THE Rocks fell to their first defeat in four games with a 2-0 loss at Enfield – and their hopes of making the play-offs were all but dashed as a result.
This defeat leaves them seven points behind Enfield - who occupy the final play-off place - with only four games to play.
Bognor welcomed back Doug Tuck to the starting line-up after injury, while Terry Dodd and Jack Maloney also started. The Rocks also boasted a full bench in this highly-anticipated encounter.
Ryan Doyle’s early forward pass over the Rocks defence was intended for in-form striker Bobby Devyne but the linesman had his flag up for offside.
Maloney combined with Stuart Green on the right before crossing. Green’s first-time attempt was struck wide of the post.
For Enfield, Joe Stevens’ cross from the left was wildly off target.
Devyne cut inside from the left and struck a fierce curling effort. Rocks keeper Chris Winterton was equal to it.
Stanley Muguo saw an effort fly well wide of the post from 25 yards.
Doyle’s flick-on towards Devyne saw the forward go to ground under a challenge just inside the box but the referee ignored the claims for a penalty on 16 minutes.
Dodd’s shot was deflected into the path of Jason Prior but the offside flag went up. Then Tuck’s forward ball into the area went awry.
Dodd’s pass back to Tuck allowed the midfielder to strike a low shot at goal. Nathan McDonald pulled off a low save to divert the ball for a corner. Prior’s header from the corner was blocked by a defender just in front of goal.
Dodd went down under a challenge from 30 yards out. Jake Thomson’s free-kick was floated into the box but it was deflected for a corner.
James Crane’s cross from the left found Prior on the back post on 29 minutes but his header spun just wide.
Prior’s cross found Dodd but Snorre Nilsen strayed offside.
A handball by Enfield in their own half saw a free-kick awarded to Bognor, but Thomson’s effort was easily cleared.
Corey Whitely got into space inside the box but skied his shot.
Maloney got forward on 36 minutes and his cross found Prior but his header flew over the bar.
Livings’ run into the box saw the player shoot but the ball was dealt with by the Bognor defence.
Jordan Locke was replaced by Tyler Campbell after half-time for the hosts.
Good work from Bognor early on saw Tuck and Dodd combine well. Tuck’s shot was deflected into the arms of McDonald.
On 48 minutes good work from Devyne on the left saw him beat Nilsen with his pace before crossing for Whitely, who headed home from point-blank range.
Daryl Wollers replaced Nilsen on 50 minutes - his second appearance from the bench since recovering from hip surgery and a long absence.
On 57 minutes Whitely doubled Enfield’s lead when he drilled a shot low beyond Winterton after composing himself in a packed box.
Whitely soon put a shot wide when he was set up neatly by Devyne.
Isaac Nkosi replaced Stevens for Enfield who were now looking at securing 3 points on 62 minutes.
Enfield’s top goalscorer of the past few years, Liam Hope, came on for Livings on 69 minutes.
Campbell’s darting run saw him make good headway through Bognor’s defence on 71 minutes but his shot fizzed wide.
Bognor brought on Dan Sackman on 75 minutes for Tuck.
Things just weren’t going to plan for the Rocks as Thomson’s corner from the right was easily cleared.
Hope’s shot on goal on 80 minutes was well stopped by Winterton as Enfield continued to dominate.
Sackman, playing in the heart of midfield, tried his best to get the ball forward but misplaced a couple of passes out wide.
Devyne had the ball in the net again for the hosts on 90 minutes but he was deemed to be just offside by the linesman.
Probably Bognor’s best chance of the game came in stoppage time. It saw Sackman tee up Dodd inside the penalty box – but his attempt went just over the bar from eight yards out when it looked easier to score.
Bognor will look to put the defeat behind them when they host Lewes in a Sussex derby at Nyewood Lane on Easter Monday (3pm).
Rocks: Winterton, Nielsen (Wollers 50), Crane, Tuck (Sackman 75), Field, Robson, Green, Thomson, Prior, Dodd, Maloney. Unused subs: Oatway, Wedlake, Lawson.