Ten-man Bognor were knocked out of the FA Trophy after a narrow loss against Tonbridge Angels at Longmead.
Keaton Wood was missing and Doug Tuck was on the bench after he picked up a knock against Merstham at Nyewood Lane a week ago. A full bench included new recruit Ben Mendoza, while Mason Walsh also got his first start following his return to the club.
Khale Da Costa won an early corner for the Angels. He took it but it was headed away by Joe Dandy before a second corner was cleared by Harvey Whyte. A long ball over the top was cleared by Joe Cook on four minutes.
Brad Lethbridge ran deep into Angels' half before getting blocked and finding Tommy Leigh with a pass and he hit it first time but it went wide. Tonbridge were working the ball along the left touchline well with Jack Parter enjoying some success. Then James Crane had to head out a right sided cross by James Folkes.
Joe Turner skied an attempt on eight minutes before Lethbridge got to the byline before playing the ball low across the box, but it was too far ahead of Dan Smith.
Ashton Leigh went into the book for a tackle on Jared Small, then Da Costa's 16th minute corner from the left hit the top of the net. Smith did well to pick out Lethbridge, whose cross was cut out by goalkeeper Jonathan Henly.
Bognor won a free-kick on the left but Tommy Leigh’s curling ball towards the back post for Cook was just too much for him. Tommy Leigh and Whyte played in Smith but his shot was blocked for a corner. A short corner by Walsh was curled into the box by Tommy Leigh but Cook headed it wide on 22 minutes.
Small put another cross into the goalmouth but Amadou Tangara blocked it with his leg and the follow-up was knocked wide. Josh Flint dug out a dipping cross deflected out to Lethbridge, who hit it with power but over the crossbar on 29 minutes. Whyte's ball into Flint saw him cut inside and shoot with his left foot but it was pushed away by Henly. Walsh was too high with the follow-up.
On 38 minutes Whyte put the ball on a plate for Smith on the back post but he hit the side netting when he slid in – a decent chance for Bognor wasted. Dandy cleared a cross to Christ Tiehi who followed it up from 25 yards but struck it wide on 42 minutes.
On 44 minutes Turner converted Small's deep cross at the back post as he peeled away from his marker, putting it beyond a stretching Tangara to give Angels the lead. HT 1-0
Tommy Leigh's driven corner from the right found Crane unmarked and his powerful header down was well saved by Henly low to his left on 48 minutes.
D'Sean Theobald did well to round a number of Bognor players before firing the ball low into the area but Tangara got behind it. Crane's throw set up Lethbridge but his cross bounced out for a throw.
Flint got Bognor on the attack and set up Lethbridge, who ran down the left before passing square into the box - but Smith smashed it over. Small's cross was poor but fell to Turner, whose effort was blocked for a corner headed out by Cook.
Da Costa robbed Flint and hit a shot which deflected off a Bognor defender before bouncing narrowly wide. Tangara used his fingertips to push over Parter’s curling long-range shot on 60 minutes. Tommy Leigh received treatment before the corner was taken.
On 62 minutes Tonbridge went two goals up and it was a swift turn by Tiehi that beat a defender before he crossed it for Derry to divert in, with Tangara stranded.
There was an incident after the goal as a fan appeared to throw something towards Tangara which resulted in other players crowding round the goalkeeper. The referee intervened and it transpired that a drink can had been thrown at the shot-stopper.
Tuck came on for Walsh on 63 minutes. Da Costa shot low and forced Tangara into a diving save on 67 minutes. As the rain teemed down, Turner had a shot deflected for a corner.
Arron Hopkinson replaced Whyte on 73 minutes. Da Costa's cross was almost met by Derry, but he couldn't connect. Mendoza came off the bench to replace Tommy Leigh on 77 minutes.
Lethbridge went to ground and looked in pain after a challenge by Da Costa. Lethbridge was helped off by Ashton Leigh and Angels player Folkes to be treated off the pitch on 80 minutes, leaving Rocks with ten men, having made all three substitutions.
Hopkinson's cross fell to Crane, whose shot forced a good save from Henly, diverting it over the bar with his legs. Following another cross a penalty was awarded for a foul on Crane, who was pulled back in the area. Rian Bray was booked and Crane confidently dispatched the penalty on 83 minutes, sending Henly the wrong way and giving Bognor some hope.
Flint was fouled as a loose ball ended in a late tackle by Harry Donovan on 89 minutes. Five minutes of stoppage time was added and Hopkinson won a corner on the right. Flint's delivery was headed out but the ball went back towards the back post and Tuck forced a good save from Henly with a strike that might have made it 2-2.
Hopkinson's low pass fell to Tuck whose effort was punched away, though the keeper clashed with Crane in the air and needed treatment.
Despite Bognor's efforts they couldn’t get the equaliser, so the Trophy run is over and the team get back to league action next weekend at Hornchurch.
Rocks: Tangara, Dandy, Crane, Walsh (Tuck 63), Cook, A Leigh, Whyte (c) (Hopkinson 73), T Leigh (Mendoza 77), Smith, Flint, Lethbridge. Subs not Used: Wakley, Baker, Hensel.
Attendance - 457