Rocks Review: Rocks 2 Whitstable 2

The Rocks had to settle for a hard-earned point as they missed out on a victory which could have seen them go level on points with Dulwich Hamlet at the top.

Rocks fans may have expected more given the visitors’ lowly league position of 18th. But it was Whitstable who took the lead early on.

After a sluggish start Bognor conceded the lead on 14 minutes when midfielder Chris Breach gave the ball away on the edge of his own area.

Whitstable striker Ant Bodle picked up the loose ball and smashed it past Craig Stoner in the Bognor goal.

Things didn’t get any better as the half went on when on 29 minutes a throw-in on the left was poorly defended by Bognor.

The ball dropped in the six-yard box, the first shot was blocked but Stuart Vahid slotted in the follow-up to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

The home side were spurred into action a couple of minutes later with a sweet passing move on the left-hand side between left-back Darryl Wollers and Ben Johnson.

Wollers then played a one-two with Jason Prior and put his shot in to the roof of the net from the edge of the area.

On 34 minutes the Rocks found the equaliser. Terry Dodd chased a ball over the defence and turned inside the box and his shot took a deflection to loop over the goalkeeper and into the net.

There were several more chances before half-time for Bognor, none converted, and the teams went in level.

Bognor came close to taking the lead for the first time with three quick chances.

First, Prior headed against the bar on 55 minutes.

Then Dan Beck had two chances of his own – with his first attempt he was unable to beat the keeper to a through ball and a minute later he volleyed wide from the edge of the area.

On 67 minutes, a Johnson corner caused confusion in the Whitstable box as Prior, Stuart Axten and Dodd all scuffed efforts at the goal.

With 20 minutes left, Johnson had a golden chance to put his side ahead when Prior put him one on one with the keeper, but his shot was tame and easily collected by the Chalmers-Steven.

Bognor endeavoured to find a winner in the four minutes of stoppage time but couldn’t take all three points despite creating two good chances.

BOGNOR: Stoner, Marzetti, Wollers, Breach, Axten, Bond, Beck, Crane, Prior, Dodd, Johnson. Subs: Ide, Whitehead, Blatchford.

WHITSTABLE TOWN: Chalmers-Steven, G Sayer, Ulph, N Sayer, Hawkins, Brown, Simmons, Wisker, Vahid, Bodle, Davies. Subs: Martin, Lloyd, Williamson, Rook.

REFEREE: Mr P Lavelle (Totton).

The Rocks are next in action next Saturday with a league visit to Walton Casuals.

Report by GREG MILES