Rocks Review: Rocks 2 Corinthian Casuals 1

Sonny Cobbs heads the Rocks' equaliser against Corinthian Casuals  Picture by Tommy McMillan

Sonny Cobbs heads the Rocks' equaliser against Corinthian Casuals Picture by Tommy McMillan

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Ten-man Bognor stayed top of Ryman one south after a 2-1 win over Corinthian Casuals.

Windy conditions at Nyewood Lane made it a tough afternoon for both sides but in the end it was the league leaders who prevailed, thanks to a second-half strike by captain Dan Beck - who was later sent off.

There were few chances in the first 20 minutes but it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal on four minutes when Steve Barilli picked up a loose free-kick, though his shot was tipped over.

Minutes later, the Rocks had their first chance when Chris Breach headed wide from a Ben Johnson corner.

The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute when Dave Hodges picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area before firing past Craig Stoner and into the bottom corner of the net.

The goal came against the run of play - the hosts had enjoyed much of the possession without testing the visiting keeper.

But Bognor were level five minutes later when Sonny Cobbs headed in an inswinging Ben Johnson cross from the right.

Johnson continued to cause problems throughout the remainder of the half, and set up further chances for Allan Tait, whose shot was tipped wide, and for Darryl Wollers, who fired at the keeper just before the break.

HT 1-1

The visitors started the second half the brightest when full-back Scott Hassell set up Barilli, but Stoner was quick to push his effort wide.

Johnson had a half-chance to put the Rocks ahead on 52 minutes but his back-post header was just too high.

With half an hour to go Bognor made a change in attack, with striker Terry Dodd coming on for Tait.

And on 69 minutes, the Rocks were ahead when Ashley Robinson’s cross found Dan BECK at the back post and he turned away from his marker and fired into the roof of the net. The sweetly-hit ball seemed to swerve in the air and deceive keeper Adam Peck.

Nine minutes later, Beck was sent off for a second yellow card after tangling with former Rocks player Saheed Sankho. The Rocks camp felt Sankoh made a lot of the contact.

Beck is likely to miss either the visit to Faversham next Saturday or the trip to Eastbourne a week later, but should miss no more than one match.

Bognor hung on for the remaining minutes, which included three minutes of stoppage time, as the visitors tried to make their numerical advantage count but failed.

Substitute Terry Dodd had the chance to make it 3-1 at the death but his finish was wide of the mark.

In fact Stoner had a relatively quiet end to the game as the Rocks sealed a win which was made all the more vital with news of victories for their closest rivals Whitehawk and Dulwich Hamlet.

ROCKS: Stoner, Sherriff, Wollers, Cobbs, Axten, Breach, Beck, Wills, Tait, Robinson, Johnson. Subs: Dodd, Saunders, Sackman, Thomson, Boyle.

GREG MILES