Rocks whip Wingate to go top of the league

The Rocks enjoyed a comfortable 3-1 home victory over Wingate and Finchley - and their reward was top spot in the Ryman premier table.

Saturday, 5th November 2016, 5:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:16 pm
Ollie Pearce's free kick goes in to open the scoring - Picture by Tim Hale
Ollie Pearce's free kick goes in to open the scoring - Picture by Tim Hale

Goals by Ollie Pearce, Jimmy Wild and James Fraser earned the points on a cold afternoon at Nyewood Lane, continuing an excellent run of home form that has seen Jamie Howell's team unbeaten in front of their own fans since the opening day.

The Rocks went into the game in third place, just two points behind leaders Leiston. Wingate began the afternoon 13th.After losing successive away games, at Lowestoft in the league and Slough in the FA Trophy, they boosted morale with Tuesday night's 7-0 Sussex Senior Cup win over Southwick.It should have been 1-0 to the Rocks when Jimmy Wild seized on a defender's mistake to run on to a long ball and had only keeper Shane Gore to beat, but Gore narrowed the angle quickly and blocked the effort.Then Ollie Pearce was played in by James Fraser down the right and crossed looking for Wild and James Crane but it was too close to the keeper.On nine minutes Jimmy Muitt went one-on-one with the keeper after a perfect through-ball down the right by Calvin Davies but shot straight at Gore.The first alert for Rocks keeper Dan Licoln came on 11 minutes when he had to make sure Tananesh Abrahams' speculative lob from out side didn't sneak in.Pearce broke the deadlock on 13 minutes when his free-kick from a tight angle just outside the box down the Rocks left - after Muitt was fouled - went in, with a suspicion of a deflection as Sami El-Abd put off the keeper.Wild chased another long ball a minute later and should have made it 2-0 after taking it round the keeper but saw his effort to score or find Pearce blocked by a defender.Wingate's shooting was leaving a bit to be desired - Steve Wales one of a number of players to try his luck from long distance but cause more concern to the birds on the clubhouse roof than to keeper Lincoln.W&F were forced into a change on 27 minutes as Toomy Tejan-Sie came off injured to be replaced by Joe Sharpe.Again it should have been 2-0 on 32 minutes. Muitt did well to burst free into the box and draw the keeper and when he squared it low, it fell to Pearce but he miskicked, allowing Ryan Sellers to clear off the line.Sellers was at the centre of things again five minutes later when he was booked for a late challenge on Davies that almost caused a flare-up on halfway with a few players getting involved.It was 1-1 in bookings if not goals a minute later when Crane was booked for tripping Luke Ifil.A third booking in as many minutes came when Abrahams saw yellow for clattering into Davies in an aerial challenge.Lincoln preserved Bognor's lead on 43 minutes by tipping Claudiu Vilcu's near-post flick from a corner on to the post before the loose ball was hoofed clear.Ben Pattie was booked for bringing down El-Abd from behind.HT 1-0Ahmet Rifat was the first to threaten for Wingate after the break, firing a fierce shot wide.Fraser's ball across the six-yard after Pearce's neat pass had played him in was crying out for Muitt or Wild to poke it in but a defender got there first.The Rocks doubled their lead in the 52nd minute with a lovely team goal. Dolcetti started the move in his own half with a ball out to Crane on the left, he worked it forward and when Muitt sent in a high cross to beyond the far post, Pearce headed it back into the goalmouth and Wild nodded it in.After the goal Wingate enjoyed a spell of pressure but for all the ball they had in the final third they couldn't seriously test Lincoln.Wingate made a change on 68 minutes, Billy Healey replacing Pattie.Davies was unlucky to be booked on 71 minutes for what looked a 50/50 challenge that was ruled illegal just outside the box. The free-kick was cleared and then Ritat was booked for fouling Dolcetti.The Rocks made their first change on 73 minutes as young Brighton defender Tom Cadman replaced Muitt, who had had a hard-working afternoon.Fraser had a sniff of a third Rocks goal with 15 minutes left but it was well-blocked.W&F were having more of the play than in the first half but were unable to penetrate a solid Rocks back-line.Fraser's shot was deflected on to the bar as Bognor pressed for another goal to kill off the visitors. Before the period of pressure was over, Fraser got the goal his efforts deserved as he slammed in from close range after Wild hooked the ball back into the six-yard box.Ed Sanders replaced Dolcetti with 11 minutes left.Pearce came off to a good ovation from the crowd when Will Robinson replaced him for the final couple of minutes.Wild ought to have got his second in the 90th minute but took too long to shoot with only Gore to beat.Wingate's final change saw Healey come off injured, to be replaced by John Mbamarah.The visitors got a consolation out of the blue in injury time when Reece Beckles-Richards pounced on slack defending.The Rocks now have no game for ten days - Hendon away is next up for them on Tuesday week.Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Field, Fraser, Dolcetti, Wild, Pearce, Muitt. Subs: Cadman, Sanders, Beck, Robinson.W&F: Gore, Ifil, Sellers, Vilcu, Cronin, Rifat, Wales, Abrahams, Pattie, Tejan-Sie, Beckles-Richards. Subs: Healy, Mbamarah, Sharpe.Ref: Jim Paterson (Camberley)

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