Rocks Review: Carshalton 0 Rocks 2

The injury-hit Rocks asked the kids to step up to the plate at Carshalton - and they did so in style as they led the team to their third away league win of the season.

Already without Ashley Robinson, Terry Dodd, Steve Harper, Ben Johnson, Stuart Axten and Daryl Wollers, the Rocks were further weakened by Ben Andrews’ absence through work commitments.

But you wouldn’t have known they were below full-strength as they took the game to their hosts - who admittedly had been hit themselves by a player exodus in recent days - and turned in a commanding performance to return home with three priceless points.

The Rocks gave another club debut to defender Dan Sackman - who is on dual forms from Moneyfields - and there were also starts for Doug Tuck, Dan Kempson, Carl Walshe and Louis John.

From the off the Rocks took the game to Athletic, who looked fragile after their recent off-field turmoil.

The Rocks looked threatening with every attack and produced some lovely flowing moves, And when the home side did enjoy pressure of their own, Sackman and John snuffed it out - belying the fact they’d barely met before this first game together.

Walshe sent an early header just past the post and when Mu Maan set up Kempson for a chance, Ricardo Joseph whipped it off his head.

A rare Carshalton attack saw Luke Pigden break, only to be stopped in his tracks by a well-timed James Crane tackle.

Bognor took a 34th-minute lead at the end of a nice passing move. Kane Wills and Maan combined to play in Harvey Whyte, whose cross was fired in by Kempson - his first goal for the Rocks.

Maan was only just too high with a 25-yarder as the visitors looked to build on the lead and Kempson went close again as Wills bossed the midfield with some raking passes to either wing which put Athletic under the cosh.

It was no real surprise when the Rocks got a second a minute before the interval. A series of corners led to the ball being cleared to Crane and his shot through a sea of bodies looked like it might have crossed the line but was kept out - only for Walshe to pop up and nod it in.

The Rocks started the second half as they’d started and ended the first - on the front foot.

Walshe ought to have doubled his tally with a close-range header before the Rocks started to tire a little to let the hosts back into it.

Darryl Hay was a threat on the left wing for Carshalton and sent one shot inches wide with Craig Stoner beaten. But Jon Marzetti had an excellent game - in common with the whole defence - and stopped Hay a number of times while also finding time to block two shots by lanky striker Jordan Clarke.

Bognor were the better side again in the final 20 minutes.

Wills whistled one just past the post and Kempson’s long-range hit was turned around the post. Lewis Stockford set up fellow sub Dan Simmonds for a golden chance to make it 3-0 late on but it wasn’t to be - but that didn’t worry the Rocks, nor their impressive following of 70 or 80 fans in a gate of 204.

Next up it’s a trip to Canvey Island on Saturday - and although the supporters’ club have been let down by the coach company who were due to take them to Essex, fans insist they won’t let that stop them getting there to try to cheer the team on to a fourth away win of the campaign.

Rocks: Stoner, Marzetti, Tuck, Crane, John, Sackman, Whyte (Chick 90), Wills, Walshe (Simmonds 82), Maan (Stockford 70), Kempson. Subs unused: Boyle, Cody.

SIMON COOK & STEVE BONE