Bognor rue dropped points against Potters Bar after Muitt double
Jimmy Muitt struck twice to put Bognor in command against Potters Bar - only for supersub Ben Ward-Cochrane to do the same for the Scholars and leave the Rocks reflecting on two points dropped.
The draw leaves Bognor in sixth spot - when a win would have put them up to fourth.
French midfielder Richard Gilot and former Eastleigh centre-half Harvey Read both got starts after being added to the squad on Friday - while Gary Chairman watched on from the stands with his left shoulder strapped up in a sling after being injured last week and ruled out for the foreseeable future.
Early on Dernell Wynter ran through on to a pass but his attempt was saved bravely by Dan Lincoln. Muitt ran away down the right but his cross couldn’t find Bradley Lethbridge in the box - then Joe Tomlinson's attempt was blocked following Mason Walsh's pass. For the visitors Bradley Sach's shot was straight at Lincoln.
Muitt's cross found Lethbridge who headed it at the back post but it struck a defender and bounced out. Walsh beat his man before cutting inside and hitting the ball on the rise - seeing it come off the outside of the post from an acute angle.
Gilot played in Walsh but his low ball across the area was totally miscued by Lethbridge before Harvey Whyte smashed one over from 25 yards. Goalkeeper Nikola Tzanev had to rush out of his area to head the ball out of play before Lethbridge belted a right-footed shot wide of the post.
Tommy Scutt was clattered on the counter-attack when Walsh, Read and Doug Tuck combined in their own half before setting Muitt on the way - but he was called offside. The referee brought it back for the Bognor free-kick and James Budden was booked. Stefan Powell split the home defence with a pass but Sach was just offside.
Bognor went ahead on 33 minutes. Walsh put a ball through to Muitt to run on to and he ran beyond the defence to coolly slot the ball low past Tzanev and into the net - and celebrated in style.
Sean Bonnet-Johnson got a shot away from 25 yards which almost caught Lincoln off-guard but he kept it out. Potters Bar stole the ball in the Bognor half through George Nicholas before it was squared to Andrew Lomas, but his low strike was blocked inside first-half stoppage time. HT 1-0
Lethbridge was replaced by fellow Pompey youngster Dan Smith before the second half kicked off. But on 50 minutes the Rocks were 2-0 up from the spot. Walsh ran into the box from the left and was tripped by goalkeeper Tzanev, who received a yellow card. Muitt stepped up before sending Tznev the wrong way to put Bognor further ahead.
Sach went into the book for showing his studs in a sliding challenge on Scutt on 53 minutes. Walsh teed up Tomlinson who cut inside from the left before letting fly with a long-range strike that bounced off the crossbar.
Ed Sanders replaced Scutt on 61 minutes for Bognor and a minute later Ward-Cochrane replaced Sach for the Scholars. It turned out to be a great decision from the visitors - he made an instant impact on the game for Potters Bar, and within two minutes he sped through to slot the ball beyond Lincoln.
Chris Doyle smashed a shot over for the visitors before Lee O'Leary was replaced by Keaton Cole on 68 minutes. Tomlinson and Stefan Powell received treatment for a clash of heads. Both returned to the play. Wynter's low strike committed Lincoln into a low save on 72 minutes.
During a great spell for the visitors Powell hit one from long distance and forced a wonder save from Lincoln to tip it on to the bar - but it bounced back out as Rocks failed to clear their lines. Ward-Cohrane belted it back at goal low past a diving Lincoln on 74 minutes to make it 2-2.
Ward-Cochrane then set up Wynter but his turn and shot rolled wide of the post, taking a deflection as Bognor were put under pressure. Lincoln had to tip over Powell's corner, then the keeper got down to push away Sean Grace's header.
Lincoln had to gather another corner before throwing it out to Tomlinson, who found Whyte. He threaded Muitt inside and he knocked it on to Tuck, who struck a shot over the bar.
Jimmy Wild replaced Tuck on 86 minutes before Wynter was replaced by Mergim Qarri. Qarri was involved straight away as he set up Lomas to hit the side netting. Muitt chased a lost cause as Grace conceded a corner and kicked the ball away, bringing a yellow card for him. Muitt's corner was headed away.
The Rocks will feel this was two points dropped. They now move on to their Sussex Senior Cup quarter-final at home to East Grinstead Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Bognor: Lincoln, Whyte, Tomlinson, Tuck (Wild 86), Field, Read, Scutt (Sanders 61), Gilot, Lethbridge (Smith 45), Muitt, Walsh. Subs not used: McCormick, Osborne.
Att - 520