Rocks Review: Havant & Waterlooville 1 Rocks 1

The Rocks will be delighted with another impressive performance – one in which they made their Conference South hosts look decidedly second-best at times.

The starting XI again saw Tom Boyle in goal as Craig Stoner continued to struggle to shake off a chest infection. With Dan Beck unavailable through work commitments, Billy Crook, formerly with Carshalton Athletic, was introduced on the right.

Bognor immediately showed their ability to pass the ball well on an excellent West Leigh Park pitch, and within minutes an excellent move started by Ben Andrews at the back gave Ashley Robinson his first chance, but his snap shot went just past the post.

The Rocks continued to press, and earned the first corner of the game following an excellent shot from Ben Johnson playing two days after becoming a dad, which was well turned over by Masters.

Robinson, Johnson and Crook all came close as Bognor took control, and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 25th minute. Terry Dodd collected the ball outside the box and set off on a weaving run beating four defenders. His shot was smothered but broke to ROBINSON who smashed it home from close range.

Havant began to press and Tom Boyle had to be alert on a number of occasions. Just before the break an Andrews foul gave the home side a chance to equalise but Ramsey’s free kick from the edge of the box whistled just over the bar.

Robinson could have made it 2-0 when a poor pass back let him in. He beat the onrushing goalkeeper but from an acute angle just failed to steer the ball into the net.

After an excellent and competitive first half the second was very much disrupted by around a dozen substitutions. The home side began to control the match although Jon Marzetti did come close to scoring his first goal for the club from a perfect Johnson pass. James Crane also tested Masters with a firm shot from 20 yards.

Chrsitian Nanetti, who had played well on the left for Havant, eventually created the equaliser, when he beat two defenders before crossing for Ollie PALMER to thump home from ten yards.

Bognor: Boyle, Marzetti, Wollers, Crane, Axten, Andrews, Crook, Wills, Robinson, Dodd, Johnson. Subs: Kempson, Tuck, Chick, Simmonds, Kilner, Flanighan.

SIMON COOK

* The Rocks’ next friendly is at home to Pagham on Sunday, when several of the club’s youngsters are likely to get a chance to shine.