BOGNOR couldn’t build on their weekend win at Grays as they lost 2-0 away to Met Police in a fairly-even clash at Imber Court.
A goal in each half sank their hopes of a third away win of the season while striker Stuart Green and midfielder Doug Tuck both suffered potentially-serious injuries in the second half.
Injuries and illness ruled out Charlie Oatway and Ben Johnson while Dan Thompson was unavailable because of work. A number of players and officials were caught up in heavy traffic before the game in Esher and kick-off was delayed until 8pm.
When the game did start, the Met had the best of the opening exchanges and James Aldred sent a shot just wide.
Gradually Bognor came into it and Harvey Whyte set up Green for a run at goal – but a heavy touch allowed keeper Stuart Searle to claim the ball.
Jake Thomson, who many thought was Bognor’s best player, spotted the keeper out of position from close to the halfway line and tried a shot but Searle just got back to catch the effort under the bar.
Billy Crook almost put away a free-kick for the Coppers but Craig Robson, another star man for the visitors, headed clear.
Whyte set up Green for a shot that Searle kept out before Bradley Hudson-Odoi went though only to be denied by a well-timed Robson tackle.
Thomson saw a shot deflected wide with the keweper nowhere and at the other end Hudson-Odoi was thwarted by Chris Winterton.
A lovely passing move involving Tuck, Thomson and Green ended with Tuck’s shot being superbly saved. But immediately the Rocks fell behind when Michael Charles headed in Matt Patterson’s cross from 12 yards.
Both sides had chances for the game’s second goal before the break, with Ollie Pearce going close for Bognor.
The Rocks had the ball in the net on 50 minutes as Green swept the ball home after Robson’s header into the danger area, but the linesman ruled it was offside – a decision few in the ground thought was correct.
New signing Curtis da Costa, signed 15 minutes before the deadline for tonight’s game on a month’s loan from Swindon, was limping and was replaced by Harry Medway.
Charles almost got a second on 65 minutes but shot wide when well-placed, then Pearce teed up Thomson but the keeper was quickly out to deny him.
Medway’s backheel put James Crane in and his cross led to a clearance off the line by Crook; then it was Robson’s turn to threaten with a surging run and shot that whistled wide.
With 15 minutes left, Green collapsed in agony after taking a swing at the ball. After treatment he was taken off on a stretcher and it wasunclear how serious the injury was.
Minutes later Tuck went to ground and suffered a nasty injury to his arm, later feared to be a broken bone. Despite being in pain Tuck played on as Bognor had no other outfield subs.
On 86 minutes the Met made the points safe when sub Reece Hall’s shot squirmed out of Winterton’s grasp and in.
Bognor pressed in the final few minutes but the Police held on for the points. leaving Bognor back down to 20th in the table.
They have no game this weekend – which might be a blessing given the overcrowding in the treatment room.
Rocks: Winterton, Warren, Crane, Tuck, Sackman, Robson, Whyte, Thomson, Green (Parsons), da Costa (Medway), Pearce. Sub not used: Boyle.
Report by SIMON COOK
Get all the Rocks latest in the Bognor Observer - out Thursday morning