Rocks Review: Rocks 0 Concord Rangers 1

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The Rocks’ woeful run of league results continued as they fired another blank to lose 1-0 to Concord Rangers.

There was nothing supersonic about their fifth defeat in six league games, in which Sam Pearce blotted an excellent second Rocks debut by missing a penalty that would have made it 1-1.

Bognor welcomed back Pearce - signed on a month’s loan from Havant - and he lined up alongside Daryl Wollers in the centre of defence, while Stuart Axten - on crutches - viewed proceedings from the sidelines.

Nick Jordan returned to goal for the Rocks after a shoulder injury. Doug Tuck also got a start as Jamie Howell’s team aimed to build on Tuesday night’s victory at home to Eastbourne Borough in the Sussex Senior Cup.

Leon Gordon had the first decent chance for the visitors after just three minutes, capitalising on a forward pass to fire at goal. Jordan pushed it away. A cross from the left found Gordon again but his header fell straight into Jordan’s arms.

Terry Dodd had a chance moments later with a right-footed shot, but it was feeble and bounced harmlessly to Luke Chambers.

Keeper Luke Chambers gathered a cross by Dan Thompson as he tried to find Dodd in the box on 21 minutes.

No-one was on the back post for a right-sided cross in the Concord penalty area on 27 minutes and then Tuck’s cross was caught easily by Chambers.

After Danny Spendlove’s free-kick, Gordon again was in the thick of the action when he squared up to shoot. But, surrounded by players, he could only send the ball spinning over the bar.

HT 0-0

Spendlove missed a chance just three minutes after the restart when he lifted his shot over the bar.

Kane Wills’ cross was only partially cleared to James Crane, whose shot spun high and wide.

James White did well to beat Pearce and power in a shot with his left boot, which was only narrowly wide of the post.

Tuck was replaced by Lewis Stockford on 53 minutes as the management looked to freshen up the midfield.

With Pearce stranded, Concord opened the scoring when Stokes broke through the defence and blasted low beyond Jordan on 59 minutes.

Immediately, Ollie Pearce replaced Harvey Whyte.

Dodd was pushed in the box on 64 minutes and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Sam Pearce to hit a low spot-kick but Chambers saved.

That’s three penalty misses in the past three months for the Rocks - and all in 1-0 defeats. Crane and Wills missed from the spot at Kingstonian and Lewes, both when regular penalty-taker Ashley-Paul Robinson was absent.

With Robinson now having left the Lane, the management will be anxious to find a new, reliable taker.

Stokes smashed a left-footed shot wide from a ball kicked down-field from Chambers.

Rangers won a free-kick when Jason Hallett went to ground on 82 minutes. The cross was cleared before Stokes latched on to a loose ball and fired across the face of goal.

After a Wills corner, Crane found himself in a good position but his shot was well wide.

Ollie Pearce sped down the left midway through five minutes of stoppage team. But his cross was just too strong for Dodd, who could only chest the ball off for a goal kick.

The Rocks couldn’t find a reply and suffered another disappointing result at home, where they last scored a league goal on January 5.

ROCKS: Jordan, Marzetti, Tuck, Crane, S Pearce, Wollers, Beck, Wills, Thompson, Dodd, Whyte. Subs: O Pearce, Stockford, Kempson, Andrews, Boyle.

Next Saturday, the Rocks visit Margate knowing they probably still need a couple of wins to avoid getting dragged into any late-season relegation dogfight.

LIAM GOODLEY

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