Rocks Review: Chipstead 1 Rocks 3

A dominant second-half display earned the Rocks a vital win at Chipstead which kept them in top spot in Ryman one south.

Terry Dodd (2) and James Crane scored the goals in a 14-minute purple patch as the Rocks got back on track following the midweek loss at Eastbourne Town.

A win for Dulwich Hamlet at Whyteleafe and a 2-2 draw for Whitehawk at home to Maidstone means the Rocks remain top but level on points with Dulwich, who have played a game more. Whitehawk are three points behind having played the same number of games as the men from Nyewood Lane.

New signing Antonio Gonella - a nephew of Brighton boss Gus Poyet - was on the bench for the depleted squad.

Bognor enjoyed plenty of possession in the early stages and in the 14th minute a left-wing cross from Darryl Wollers was met by Crane, whose first-time volley was mis-hit and bounced safely into the arms of the keeper.

The home side’s first effort came just four minutes later when the lively Jordan Brown raced past two defenders but scuffed his 20-yard effort wide of the near post.

Soon afterwards the Rocks went close when some neat trickery from Dodd who set up Crane but defender Steve Newman was able to clear before Crane could pull the trigger.

Crane then went close on two occasions. First, Martin Grant blocked his effort from 18 yards, then in the 36th minute came the best chance of a goalless first half saw Grant make a superb block after Crane had arrived at the far post, latching on to Dodd’s low cross.

In the opening moments of the second period the hearts of the travelling supporters were in their mouths when Chipstead’s Luke Coleman flashed an effort marginally wide on the turn from the edge of the box.

However in the 49th minute the Rocks took the lead when Dodd was presented with a one-on-one chance against the keeper and he calmly slotted past Grant.

On the hour mark Harvey Whyte saw his cross-shot beat the keeper and come back off the crossbar.

However, the Rocks effectively made the points safe with two goals shortly afterwards.

In the 62nd minute Dodd won the ball 20 yards out before unleashing a ferociously-struck effort into the far corner of the net, giving Grant no chance.

A minute later it was 3-0 when Ashley Robinson teed the ball up for Crane, who fired home from 18 yards.

Five minutes from time the hosts grabbed a consolation when Bedford’s cross from the right was somehow turned into his own net by Stuart Axten.

CHIPSTEAD: Grant, Newman, Hogg, York, Watkins, Wilks, Goodchild, Bedford, Coleman, Hough, J Brown. Subs: O’Shea, Hibbert, A Brown, Batchelor.

BOGNOR: Stoner, Marzetti, Wollers, Crane, Axten, Obamwonyi, Whyte, Wills, Robinson, Dodd, Johnson. Subs: Andrews, Cobbs, Thomson, Gonnella, Boyle.

ROB GARFORTH