Young Rocks shot down by Spitfires

Bognor U19s came close to grabbing what would have been a fortuitous point with a defiant display -- but succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Eastleigh Whites at Nyewood Lane in the Alliance U19 league.

Action from the Rocks U19s' tussle with Eastleigh / Picture: Martin Denyer
Action from the Rocks U19s' tussle with Eastleigh / Picture: Martin Denyer

The young Rocks were up against it for much of the game but were still leading 1-0 thanks to Oliver Clarke's superb headed effort from a corner kick on the stroke of half-time, a strike that came very much against the run of play.

Just before that Enrique Andre-Paris, who worked tirelessly, blazed high with the goal at his mercy -- and the feeling that the squandered chance would be costly was one which ultimately came to fruition.

Bognor, made up of Chichester College players, battled hard and showed great character against the Spitfires, who dominated possession but couldn't make the breakthrough their play deserved. That was until the home side's rear-guard was eventually breached on 67 minutes when Oliver Lumsden slotted home from the penalty spot.

And it was the lively Lumsden who made it 2-1 and secured the victory when he cashed in on an under-hit back pass from goal scorer Clarke -- impressive at the heart of the back four other than this unfortunate error -- to poke home from inside the six-yard box with five minutes remaining.

Although there was no reward for the home side they can hold their heads high after showing great character to stay in the game – keeper Ethan Galea helped with a valiant display --and digging in to the last kick to try to salvage a draw.

They will need all of that spirit and more this Wednesday, December 8 (2pm kick-off) for the next match when they travel to Oxfordshire to face table-topping North Leigh.

Bognor: Ethan Galea, Finn-Lee Hinshelwood, Eliot Millman, Oliver Clarke, Josh Parkinson, Harrison Bullen, Matt Storm, Enrique Andre-Paris, Dylan Clifford, Jake Clarke, Lukas Micevicus. Subs: Jack Wyatt, Josh Taylor, Jenson Mason, Tyler Whiffen, Wiktor Nowak.