Rocks celebrate
Rocks celebrate

Bognor Regis Town beat Havant and Waterlooville in pre-season - report and picture special

Bognor came from behind twice to put three goals past Havant and win the game 3-2 with Kayne Diedrick-Roberts, Jake Flannigan and Karol Skoczen all netting in a fine performance from the Rocks.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 8:50 am
Updated Sunday, 18th July 2021, 8:52 am

Bognor borrowed Eastleigh's number 2 goalkeeper Charlie Philpott to step in for the absent Amadou Tangara in the clash at Westleigh Park against old rivals Havant & Waterlooville on a sunny and hot afternoon in Hampshire.

See Martin Denyer's pictures below

Due to COVID protocol, Ben Mendoza, James Crane and Calvin Davies were all missing and with the injuries to Gavin McCallum, Chad Field and Joe Cook, Bognor were only able to field two substitutes.

Craig Robson had to defend an in-swinging cross from Michael Green in the early going after good work by Billy Clifford set him up. Jamie Collins headed it off the outside of the right post from the corner kick.

Another corner from the left found the head of Scott Rendell who headed it low into the net after just 3 minutes during a strong start from the hosts.

Kayne Diedrick-Roberts won a corner on the right and jt was played short to Jake Flannigan but the ball in was too much for Ashton Leigh lurking on the far side.

Down the other end Havant responded when Green hit the side netting after quick work by Abdulai Baggie.

Leigh tried to find the run of Jordy Mongoy with a pass over the defence on the volley before Tommy Wright struck wide from a tight angle as it rolled square across the goal and out of play in response from Havant.

Leigh and Flannigan combined well on the right before Flannigan's cross was deflected into the path of Charlie Searle who stopped it from going out of play. Havant smashed another chance over the bar seconds later.

Ethan Robb did well to thread in Mongoy but after beating his marker he didn’t get enough on his attempt with Searle closing him down on 21 minutes. Another Flannigan cross flew out of play with Mongoy complaining about the accuracy of the delivery in the centre of the box.

Mongoy combined with Diedrick-Roberts and his cross was cut short because the ball had already ran out of play. The Rocks were slowly growing into the game before the referee called for a drinks break.

Joe Hancott was fouled by Clifford and had to be replaced due to an apparent groin injury. He left the field at the far end of the pitch and was eventually replaced on 26 minutes by Tommy Farr.

Green curled another cross from the left and found the onrushing Clifford who headed it narrowly over the bar soon after.

Clifford again slid in late on Robb and had a stern talking to from the referee after a similar foul on Hancott minutes before.

But Mongoy sprang onto the counter and cut inside from the left and he passed it neatly to Diedrick-Roberts at the back post who tapped in for his first goal for the club from close range on 34 minutes.

But Havant went ahead again on 37 minutes. A swift cross this time from the right found the head of Rendell who diverted it beyond Philpott again.

Baggie did well to bring the ball down and pass inside to Tommy Wright but he drove it wide of the right post along the deck.

Mongoy was looking like a real threat and was playing well. He got forward into space and from outside the box, though his dipping shot was well stopped by Searle.

HT 2-1

Clifford tried to dig out a cross but it went out of play. But Havant had another chance when Bognor failed to clear their lines before Wright let fly with an attempt of which Philpott pushed onto the right post and away.

Robb lost the ball and gave away a foul just outside the box and the referee awarded a freekick. Collins decided to chip his freekick over the wall and it spun just over the bar.

Farr slid in a pass towards Leigh but Searle did well to close it down and gather at his feet.

Wholesale changes then occurred as four players including ex-Rock Theo Widdrington came on for Havant.

Farr combined with Mongoy effort crossing. Flannigan was up in the air but it was deflected out by a defender's head. The resulting corner was headed away by Sam Magri.

Mongoy went down off the ball and the referee called for the physio. But he did return to play.

Josh Passley crossed it onto the head of Clifford but he diverted his header wide of the near post.

Karol Skoczen replaced Alfie Lis on 70 minutes before Clifford cut inside and curled an effort into the side netting.

Robb tried a ball down the middle towards Diedrick-Roberts but it was just too much for him on the run.

Diedrick-Roberts won a corner on the right but after it was taken Bognor were penalised for a foul and a freekick was given to the hosts.

Passley spun in another cross from the right but Jake McCarthy's glancing header bounced wide after he peeled off his marker, Craig Robson who was solid throughout the second half.

Bognor equalised on 83 minutes. Skoczen did well to receive the ball and play it square after hard work from Diedrick-Roberts. Flannigan composed himself before curling it wonderfully home from the edge of the box.

Bognor were playing so well that they went further ahead on 86 minutes. A quick move with all forwards involved saw a splitting pass find Skoczen, who beat his marker with a swift turn, stunning the defensive line, before staying composed and shooting low into the bottom left corner.

But Bognor held on to win this game, their first of this year's friendly campaign. They take on Michael Birmingham's Horndean next on Saturday 24 July with an earlier 2pm kick off.

FT 2-3

Rocks: Philpott, Flannigan, Hancott (Farr 26), Robb, Dandy, Robson (c), Diedrick-Roberts, Bell, Mongoy, Lis (Skoczen 70), Leigh

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