Rocks Review: Hendon 1 Rocks 0

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For the second week in a row, the Rocks failed to find the net andcame away empty-handed.

Once again, lack of firepower up front proved to be their undoing, and no amount of clever build-up play can compensate for the need for clinical finishing in the final third.

Conditions were difficult for both sides, playing on a sloping and heavy pitch, but Hendon adapted the better and definitely had the pick of the chances in the first half.

The home side`s Lee Angol shot just over the bar on 11 minutes and just after that, the very lively Hendon No9 Junior Morias fired a fierce snap shot which bought out a fine reaction save from Nick Jordan in the Bognor goal.

The visitors began to work their way into the game and chances fell to Lewis Stockford and Harvey Whyte but they couldn`t make these count.

Hendon very nearly took the lead on 33 minutes when another fine shot from Morias was well saved by Jordan, who then pulled off the save of the game when a rebound shot from Angol was put wide for a home corner.

The second half saw a far more determined Bognor side beginning to take the game to Hendon, and just one minute after the restart, Dan Thompson nearly put the visitors ahead - but his effort was well gathered by Sean Thomas in the home goal.

Just after, Stockford shot just over the bar following some good build-up play.

On 55 minutes, Stockford was replaced by Jordan Clarke, whose dinking runs immediately lit up the game, and in the 63rd minute, Ashley-Paul Robinson came on for Dan Thompson.

Hendon responded to pressure from Bognor with some chances of their own, and midway through the second half, Jordan had to pull off another great save from a Hendon attack.

Shortly afterwards, a Hendon free-kick on the edge of the box nearly led to the home side taking the lead when a cracking effort from Dean Cracknell skimmed the left hand post to go out of play.

Clarke and James Crane for the Rocks were combining well down the left to cause problems for the home defence but it was Hendon

who scored the only goal of the game on 79 minutes when a pin-point cross from Scott Cousins on the left found the head of Angol to head in off the underside of the bar.

Bognor responded with some late pressure but couldn`t make the breakthrough and in the 87th minute, Hendon thought they had extended their lead, only for offside to be given.

Right at the death, Bognor forced two consecutive corners but the home defence held out to deny the Rocks a share of the points.

ROCKS: Jordan, Marzetti, Stockford (Clarke 55), Crane, Axten, Wollers, Beck, Wills, Thompson (Robinson 63), Tuck (Pearce 81), Whyte. Subs not used: Kempson, Stoner.

Report by ROGER NASH


Get all the latest from Nyewood Lane in the Bognor Observer - out on Thursday