Rampant Rocks on a home roll after Hendon are hammered

THREE goals inside the first 23 minutes set up one of the Rocks’ best results of the season as they became only the third side to beat Hendon in the Ryman premier this season.

The Bognor and Hendonn players before the game as part of the national Footballremembers campaign   Picture by Tommy McMillan
The Bognor and Hendonn players before the game as part of the national Footballremembers campaign Picture by Tommy McMillan

Bognor welcomed back Jason Prior for his second month’s loan spell from Margate. The fans’ favourite went straight into the first XI against an in-form Hendon side.

Before kick-off there were commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One and the famous truce and game of football between enemy forces.

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Stuart Green was brought down by Elliott Braithwaite, who received a yellow card after just two minutes. Ollie Pearce shot straight into the wall from the direct free-kick.

A corner from Pearce found Dan Sackman whose weak strike along the floor was gathered by Ben McNamara in the Hendon goal.

The Rocks took the lead on seven minutes when James Fisher deflected into his own net under pressure from Pearce from a dangerous cross on the right by Green.

Prior tried his luck with his weaker left foot on the edge of the area but it was easily saved by the goalkeeper on 12 minutes.

Soon the Rocks extended their lead. James Crane set up Pearce on the left, he crossed to the heart of the box with his left foot and found Alex Parsons, who jumped to head a superb attempt in off the post.

Chris Winterton had to save a Leon Smith attempt after good work from Andre Da Costa on the left.

But the Rocks scored again on 23 minutes. A neat ball through from Prior teed up Pearce, who used his pace to run on to the pass before placing it beyond the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

At the other end Hendon pulled a goal back when a scramble after hard work from Smith found Belal Aite-Ouakrim, who smashed into the net off a Bognor defender on 24 minutes.

Parsons’ cross found a Hendon defender in the box but his header went straight tos Pearce at the near post. Luckily for Hendon, Pearce wasn’t ready and the danger was cleared.

Pearce’s corner eventually came back to him and his second cross found Crane in the box and he spun a shot at goal but it ricocheted off the crossbar and away. Then Harvey Whyte fired well over from the rebound.

Oliver Sprague’s curling free-kick into the box was headed into the net on 33 minutes by Kiezie Ibe but the linesman had flagged him for offside.

Green had a shot saved on the counter attack, then Parsons was fouled on the edge of the D by Sprague on 41 minutes. Sprague received a yellow card for the challenge. Prior’s attempt at goal with the free-kick took a deflection off the wall and out for a corner. Then the same player’s header from the cross was blocked by Sackman.

HT 3-1

Sprague’s corner kick found Chris Seeby in the box on 47 minute but his header bounced wide of the post.

Pearce won a corner on the left and from it, Sackman fired at goal but it was blocked. Craig Robson followed this up by firing over the bar.

A corner on the right from Pearce found Robson, whose strike into the ground at goal was headed off the line.

Jake Thomson set up Parsons in front of goal but he was blocked by McNamara and a fellow defender.

Smith fired well over after some neat build-up play by the visitors.

A number of corners from both sides had to be cleared or dealt with by the Bognor defence and they managed to do this with around 30 minutes left of the half.

Pearce’s deflected cross on the left fell to Doug Tuck but his fierce shot was wide of the mark.

Charlie Oatway replaced Green on 66 minutes.

A Crane tackle, in which he appeared to take the ball, was deemed a bookable offence by the referee and he received a yellow card on 68 minutes.

Parsons went to ground in the area after beating his defender but the penalty appeals were ignored on 70 minutes.

Smith headed over unmaked on 75 minutes after a pinpoint cross as Winterton did his best to put him off.

On 82 minutes Whyte’s through ball on the right found Parsons. His cross found Prior in space in the box and he struck the ball first time. But his 100th goal had to wait as the ball whizzed high over the bar.

Man of the match Pearce was brought off on 86 minutes and replaced by Omarr Lawson.

But it was Bognor’s day and they scored a fourth goal on 89 minutes. Parsons’ cut-back eventually found Tuck, who deflected the ball in from point-blank range to give Bognor a well-deserved three points.

They’ve won four and drawn one of their past five homes – after picking up just one win and one draw in their first six.

Rocks: Winterton, Whyte, Crane, Tuck, Sackman (c), Robson, Green (Oatway 66), Thomson, Prior (Branford 90), Pearce (Lawson 86), Parsons

Unused Subs: Robinson, Johnson.

Next for the Rocks comes a visit to second-placed Maidstone next Saturday.