Sami sees red as Rocks lose at Hampton

Tommy Block / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Tommy Block / Picture by Tommy McMillan

It was an all-too-familiar outcome for the Rocks at Hampton as they lost to a late goal and picked up another red card, further hitting their hopes of escaping relegation

It was an 85th minute goal that saw Jack Pearce's team beaten at The Beveree as they failed to build on their morale-lifting win over Braintree a week earlier.

Bognor were unchanged as they lined up against high flyers who had struggled in the league recently at home. Max Kretzschmar’s early cross had to be scooped away by Sami El-Abd after Josh Casey’s throw. Then at the other end Manny Adebowale’s throw fell to Richard Gilot, who knocked it forward but it bounced out of play.

Brendan Kiernan’s cross was plucked out of the sky by Dan Lincoln with Shaun Jeffers in pursuit. Good work on the left by Kristian Campbell saw him find Jimmy Muitt, who cut inside before shooting low and forcing goalkeeper Will Henry into a fine save at the near post.

Ollie Pearce's long-range effort was easily saved on 11 minutes. Pearce then beat the goalkeeper with a touch sending it towards goal but Casey just got there to hook it off the line. A Pearce free-kick was headed over the bar off the defensive wall.

Adebowale gave the ball away to Bradley Hudson-Odoi, who got it down the left before crossing but Jeffers headed wide under pressure from El-Abd on 16 minutes. Hudson-Odoi curled another cross in from the right and Jeffers got on the end of Kiernan’s flick but Lincoln tipped it over the bar on 29 minutes.

Pearce won a free-kick wide on the left but Muitt's kick flew out of touch on 26 minutes. Kiernan found Jeffers who ran at the defence before shooting low but straight at Lincoln. A long ball down the right saw Muitt run on to it. His cross forced Henry into a dive to divert it away before Pearce shot on the rebound - but again the goalkeeper was equal to it.

Hudson-Odoi’s pass across the box fell to Jeffers, who blasted the ball over the crossbar with his left foot. Bognor won a free-kick but Pearce's cross was confidently saved by Henry. Bognor won a corner on 42 minutes from which El-Abd headed wide - and all in all it had been a positive display from Bognor in the first half. HT 0-0

Things changed in the second as Bognor rarely threatened. Adebowale let in Shaun McAuley in but his shot was feeble and easily saved by Lincoln. El-Abd committed a foul just outside the box. Kretzschmar slammed his strike into the wall. Gilot won the ball on the right but his pass inside to Tommy Block ended with the midfielder's low strike being thwarted by the goalkeeper on 55 minutes.

Campbell was booked for holding the ball up on 59 minutes before Kiernan’s cross was headed wide by Hudson-Odoi from the free-kick. McAuley nodded over from a left-sided cross soon after. Kiernan scuppered a real opportunity as Bognor failed to clear their lines on 62 minutes but he scuffed his cross over the bar. Harry Crawford replaced Hudson-Odoi for Hampton on 66 minutes.

McAuley slid in late from behind on Tuck and deserved his yellow card on 68 minutes. Tuck got on the attack and found Pearce but his dipping shot was denied from the edge of the box by Henry. Shandon Baptiste came on for James Mulley for the Beavers on 69 minutes. Casey’s cross found Kretzschmar just inside the area but his header spun wide on 71 minutes. Wynter's cross from the right picked out Crawford who nodded it against the crossbar, and then El-Abd and Adebowale were brave to get in the way of two shots on the rebound. Three Hampton players all missed great chances from a scramble following a corner.

Kiernan hit an explosive strike against the crossbar after Lincoln got something on it. Campbell was deemed to have handled the ball to block a cross before the corner and resulting shots on goal were blocked off by the Rocks defence. Muitt's cross was cleared to Gilot but his strike from long distance was well saved.

On 85 minutes a two-footed challenge by Wynter on Campbell went unnoticed before Hampton scored. Bognor failed to clear their lines as the hosts got the ball back inside the box before Jeffers turned the ball low into the net - a crushing blow for the relegation-battling Rocks.

Ben Swallow and Ibra Sekajja replaced Gilot and Pearce on 86 minutes. Michael Kamara came on for Jack Cook for the hosts on 87 minutes.

Crawford spun a shot well wide and then it got worse for Bognor as El-Abd was shown a straight red card for a leading elbow in the air during a challenge. It's the Rocks' fifth red card fin just nine games so far in 2018.

The final whistle blew after five minutes of stoppage time. The Rocks remain eight points off safery and welcome St Albans to Nyewood Lane on Saturday.

Rocks: Lincoln, Whyte, Campbell, Tuck, El-Abd, Adebowale, Gilot (Swallow 86), Block, Muitt, Pearce (Sekajja 86), Wood. Subs not used: Charman, Scutt, Nelson

Attendance - 627