Gifford on spot to rescue point for Bognor Regis Town against Margate

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The Rocks settled for a point at home to Margate as Steve Cawley's two goals put the visitors on course for victory only for Dan Gifford to rescue a point with a late equaliser.

Lucas Pattenden had given the Rocks a third minute lead as they looked to build on Saturday’s fine win at Folkestone – before Margate took charge and snuffed out their hopes of a second straight win.

An unfortunate early change before kick-off saw Jasper Mather have to be replaced by Isaac Olaniyan as he pulled up injured in the warm-up.Bognor got the opening goal when Calvin Davies did well to pick out Pattenden and he made no mistake with a run and powerful shot that flew high into the net via the underside of the bar, with Harry Seadon well beaten.Margate responded as Ryan Hall had to deny Cawley, after a decent lofted pass over the defence, with a brave block. But soon Margate levelled the score when a chipped pass over the defence following a throw-in fell to Cawley who beat Hall on 13 minutes.Davies gave away a free-kick on the right. Ben Greenhalgh got a deep cross in but Hall was there to gather it on 17 minutes. A decent diagonal ball over defence saw Pattenden control the ball well, before bombing down the right and crossing it low to Dan Smith, who hit it quickly but it was blocked on 21 minutes.Rhodell Gordon set through Olly Box with a one on one chance against Hall but with only the goalkeeper to beat he put his shot wide of the post. Kieran Douglas pulled up for a second time with injury and had to be replaced by Danny Howick on 25 minutes.Rocks defender Spencer Spurway did well to round his marker on the byline before getting a low cross in with Gifford in position but Seaden bravely got down to it on 26 minutes.Matt Burgess got forward and played it to Spurway and his diagonal low pass forward towards Smith was tracked well by Seaden and he gathered the ball on 36 minutes. Box was fouled on the run by Burgess, who had lost possession in Bognor's half. Greenhalgh was searching for Cawley with his cross but it flew across the penalty area and out.Gifford appeared to be fouled on the turn setting up Smith with a pass but he was offside on 42 minutes. The referee deemed there to have been no foul in the build up so a free-kick was awarded to Margate.Burgess got Bognor on the attack again. He fired it out wide to Pattenden, whose pace was hurting Margate. He crossed it swiftly onto the right boot of Olaniyan who hit it first time along the deck and it was pushed out by Seaden. Gifford failed to latch onto the rebound and then Davies scuffed his chance from outside the box high over the crossbar on 44 minutes.Pattenden did well to run down the right and again found a teammate in Gifford who hit it first time and forced a diving save from Seaden who pushed it out for a corner three minutes into stopoage time. HT 1-1The ball was kept in on the byline and the Margate manager was booked for his remonstrations after appealing that the ball had gone out of play. Smith complained to Pattenden after he received the ball from a lost cause but his cut back to Spurway saw the full back curl the ball to the back post and bounce out of play on 50 minutes.Pattenden beat Archie Johnson down the right before crossing it into the area on 53 minutes was searching for Gifford in the air but it was too high for the forward to capitalise.Davies did well to find Spurway on the right and he made a run on the flank before firing the ball low into the near post. Seaden in the Margate goal was equal to it to deny him on 56 minutes.Gordon went into the book for clearly pulling down Spurway on the run. The freekick was taken by Davies and found the head of Howick who nodded it down to Craig Robson who was blocked with his instant shot on 60 minutes.Olaniyan gave away a free-kick on the right hand side on 64 minutes. Greenhalgh curled it in but Robson was there to meet it in the air and powerfully head it out again.Bognor were dealt a poor decision as Robson appeared to get a touch to the ball to intercept the loose ball in the area as Cawley easily went to ground. The referee pointed straight to the spot despite challenges from the Bognor players who couldn't believe the decision. Cawley stepped up on 69 minutes to shoot low beyond the outstretched arm of Hall to give the visitors the lead.Pattenden was set through on goal by Gifford and he was denied by the closing down by Seaden. Smith rocketed a header off the crossbar from another left sided cross.Harvey Whyte and Spurway combined on the right to square it to Tommy-Lee Higgs who curled it over the bar with his first touch from outside the box on 86 minutes.But Bognor won a penalty of their own on 88 minutes as Higgs turned inside and was clearly fouled. Up stepped Gifford from the spot to equalise.

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Soon, Gifford appeared to be fouled in the turn before his ball through to Smith. But his strike was straight at Seaden. This ended a terrific second half and meant a share of the points for both sides.Rocks travel to Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday hoping to continue the their battle to move up the league.

Rocks: Hall, Spurway, Rabbetts, Davies (c), Douglas (Howick 25), Robson, Pattenden, Burgess (Higgs 76), Smith, Gifford, Olaniyan (Whyte 76). Sub not used: Briffa