Rocks rocked back by the other Rocks

Alfie Rutherford turns to celebrate his first goal / Picture by Tim Hale

Alfie Rutherford turns to celebrate his first goal / Picture by Tim Hale

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BOGNOR had to settle for a point against East Thurrock despite twice being given the lead by young striker Alfie Rutherford.

The teenager took his tally to four in two games with a goal in each half but ET - also known as the Rocks - hit back for a share of the spoils.

The major absentee was Alex Parsons, with the management team maybe having one eye on the big FA Cup tie at Wealdstone next Saturday. Harvey Whyte was on the bench, giving Chad Field a chance in the starting XI as Craig Robson returned.

A corner by Ollie Pearce fell to Doug Tuck, who brought the ball down before smashing a left-footed shot over the bar on five minutes.

Sam Higgins struck the ball well over the bar from outside the box for ET minutes later.

Sami El-Abd got a talking-to from the referee and following the free kick he gave away, the defender redeemed himself by heading clear.

It was 1-0 to the hosts on 19 minutes as Rutherford latched on to a ball down the left by El-Abd, beating his defender before neatly sliding the ball below the goalkeeper and into the net.

It was 1-0 to the hosts on 19 minutes as Rutherford latched on to a ball down the left by El-Abd, beating his defender before neatly sliding the ball below the goalkeeper and into the net.

Jason Prior beat his marker on 22 minutes after a through ball by Craig Robson, but could only poke the ball wide.

El-Abd’s high cross was fumbled by Lukas Lidakevicius, but under pressure from Rutherford, the keeper managed to gather the loose ball.

A great counter-attack saw Pearce run deep into the ET half before playing in Prior - but his low shot was blocked by Lidakevicius.

Prior retreated from a crowded area to meet Pearce’s corner and strike a volley but it bounced well wide.

The equaliser came on 41 minutes when a neat cross by Tom Wraight found the smallest player on the pitch, an unmarked Mitchell Gilbey, who headed the ball low into the bottom corner.

A corner by Gilbey on the left found Sammy Knott in the box and his header was only just wide.

Prior’s cross was met by Snorre Nilsen’s header but it flew well over the bar.

HT 1-1

Almost straight from the restart, Prior’s cross was deflected clear, but only after the defender struck it against his own player before kicking it out again.

Good work from Rutherford allowed Pearce to shoot from the edge of the area - it took a slight deflection off Nilsen before rolling to the goalkeeper.

Bognor were camped in their own half for a while as Gilbey and Higgins had shots blocked.

Grant Smith pulled off a decent save to deny Higgins as East Thurrock looked the more likely to score next.

Robson met a low corner and his instant shot was blocked as calls for a handball were ignored by the referee.

Doug Tuck and Field were replaced by Gary Charman and Daryl Wollers on 62 minutes.

ET threatened a number of times before Rutherford’s forward ball found Pearce - he was fouled by Ashley Miller, who received a yellow card.

Higgins was put through and rattled the post in the 76th minute.

Charman spun a shot just over the bar on 79 minutes and Bognor went ahead again through Rutherford on 83 minutes. A brilliant solo effort saw him go past the keeper before running through into the box and passing the ball into an empty net.

But it wasn’t enough to secure the points as the visitors equalised on 88 minutes. Higgins’ low strike squeezed inside the post after a quick build-up on the left.

In stoppage time, Charman and Prior sent good balls into the box but ET held on.

Rocks: Smith, Field (Wollers 62), Crane, Tuck (Charman 62), El-Abd, Robson, Rutherford, Beck, Prior, Pearce, Nielsen. Unused subs: Horncastle, Whyte, Boughton.

LIAM GOODLEY