Pompey held by Bognor Regis Town in lively Nye Camp friendly

A goal by Nick Dembele on his first appearance for Bognor Regis Town helped them to a creditable 1-1 draw against a youthful Pompey side in a lively, entertaining friendly in front of a large Nyewood Lane crowd.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Dembele - who the Rocks are hoping to sign to add to their forward line - poked in after keeper Toby Steward had failed to hold an Isaac Olaniyan shot, but Pompey levelled when Harry Jewitt-White showed great control to volley in a Harvey Laidlaw cross.

Both sides had plenty of chances to win it in a second half broken up by numerous substitutions but 1-1 was a fair result on a night when both management teams will have taken plenty of heart from what they had seen from their troops.

Here's how the match unfolded...

Nick Dembele puts Pompey on the back foot on his Rocks debut / Picture: Martin DenyerNick Dembele puts Pompey on the back foot on his Rocks debut / Picture: Martin Denyer
Nick Dembele puts Pompey on the back foot on his Rocks debut / Picture: Martin Denyer
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pompey had been in action at Leyton Orient 24 hours earlier so there were few first-teamers in their squad - but nevertheless there was plenty of interest in the match from Pompey and Rocks fans - with the big crowd that the annual game attracts making a big contribution to the Isthmian premier outfit's coffers. It looked like there were well over 1,000 present on this occasion.

Pompey fielded a team featuring a couple of players who will be in their first team squad, such as Ryan Tunnicliffe and Zak Swanson. Former Rocks loanees Dan Gifford and Alfie Bridgman were also.in their side.

The Rocks included numerous new faces and potential new recruits - including defenders Tom Bragg and Josh McCormick, ex-AFC Wimbledon prospect Olaniyan and striker Dembele. It was a warm sunny evening at the Lane with a decent crowd filing in including a good number of Pompey supporters..

It was a bright start by both sides but he most dangerous attack of the opening 10-15 minutes came from Pompey as Bridgman was set clear before cutting inside then releasing Swanson for a low cross from the byline that Rocks keeper Taylor Seymour blocked.

Pompey on the attack / Picture: Martin DenyerPompey on the attack / Picture: Martin Denyer
Pompey on the attack / Picture: Martin Denyer
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Brad Lethbridge - who has been training with Rocks with a view to a move back to the Nye Camp - was causing the Blues defence a few problems from his position wide left, trying to feed balls into Tom Chalaye and Dembele.

Chalaye and Dembele were linking up nicely and the ex-Pagham and Worthing man took a pass from his partner and fired just over as Bognor began to have the better of it. Sure enough a goal soon followed as Lethbridge ran into the box down the left and laid it off to Olaniyan whose shot was not held by Steward and Dembele was on hand to poke it in from close in.

On the half-hour mark Pompey skipper Jay Mingi needed treatment after a heavy challenge from Calvin Davies but he was okay to continue. Bridgman brought a superb save out of Seymour with a curling left-footed effort that was bound for the top corner.

Pompey were level on 38 minutes when Seymour could not quite keep out Harry Jewitt-White's close-range volley when he met Harvey Laidlaw's high cross from the left touchline. Bragg ought to have put Bognor back in front two minutes before the break but his downward header from a McCormick cross bounced over the bar.

HT 1-1

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The familiar figure of Harvey Whyte was on for the start of the second half, replacing Lethbridge, who'd had an industrious first half. Chalaye's drive from inside the box brought a superb save out of Steward before Chalaye and Dembele were replaced by Charlie Bell and Nathan Odokonyero.

At the other end Jewitt-White was played in on goal and perhaps should have shot instead of teeing up Gifford, who was crowded out.

Pompey made a goalkeeping swap as new signing Josh Oluwayemi replaced Steward.

Sub Odokonyero found space for a low shot that was inches the wrong side of the new keeper's post and then Bognor made two more changes as Tom Holland and Danny Howick replaced Olaniyan and Bragg. Jewitt-White might have got his and Pompey's second 26 minutes into the half but Davies was there to belt his shot off the line with Seymour beaten. Another Rocks change saw Liam Kelly replace Rabeetts after an impressive evening's work.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

McCormick was replaced by Emmett Dunn and Davies by Joe Briffa in further Rocks alterations, which were somewhat disrupting the flow of the game but were necessary as Robbie Blake and Jamie Howell gave minutes to as many of their squad as they could. Craig Robson almost crowned a fine night for Bognor with a winner as he headed a Bell corner towards the top corner but Oluwayemi leapt to claw it away superbly.

Rocks: Seymour, McCormick, Rabetts, Davies, Bragg, Robson, De St Croix, Olaniyan, Chalaye, Dembele, Lethbridge. Subs: Whyte, Odokonyero, Kelly, Bell, Crane,, Howick, Dunn, Holland, Briffa.

Pompey: Steward, Swanson, Laidlaw, Hurst, Vincent, Fox, Mingi, Tunnicliffe, Jewitt-White, Bridgman, Gifford. Subs: Murray, Payce, Ashton, Quarm, Simpson, Oluwayemi.