Five-minute Dodd hat-trick sees rampant Rocks’ run go on

Terry Dodd scores one of his three goals against Lowestoft Picture by Tommy McMillan
Terry Dodd scores one of his three goals against Lowestoft Picture by Tommy McMillan

Four goals in eight minutes either side of half-time - including a five-minute Terry Dodd hat-trick - blew away Lowestoft in a battle between two Ryman premier play-off hopefuls at Nyewood Lane.

Dodd’s hat-trick, with goals in the 44th, 46th and 49th minutes, was added to by Arron Hopkinson as Jamie Howell’s side stunned their Suffolk visitors and moved into the play-off zone.

They’ve now scored an amazing 67 goals in 19 home games in all competitions since an opening-day blank against Grays and are the division’s top scorers with 62 league goals home and away.

This was Bognor’s fourth straight win and will have fans dreaming of a serious attempt to finish in the top five and be in with a chance of promotion via the play-offs.

The Rocks were relatively unchanged with Doug Tuck, in for Ben Godfrey, the only change.

Early on, Lowestoft’s Robert Eagle had a shot deflected into the path of Mark Zawadski.

A quick one-two from a free-kick by Kane Wills set up Pearce, whose curling shot was deflected off the wall and into the arms of Ashlee Jones.

Pearce latched on to a left-sided pass from Hopkinson but his attempted low cross was blocked.

Jack Ainsley tried his luck from outside the box on 13 minutes but his chance flew wide.

Chris Henderson struck a low shot which forced Zawadski into a solid save.

Paul Hinshelwood seemed to trip Henderson just on the edge of the D. A free-kick was awarded and taken by Adam Smith but it curled just wide of the post.

Hopkinson cut in from the right and blasted a shot that was bravely blocked by Okay.

Lowestoft took the lead on 25 minutes when Henderson followed up a Ross Jarvis attempt after the player had wound his way through the defence. Zawadski did get something on Henderson’s shot but it wasn’t enough.

Eagle’s low driven free-kick from just outside the area four minutes later was blocked.

Curtley Williams ran through the Bognor half to cut the ball square to Eagle, who hit a shot first-time from 25 yards to force a two-handed stop from Zawadski.

Okay was booked for tripping Dodd on the halfway line with 40 minutes played on a greasy pitch.

Dodd smashed a right-footed shot quite a few feet wide of the right post seconds later.

But Dodd did score on 44 minutes. Lowestoft failed to clear their lines with Pearce in pursuit and Dodd was there to follow it up and slam home low into the net to draw the scores level.

HT 1-1

Dodd scored again on 47 minutes. A deflection fell to him and he thudded a thunderbolt into the top corner with his left foot - a terrific hit to put the Rocks in front.

Dodd completed his hat-trick - taking his tally to 24 for the season and five for the past two games alone - shortly after when he slid in to divert the ball into the bottom corner.

And It wasn’t long before Bognor scored again to leave Lowestoft shellshocked. Pearce worked well to cut inside from the left and pass to Hopkinson, who spun around to place a neat shot low into the net on 52 minutes.

A free-kick found Louis John and his header was powerful but wide with the goal gaping after Jones had come out to stop him. They clashed during the incident with John having to receive treatment.

James Crane had to be replaced by Dan Sackman on 61 minutes after the full-back received treatment after taking a knock near the halfway line.

For the visitors, Smith smashed a left-footed shot with his first touch and although it swerved, Zawadski was well placed to save comfortably.

Ben Godfrey replaced Tuck on 70 minutes. And as soon as the striker had entered the field, he got in a low cross but Jones cut it out, diving low to his right to stop it.

A cross from Jack Ainsley found Jake Reed and he struck the post on 72 minutes.

Hopkinson forced a fine save from Jones after cutting inside and hitting a curling shot.

Lowestoft almost pulled a goal back through Reed but Zawadski saved his effort - though the visiting players claimed the ball went over the line.

Pearce was replaced by Harvey Whyte on 82 minutes.

To add to Lowestoft’s woes, Emmanuel Osei spun a right-footed shot well wide in deteriorating weather.

Rocks: Zawadski, Hinshelwood, Crane, Tuck, John, Robson, Hopkinson, Wills (c), Dodd, Pearce, Chamberlain. Subs: Whyte, Godfrey, Kempson, Sackman, Axten.

Bognor take their fine form to Hendon on Saturday.

LIAM GOODLEY