BOGNOR scored twice in a dramatic final 15 minutes to reach the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with victory over National League North side Lowestoft.
Dan Beck and Ollie Pearce were the goal heroes either side of Danny Crow’s tap-in for the Suffolk side to leave Bognor just two games from the first round proper.
It was a lively and entertaining end to a game that for long spells had been scrappy and forgettable. But the earlier stages matter not now with Bognor £4,500 better off for the win and looking forward to Monday’s draw.
See coach Darin Killpartrick’s reaction in our video interview, above
The Rocks were renewing rivalries with Lowestoft two seasons after some good tussles with them in the Ryman premier. Bognor won the home league game 4-1 but lost 2-1 to them in the play-off semi-final.
James Crane was back in defence after missing the midweek draw with Kingstonian and Gary Charman was back in midfield, with Snorre Nilsen dropping to the bench.
Charman was early into the action with one of his long throws, but Lowestoft got it clear as Jason Prior was beaten in the air.
Lowestoft won the game’s first corner four minutes in. That led to another, from Ryan Jarvis volleyed high and wide.
It was the visitors who were carrying the early threat and Jake Reed skewed an effort wide from close range in the eighth minute.
Alex Parsons did well to create an opening down the right, beating his man and crossing well, but the Rocks had to settle for a corner that came to nothing.
Bognor are £4,500 better off for the win and looking forward to Monday’s draw.
Ollie Pearce ran on to a clever quick goal kick by Grant Smith and raced into the area before going down rather weakly under a challenge that was always unlikely to result in a penalty.
Lowestoft threatened through Ryan Jarvis and Crow but Crane cleared the danger. In fact were looking particularly dangerous whenever they attacked down the right.
At the other end Harvey Whyte almost found Charman in the six-yard box but keeper Harry Burgoygne got there first.
Pearce’s right-sided corner was headed only just wide by Charman, then Parsons wasted a great chance when swift passing between Craig Robson and Pearce found him unmarked, but he hit a cross, or was it a shot, out for a goal kick.
Pearce curled a free-kick into the wall after Prior was fouled near the corner of the penalty area and in truth neither keeper had really been tested in the opening 25 minutes.
Whyte picked up a ridiculous booking on 29 minutes after what looked perfectly-legal ball-winning challenge on Ross Jarvis, the opposition skipper. The crowd let the ref know what they thought.
It had turned into a scrappy affair, both sides struggling to get the ball down and play. The Rocks’ frustrations were summed up by a free-kick inside their own half which went straight through to keeper Burgoygne. And when they did earn a corner, that was straight down the stopper’s throat.
Pearce was presented with a chance to shoot just outside the D but didn’t catch it right and Burgoygne gathered easily.
Chris Henderson replaced Reed for the second half for the visitors. And the sub was the first to test Smith in thre second period, forcing him to dive to his left to gather a shot on the turn from 20 yards.
A lovely Rocks move down the right started with Whyte in his own half and ended in Pearce getting to the byline and looking for Prior, but Joe Marsden got a boot in first.
The Rocks enjoyed a good spell of pressure, with Pearce winning a corner thanks to a speedy run down the right. Robson almost nodded it in, and when it went behind for a corner, that one fell to Prior but he volleyed well over.
Alfie Rutherford replaced Parsons 12 minutes into the second half. He almost made an immediate impact with an inswinging cross from the left, but after a flick-on it was just too hugh for Pearce.
A second Rocks change brought Nilsen on for Charman.
The home side were looking sharper and Pearce drew Burgoygne into a diving save on the hour after Robson played the ball to him, allowing him to run and shoot from 18 yards.
The best Lowestoft could manage in a reply was a poorly-directed header by Ryan Jarvis.
Prior’s looping header following a miscused clearance in the Lowestoft area was heading in before the keeper snatched it from just under the bar.
Another free-kick in a promising area was won by Rutherford but Pearce’s curling ball to the far post was nodded behind for a corner. Robson’s effort from the corner was blocked and cleared for another.
That fell to Nilsen ten yards from goal but his half-volley flew over, leaving manager Jamie Howell with his head in his hands on the sidelines.
Lowestoft were close to taking the lead on 69 minutes. Ryan Jarvis sent a low cross-shot across the goalmouth and it just needed a touch from a team-mate but evaded everyone.
Ryan Jarvis almost sneaked past Smith in a Lowestoft break into the box but minutes later, with 14 left, the Rocks were ahead. Pearce again beat his man to get to the byline and cross and two goalbound efforts were blocked before the loose ball fell to Beck, who smashed it home.
A minute later Nilsen got away down the right but his low cut-back wasn’t quite right for Prior, who failed to connect properly.
As Lowestoft tried to save their place in the Cup, Crow tested Smith with a curling shot from 22 yards.
Lowestoft brought on Robert Eagle for Dan Gleeson as the final ten minutes began.
The visitors levelled on 82 minutes with a simple goal, a left-to-right move ending with Jack Ainsley’s cross into the six-yard box being tapped in by the unmarked Crow.
But almost straight from the kick-off, a high ball into the box was flicked on by Prior for Pearce to connect and send the ball past Burgoygne and into the bottom corner.
Shaun Bammant, on for Joe Marsden, was Lowestoft’s third and final sub with two minutes to go. Daryl Wollers came on in place of Rutherford in injury time.
As five extra minutes were indicated, Ryan Jarvis almost stole in past Smith but took the ball out for a goal-kick in doing so.
A Lowestoft player was booked for diving as the visitors became increasingly desperate to stay in the Cup. That sparked a mini-melee that the ref had to wade into to keep players apart.
The Rocks held on for the win and to compound Lowestoft’s misery, they had a man sent off after the final whistle - seemingly a second yellow for dissent.
Rocks: Smith, Whyte, Crane, Field, El-Abd, Robson, Parsons, Beck, Prior, Pearce, Charman. Subs: Green, Rutherford, Rowlatt, Nilsen, Wollers, Tuck.
Lowestoft: Burgoygne, Ainsley, Marsden, Ross Jarvis, Burns, Nunn, Ryan Jarvis, Spillane, Reed, Crow, Gleeson. Subs: Henderson, Eagle, Smith, Fisk, Barber, Bammant, Jessup.
Ref: Colin Lymer (Basingstoke)
by STEVE BONE
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking sports news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
Share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!