Rocks rock Brighton to reach county cup semi-finals

Terry Dodd converts a penalty against Brighton to complete another hat-trick  Picture by Tommy McMillan
Terry Dodd converts a penalty against Brighton to complete another hat-trick Picture by Tommy McMillan

Bognor strode confidently into the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup with another goalscoring bonanza - Terry Dodd netting another three goals to add to his ever-growing tally in a 4-2 win over Brighton.

The Rocks had lost 4-0 to the Seagulls last season but enjoyed a happier outcome this time.

Straight from kick-off the Rocks a created a chance with Pompey loanee Nick Awford striking a left-footed drive forcing Oliver Wray into a good save.

An early free-kick from Brighton was headed clear by Daryl Wollers after a foul by Awford in the Bognor half and the Seagulls looked lively in midfield.

James Muitt provided a threat down the right with quick move down the flank. His cross was good but Jefferey Monakana couldn’t quite get to it near the back post.

Dodd received a yellow card near the left touchline for a challenge on seven minutes.

Charlie Harris set up Muitt on the run and his cross forced Paul Hinshelwood to head the ball out for a corner at the back post.

The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes. A mis-kick from keeper Anthony Ender fell into the path of Muitt, who ran on beyond the defence to slot low into the net.

Dodd smashed a direct free-kick well over the bar moments later. Ben Godfrey chased down a lost cause to put off the defender when he attempted to pass back to his goalkeeper, to win a corner. But the dead ball from Kane Wills on the left was driven too deep.

Another free-kick was struck by Monakana from about 30 yards and was only narrowly over.

An inswinging and dipping free-kick from Doug Tuck was headed clear before Awford’s follow up shot was deflected harmlessly to Wray in goal.

Ender had to dash out of his goal to deny Jason Davis on the run on 24 minutes.

Good play from Ollie Pearce down the left allowed him to set up Dodd, who slotted the ball home from close range on 29 minutes.

But Seagulls star man Muitt put them back ahead from inside the box just two minutes later.

Godfrey twice went close to an equaliser before Dodd managed to win a corner, chasing another lost cause. Dan Sackman pelted it goalwards but it went over.

Ender had to pull out another good save to deny Monakana but Dodd scored again to draw the scores level in first-half stoppage time. He combined well with Wills, who had chipped the ball back to him to head home, with the ball bouncing before finding the net.

HT - 2-2

Wollers was replaced by Dan Thompson for the second half and just three minutes after the restart, a penalty was given to Bognor. Pearce was brought down clearly inside the area. Up stepped Dodd to slam home his hat-trick goal powerfully into the net.

A neat cross from the right was deflected away by the Brighton defence with Thompson threatening.

A free-kick was then given out wide and when Wills stepped up and curled the ball into the box, it seemed to elude everyone in the area to bounce low into the bottom corner to give Rocks a further lead on 61 minutes. James Crane claimed he got the last touch on it.

Wills’ next free-kick bounced awkwardly in the area and Crane managed to drag the ball back for Dodd, who smashed it first time with his left boot but it was wide.

Dodd was replaced by Arron Hopkinson on 76 minutes, spurring a hearty round of applause from the Nyewood Lane faithful acknowledging yet another outstanding performance.

Hopkinson went in hard with a two-footed challenge on Monakana and he received a yellow card for it.

Chances were few and far between towards the end, with the worsening conditions affecting the play.

Awford was replaced by Dan Kempson on 87 minutes - getting a good ovation for a solid debut.

The Seagulls skied another shot well over the bar late on and Monakana struck the bar on the rise from a dangerous right-sided corner with the final whistle beckoning.

As frustrations rose towards the end, Pearce was shown a yellow card.

FT - 4-2

ROCKS: Ender, Hinselwood, Crane, Awford, Sackman, Wollers, Dodd, Wills (c), Godfrey, Pearce, Tuck. Subs: Hopkinson, Kempson, Thompson, Hayes.

The Rocks are next in action on Saturday, when Hornchurch visit for a league game.

LIAM GOODLEY