Rocks Review: Hampton & Richmond 1 Rocks 0

Terry Dodd fires in a shot for the Rocks at Hampton  Picture by Chris Hatton

Terry Dodd fires in a shot for the Rocks at Hampton Picture by Chris Hatton

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The curtain finally came down on Bognor’s Ryman Premier season with defeat at the Beveree.

This defeat enabled the hosts to leapfrog the Rocks in the table but a final placing of 14th will be seen as pleasing to many in their first season back in the Ryman premier.

Following the well-publicised run of injuries, Rocks officials and fans will be wondering what might have been, especially with them having been in the play-off zone a few short months ago.

It was a tale of two goalkeepers during the first half, with Craig Stoner coming out on top on a few occasions and his opposite number Rodney Chiweshe also putting in an impressive shift.

The first chance fell to the Rocks early on when from a Kane Wills corner, Sam Pearce was just unable to direct his free header on target.

In the 12th minute, Pearce was guilty of losing possession in the middle of the park, allowing Joe Turner to run at goal, only for him to be denied by the legs of Stoner.

On the half-hour, the Rocks came close to breaking the deadlock when following an Ollie Pearce cross, Terry Dodd saw his header superbly palmed away by the home custodian, leaving the striker and supporters with their heads in their hands.

The Beavers came back strongly from this with Mo Bettamer forcing saves from Stoner, one of which lead to a corner. This was met by Gary Holloway, but his header was punched clear.

On 40 minutes, Holloway turned creator, his header back across goal found Mo Bettamer and his shot found Stoner alert to the danger and blocked the attempt.

With half-time approaching, Hampton pressed again and Matt Reece fired in a drive from the edge of the box which Stoner had to push away.

Within a minute of the restart, Stoner was on hand to deny Turner again but on 62 minutes, the same striker’s persistence finally paid off when he received the ball from Bettamer to send a beautiful chipped effort over the keeper, with the ball nestling in the corner via the underside of the bar.

In the last ten minutes, the ball fell to the feet of Dodd in a good position but he was unable to keep the ball down and fired high over the stand.

With added time approaching, the hosts almost doubled the advantage when sub Alvin Pilgram beat the offside trap and made for the line. His cross found Reece, who steadied himself before firing past Stoner, only for Josh Warren to block the effort on the line to save Bognor from going further behind.

Coach Darin Killpartrick made his second appearance as a substitute within 48 hours.

This meant the league season ended with four successive defeats but the Rocks management will be hoping for a number of injuries to have cleared in time for their Sussex Senior Cup final at the Amex on May 18.

ROCKS: Stoner, Warren, Kempson, Stockford, Sam Pearce, Wollers (Cody 57), Tuck, Willis, Thompson, Dodd, Ollie Pearce (Kilpatrick 89). Not used: Crane, Marzetti, Boyle.

ROB GARFORTH