Dominant Bognor overcome East Thurrock in FA Trophy
The 'Rocks derby' between Bognor and East Thurrock ended in a 3-1 victory to the home side to secure their passage into the next round of the FA Trophy.
The match between both Rocks sides’ started with a minute's silence to mark Remembrance weekend.
Bognor were awarded a free-kick four minutes in after James Crane was fouled down the left, but the resulting delivery by Tommy Leigh was easily cleared.
After a quiet opening nine minutes Bognor took the lead. A failed free-kick by East Thurrock allowed Doug Tuck to break and play Bradley Lethbirdge through on goal, and he rounded the keeper and slotted home into an empty net.
Two minutes later Bognor nearly doubled their lead. Lethbridge was once again at the heart of the action, taking the ball down the left to the byline and cutting the ball back to Leigh but his shot narrowly flew over from 20 yards.
East Thurrock had their first real chance of the game 18 minutes in, Darren Foxley’s ambitious effort deflected for a corner. The corner nearly ended in an equaliser when goalkeeper Amadou Tangara dropped the ball to the feet of the East Thurrock striker, but he claimed the ball at the next attempt.
Bognor were really finding their feet and searching for another goal. Harvey Whyte’s superb tackle and mazy run to the halfway line gave Tuck the chance to play a brilliant ball in to Lethbridge, but the striker’s pass across the box was cleared by an East Thurrock defender.
Bognor were linking up well, with Josh Flint, Dan Smith and Whyte all combining, but a shot by Whyte was drilled well wide. Then against the run of play East Thurrock were level on 31 minutes as a ball sent through over Cranes head gave Alex Clark a clear run on goal and he dinked the ball over Tangara into the net.
Bognor regained their lead a minute later. Tuck’s excellence in midfield paid off as he was found unmarked on the edge of the box and delicately curled the ball into the top corner. Tuck then turned defender with a brilliant sliding challenge on an attacker who looked certain to score.
East Thurrock nearly equalised again on the stroke off half-time, but Tangara stood firm in goal after a fierce shot by Sean Bonnet-Johnson. HT 2-1
Bognor almost scored in the first minute of the second half as Lethbridge’s run down the left allowed him to cross, but the ball was easily collected by the goalkeeper, who towered over Tuck.
Lethbridge scored his second of the game and Bognor’s third 54 minutes in, a fantastic 30-yard sprayed pass by Joe Cook found the striker who cut in and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.
It took 15 minutes of the second half for East Thurrock to have another effort on goal, but Tangara produced another great save from the 20-yard strike by Clark.
Down the other end Bognor could have been awarded a penalty when a ball sent in by Lethbridge looked certain for Smith to get a toe on, but the challenge from behind took the ball away from him.
Tangara was brought into action again with 12 minutes to go when a towering header looked certain to go in but the Bognor keeper did well to keep the ball out.
The Rocks’ had another chance to put the game to bed with five minutes remaining, right-back Joe Dandy finding space on the edge of the area, but his shot hit the side netting.
Deep into added time Tangara was once again in on the action pulling off a brilliant save, keeping the score 3-1 and allowing the home side to progress through to the next round.
The draw is on Monday.
Bognor: Tangara, Dandy, Crane, Tuck, Cook, Wood, Whyte, T Leigh, Smith, Flint, Lethbridge. Subs: A Leigh, Wakley, Hopkinson, Baker.