Gifford’s dramatic late double gives Bognor Regis Town victory over Cray Wanderers

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Dan Gifford grabbed two late goals at the MKM Arena as Bognor maintained their terrific home league record to overcome Cray Wanderers in dramatic fashion under the lights.

Despite being 1-0 down early on in the game, Bognor finally equalised on 87 minutes and were spurred on to get the second and winning goal in stoppage time. Goalkeeper Ryan Hall’s save right at the end was just as vital as the goals in helping the Rocks to victory.

The only change to the line-up saw Gifford come back from injury to replace Jasper Mather, who is due to return next week.Alfie Bridgman did well to dig out a low cross but it was swiftly hacked clear in the early stages. Then a Calvin Davies free-kick was swung in dangerously but it was headed up and keeper Shaun Rowley gathered it.Ibitayo Oyebola had a free-kick he hit directly at goal on nine minutes. Thankfully for Bognor, Hall was there to punch it away. Davies had a shot from outside the box which swung wide after a corner kick was awarded to the Rocks.Harvey Whyte teed up Pattenden on the right. He dragged the ball back to Dan Smith who won a corner after trying to turn and shoot on 14 minutes.Frankie Raymond got a cross in from another free-kick and it was George Porter who scooped a header in at goal but Hall did superbly to tip that over the bar on 17 minutes.Cray took the lead on 18 minutes and it was another dangerous cross by the visitors that Bognor failed to deal with – and Gary Lockyer beat Joe Rabbetts to the ball before unleashing an unstoppable strike beyond Hall to take the lead.Cameron Black tripped Gifford on the turn on 23 minutes. Davies hit his free-kick high and out of play for a goal kick.On 24 minutes it was Pattenden who crossed it into Gifford who placed it on a plate for Smith but he belted his shot wide of the left post as early as he could when he had perhaps more time to compose himself and get it on target.Pattenden did well again to cross it to Gifford but he fell to ground and was not able to backheel the ball in with Rowley gathering the loose ball low to his right. Then Pattenden had to receive treatment for a knock on the run but did return to play on 33 minutes.Hall managed to divert the ball wide from his own hip after Rabbetts was bamboozled as Oyebola had a strike. The ball bounced only just wide of the goal, and the Rocks were able to clear the danger. Smith smacked another chance wide of the goal as another square ball by Pattenden picked him out on 42 minutes.To end the half, Ben Anderson did well to cross for Smith with his right sided corner and his header was good but straight at Rowley. HT 0-1Davies bundled over Raymond in a clumsy challenge on 50 minutes. Raymond played a low ball in from the free-kick, which Hall gathered on 52 minutes.Porter and Spencer Spurway both went into the book on 53 minutes after a free-kick was awarded to the visitors in their own half. A ball came in from the left and it was Whyte who swung his boot at it and he forced Rowley into a parried save on 60 minutes.Then a powerful cross by Pattenden picked out Isasc Olaniyan on the back post but he diverted his header over the bar. Smith had another chance from another cross but stubbed his effort wide.Bognor won a penalty on 67 minutes as Pattenden was deemed to have been tripped on the run into the area. Many thought that the defender had got the ball in the challenge. But up stepped Gifford but hitting it with power his attempt flew high over the goal.Then Yahya Bamba committed Hall into an unusual back-bending, headed save from just outside his box steering the ball wide on 77 minutes.Olaniyan was set through on goal again on 80 minutes but he somehow smashed his chance over the bar after hard work from Higgs and Smith in the build-up.Goalkeeper Rowley got caught time wasting on 85 minutes and was rightfully shown a yellow card. But Bognor kept battling and Gifford made up for his earlier missed penalty by swerving a boot at it on the turn. He found the net after Smith put Rowley under pressure forcing him to push the ball in the air where Gifford was waiting to put in on 87 minutes.Cray were on the back foot and Rocks capitalised after great work by Pattenden and Whyte on the right saw a swift cross dispatched by Gifford three minutes into stoppage time, sending the Rocks fans into wild celebrations.But it wasn't quite over as when he was called into action, Bognor's golden glove winner for December, Hall, was there to acrobatically push away a goalbound headed chance from a left-sided cross to secure the win and three points for Bognor – a true game-winning save.Rocks are playing well at home but will hope to continue in this fine form on the road next as they travel to Hashtag United on Saturday.Rocks: Hall, Whyte, Rabbetts, Davies (c) (Higgs 72), Spurway, Robson, Pattenden, Anderson, Smith, Gifford, Bridgman (Olaniyan 56). Subs not used: Burgess, Briffa, Douglas.

Related topics: