1-0 lead a man down.
They did so, but Rocks boss Jack Pearce said the club would have demanded a replay of the game had they not won, because they were left a man down because of a clear and undeniable error.
Pearce said the referee deserved credit for realising his mistake immediately after the game and apologising, but the Nyewood Lane chief said: “I’ve never seen anything quite like it in 51 years in football.”
The win, courtesy of Ashton Leigh’s fine finish, was Bognor’s third in eight days and left them second in the table. They’ve slipped a couple of places since and don’t play again until Saturday week’s trip to Bowers & Pitsea.
Pearce said: “It was a good job we held on. I was amazed at how the ref got himself in such a state.
“Ashton Leigh was booked after a flare-up in the 40th minute but Jordy wasn’t.
“Near the end we wanted to get Joe Cook on in defence and sacrifice Jordy and he did take his time coming off but at no time did the referee tell him to hurry up.
“Joe came on and the referee then showed Jordy a yellow card for time-wasting. He then had a meltdown and showed him red and beckoned Joe to come off. It all went on for seven minutes and everyone was trying to tell the ref he’d not already booked Jordy.
“At the end of the game I asked to speak to the official and he told me I could go in and see him. I said we’d have to appeal but he said he wanted to apologise to the player and the team, and that he’d put it right in his report to the FA. At least he did that, but it should never have happened.”
As for the victory, Pearce said: “We’re showing resilience and character and periods of exciting football. But we’re a young team and there will be ups and downs.”