Clinical Enfield Town too strong for Rocks

Bognor Regis Town lost at home for the second successive Saturday – despite battling hard and twice equalising against a strong, play-off hunting Enfield Town side at the MKM Arena.
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A hat-trick by Marcus Wyllie saw the visitors maintain their position in the play off zone in front of a crowd of 794. The defeat leaves the Rocks 10th with their hopes of gatecrashing the play-offs all but over.

Harvey Whyte returned from injury and went straight into the Bognor starting line-up. An early corner kick by Enfield was defended when it went swirling into the near post.The visitors took the look early on. Scott Thomas played the ball out wide to the left and a cross by Oliver Knight to the near post was diverted in by Wyllie on just 4 minutes. At the other end, Lucas Pattenden sped beyond the defence before shooting across the goal but Rhys Forster pushed it out.Bognor levelled when Pattenden had his shirt pulled and he went to ground and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Tommy-Lee Higgs to shoot low and in off the diving boot of the goalkeeper on 11 minutes to equalise.Hall had to dash to clear it but his ball out from the edge of the penalty area went straight to Thomas. He knocked it from almost the halfway line but Hall got back to gather that on 17 minutes.Enfield went into a 2-1 lead on 20 minutes. Bognor failed to clear the ball as it rebounded off Wyllie, who went on to round Joe Rabbetts. He went onto shoot along the deck and in as Hall was beaten.

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Mickey Parcell went into the book for his late challenge on Jasper Mather. Rocks had a good chance soon after as Whyte's low ball in was met by Dan Gifford who tried to backheel it with his first touch, but he was blocked.Hall was having a busy afternoon as again he was called on to dash out of his area before sliding another kick out of the edge of his box. Oliver Turner did well to spot him off his line but his long range effort was blocked by the Bognor defence.Bognor got their second equaliser on 31 minutes. Matt Burgess drifted in a neat corner from the left. The defence missed it, allowing a free hit for Whyte, who steered it low into the net with Forster stranded.Mather forced another corner after he was set on a run by Burgess. The corner by Burgess was headed away on 36 minutes.Bognor were caught at the back and let Enfield through again. A pass beyond the defence saw Wyllie pounce with his run and unmarked he slotted his shot beyond Hall and into the bottom left corner on 38 minutes.

Action from the Rocks-Enfield clash at a sunny Nyewood Lane | Picture: Trevor StaffAction from the Rocks-Enfield clash at a sunny Nyewood Lane | Picture: Trevor Staff
Action from the Rocks-Enfield clash at a sunny Nyewood Lane | Picture: Trevor Staff

Pattenden was impeded but the free-kick by Burgess was headed out. Seung-Woo Yang set up Gifford but he won a corner. The ball in was too deep and that was also cleared. Dylan Adjei-Hersey sent a long range effort curling at goal with his left foot but Hall denied him in stoppage time of the first half.Bad news for Bognor came when Whyte had to come off deep into stoppage time for a foot injury. He was replaced by Joe Briffa. An entertaining first half ended 2-3.

As the second half started, Enfield started very well. Parcell found Knight on the run down the left and his cross was towards Wyllie but Hall was there to gather it on 47 minutes. Joseph Payne went into the book for pulling back Pattenden on the right flank on 48 minutes.It got worse for Bognor after Knight was first to a ball – Hall dived to try to block him but instead caught the player. The referee was well placed to award the penalty. Up stepped Sam Youngs to divert it coolly low into the bottom corner on 52 minutes.Wyllie was set through again as Rocks were poor with a pass out from the back. He ran through, beat the goalkeeper with his low strike but, luckily for Bognor, he hit the post.Another chance went begging for the visitors as Briffa miscued his pass, allowing Wyllie through again and after rounding Hall he hit the post on 64 minutes.Thomas went into the book as he committed another foul as Bognor continued to attack and then Alfie Bridgman got shown a yellow card on 66 minutes. Another cross from Pattenden flashed across the goal but no Bognor player capitalised.Mather was set through by Pattenden and played a one-two with him and it was Pattenden who sped through. But instead of placing his shot, he blazed over the crossbar on 70 minutes. Then Mather teed up Higgs for a run hut Forster pushed it away bravely on 71 minutes.Youngs saw yellow on 72 minutes as he committed another foul on the halfway line. A cross was whipped in from the left. The ball was spilled in the box by Forster but Higgs was blocked on the rebound.A cross was headed back into the area by the Bognor defence on 78 minutes. Youngs latched on to it but diverted his strike over the bar. Then a corner found Youngs on the back post but he was leaning back as his header forced a good save from Hall on 81 minutes.Bridgman whipped in some decent crosses but on so many occasions there wasn't anyone capitalising on the chances. Tom Holland, who had just come on, fired one low at goal but he was blocked.Mather did well to twist and keep the ball on the field and set up Higgs but his low effort was well saved by Forster on 86 minutes. Oliver Downs picked out Burgess who turned quickly and smacked one at goal along the deck but it was stopped by Forster again in stoppage time.

Higgs was strong enough to hold on to the ball but his free-kick after the foul was hit straight over the crossbar.However, after four minutes of stoppage time, Enfield Town were worthy winners here against the never-say-die Rocks.

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Bognor head to Horsham – another side in the top five – on Easter Monday (3pm). Rocks: Hall, Whyte (Briffa 45+3), Downs, Yang, Rabbetts, Robson, Pattenden (Holland 78), Burgess (c), Higgs, Gifford (Bridgman 56), Mather. Subs not used: Vince, Bennett (GK).

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