Shoreham go toe-to-toe with Bognor in Senior Cup defeat

Bognor Regis progressed into the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup after an entertaining 3-1 win at Shoreham on Tuesday evening.

Shoreham striker Rob O'Toole. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Shoreham striker Rob O'Toole. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Mussels, the Southern Combination League leaders, gave an excellent account of themselves against the Ryman League table toppers.

It was a real blood and thunder cup tie, with chances at both ends and a couple of key talking points. A large crowd at Middle Road was thoroughly entertained as Bognor fought back from a goal down at half-time to progress into the last four.

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The Rocks started brightly and went close three times in the opening six minutes, before Mussels got into the game and Tom Burton and Rob O’Toole were both denied by Bognor keeper Dan Lincoln.

Shoreham took the lead on 15 minutes when the visitors failed to clear their lines from a Scott Packer right-wing cross and Robin Deen rifled the ball into the roof of the goal from eight yards.

Mussels keeper Josh Heyburn made some superb saves, before Bognor wasted a great chance to level on 32 minutes when unmarked Harvey Whyte drilled the ball wide from eight yards.

The game’s main talking point then came on 38 minutes. Rob O’Toole played a one-two with Deen to get through on goal but went down under a Gary Charman challenge on the edge of the penalty area. With Mussels baying for a penalty and red card, referee Carl Brook waved play on much to the home side’s frustration.

The second half began with Bognor penalty appeals turned down when Oscar Haynes-Brown went down but the visitors were awarded a spot-kick on 57 minutes.

Fulham loanee Elijah Adebayo went over after a Niall O’Hagan tackle; Mussels claimed the defender got the ball but referee Brook pointed to the spot and James Fraser fired home, despite Heyburn getting a strong hand to the ball.

Chances came and went at both ends - with Shoreham penalty appeals for handball turned down on 67 minutes - before Bognor took the lead with 20 minutes to go.

Haynes-Brown’s flick released substitute Alex Parsons, who broke clear and clinically fired into the bottom corner from 15 yards.

Heyburn made a terrific double save from Fraser, before the game was decided in a 30-second spell four minutes from time.

Bognor keeper Lincoln produced an outstanding save to keep out Kevin Keehan’s diving header and Bognor went straight down the other end for Oliver Pearce to settle the tie as he drilled the ball home at the near post.