BOGNOR are celebrating their first away win of the season after Alex Parsons fired the winner in a dramatic end to their Ryman premier clash at Billericay.
The Rocks had led for much of the game through a Ben Johnson special but appeared to have turned three points into one when they conceded an 86th-minute equaliser – before Parsons capped his best Bognor performance to date with the winner.
The match kicked off 15 minutes late – and with a stand-in linesman summoned from the clubhouse – after M25 traffic chaos delayed two of the officials. Also late was Rocks forward Stuart Green, who arrived at the ground minutes before kick-off and just in time to take his place in the starting line-up.
Bognor began brightly and Harvey Whyte muscled into a good position for a shot that Billericay’s giant of a keeper Billy Lumley saved.
James Crane got away down the left for a shot that forced Lumley into further action and the Rocks were looking the better side, with Parsons and Green linking well.
They took the lead after 19 minutes. Green ran from midfield and fed Johnson, who stepped inside and curled a beautiful shot beyond Lumley and into the corner of the goal.
Craig Robson and Dan Sackman were looking solid at the back and Billericay struggled to get close enough to the goal to test fit-again Chris Winterton.
Green was the Rocks’ dangerman and one break, just before half-time, ended with him dragging a shot wide. Then Whyte had a fierce shot parried and was booked for a foul on home left-back George Beavan, who hobbled off.
Johnson went close to setting up Bognor’s second soon after the interval but after racing down the left and cutting inside to feed Parsons, he saw his team-mate’s shot tipped round the post.
The hosts began to come into the game and Frazer Shaw and Junior Appiah were starting to cause problems down the flanks.
A series of corners midway through the half saw Jack Edwards waste two good chances to level.
Winterton made a couple of good saves and did well claiming high balls just under his bar, while Shaw blazed one over when he should have scored.
Arron Hopkinson replaced Josh Warren - who’d done well on his second Bognor debut in defence - and with four minutes of the 90 left, Billericay equalised as Appiah headed in Shaw’s right-sided cross from close range.
Billericay’s fans might have felt they could go on and win it - but in fact it was Bognor who struck the vital blow.
Green set up Parsons and he beat two defenders and slotted home through the keeper’s legs - a great goal from a difficult angle, and such a vital strike too.
Hopkinson had half a chance to make it safe in injury time but there was no way back for Billericay, who’d won their past four games, and the Rocks had won on their ground for the second year in a row.
The points lift them to 19th and put Jamie Howell’s squad in good heart for the FA Cup tie at home to Lewes on Saturday.
Rocks: Winterton, Warren (Hopkinson), Crane, Tuck, Sackman, Robson, Whyte, Thomson, Green, Parsons, Johnson. Subs not used: Pearce, Oatway.