Whyte gets prize but has competition as Bognor Regis Town tonk Margate
Harvey Whyte picked up the match sponsors' man-of-the-match award as the Rocks delivered a dazzling display to earn a 4-1 victory over Margate in the Isthmian premier division at Nyewood Lane on Saturday.
But, in truth, any one of Bognor’s outfield players could have been chosen, such was the wealth of spirited performances from manager Robbie Blake's men, eleventh in the table, as they eased past Jay Saunders' side, sitting in ninth spot. Here is the match gallery by Lyn Phillips and Trevor Staff.
As it was, skipper Whyte took the honours -- as did his team-mates with three points as the home side offered commitment, cohesion and craft to dispatch the Kent outfit with a convincing win. A gate of 717 turned out in the sunshine to herald the triumph and celebrate Non-League Day, a chance for lovers of football in the lower leagues to trumpet all that is good about the game.
And the Rocks fans didn't have to wait long before they were able to cheer the first goal of the afternoon. Forward Nathan Odonkonyero broke the deadlock in the seventh minute with an excellent turn and sweet strike that gave Gate keeper Ben Bridle-Card no chance. Admittedly it appeared that the young frontman handled in the process but it was seemingly out of the eye line of referee Sean Phillips and Odonkonyero had his goal.
Midfielder Charlie Bell was next to find a way past Bridle-Card on 22 minutes. He steadied himself to coolly slot home for 2-0 after an on-a-plate pass from the ever-lively Odonkonyero. The goals instilled confidence in Blake's charges and they went on to dominate the half and could have added to their advantage.
But it was after the break that they increased their lead, deservedly so, when Calvin Davies fired home a superb free-kick from the edge of the box on 51 minutes for 3-0 and, effectively, put the points in the bag. Margate were stunned and there was no way back for them -- more of a question of how many more goals the P021 aces would nab.
The answer was one more for 4-0 and it was an absolutely cracking strike when it came in the 63rd minute. The ball fell to Alfie Bridgman, on loan from Pompey and playing as a left win-back, and he showed great composure to connect with an angled thunderbolt that was the pick of the bunch.
The visitors pulled back a consolation goal from the spot on 89 minutes. Craig Robson received a yellow card in the ensuing kerfuffle after the ref had awarded the penalty. Quite why the spot-kick was given is a matter of some debate. And so it was that the hosts ran out 4-1 victors.
Blake, who took over from Jack Pearce in the gaffer's role three weeks ago -- and who has former Rocks boss Jamie Howell as his assistant -- was understandably thrilled at the win. He told Rocks Radio's Peter Kelly-Sullivan: "That's what I want from now until the end of the season, and beyond that. The same application, same desire, same work rate, same commitment, not only individually but collectively.
"You could see that we played with confidence and we are really pleased with that. We have got to kick on now, move forwards. There will be players coming in, players going, inevitably. We have to add the right players but it is going to take time, it's not going to happen straight away.
“I am going to implement that we play, good attacking football and we play on the front foot, that we are bright in everything we do, we move the ball quickly and we look to make penetrating runs with penetrating passes. And we did that today and we got the goals we deserved and I am really pleased for the lads."
Bognor Regis Town: 1 Amadou Tangara, 2 Jake Flannigan, 3 Ethan Robb (Danny Howick 67'), 4 Calvin Davies, 5 Joe Cook, 6 Craig Robson, 7 Harvey Whyte, 8 Charlie Bell (Harrison Brook 75'), 9 Nathan Odokonyero (Osumole Ayoola 67'), 10 Dan Gifford, 11 Alfie Bridgman Subs: 12 Danny Howick, 14 Harrison Brook, 15 Sam Dowridge, 16 Osumole Ayoola, 17 Jack Wyatt.