WATCH Brilliant Bognor hit seven past Cray - and claim seventh spot
Seven was the magic number for the rampant Rocks at Nyewood Lane - they beat Cray 7-2 to go seventh in the Isthmian premier division.
Two goals from an inspired Doug Tuck and a double from on-form Dan Smith, who now has 16 league goals to his name for the season, were highlights as Rocks tore apart the Cray defence.
An early chipped pass by Harvey Whyte saw him find Smith on the run but his low cross was cut out by the Cray defence. Joel Rollinson strayed offside in response before Whyte won a corner and Tommy Leigh’s swirling cross was headed wide by James Crane.
Tuck swung a ball into the area and it was headed out to Ashton Leigh, who diverted it over the bar. Another Tuck cross was punched out by Lewis Carey. Joe Taylor got beyond the Bognor defence and only had keeper Amadou Tangara to beat but he slid his low effort wide of the post on 10 minutes.
Smith placed the ball across the box and Crane diverted it at goal from the back post but it was cleared off the line on 14 minutes. A low ball inside along the deck by Crane found Joshua Flint, who hit it first time but wide. A ball forward saw Smith beat the offside trap before shooting low and forcing Carey into a save on 18 minutes.
Flint did well to cut inside the Cray box and hit one with the outside of his left foot but another save from Carey denied him. Bognor took the lead on 21 minutes. Some neat build-up play saw Crane swirl the ball unselfishly to Ashton Leigh, who confidently placed it beyond Carey from a tight angle.
Flint went into the book on 23 minutes for pulling back Karl Deint on the attack. But Bognor sprang on the counter to get their second goal on 29 minutes. It was Tuck who crossed it into the area before Jay Leader slid the ball into his own net beyond a helpless Carey.
It was 3-0 on 32 minutes - Flint beat the offside trap to get beyond the defence and unselfishly cut the ball back inside to Smith in space and he composed himself before dispatching it beyond Carey who got something to it before the ball flew low into the net. Mitchell Nelson clearly fouled Smith on 33 minutes with a high elbow-led challenge but avoided a yellow card.
Joe Cook stole possession before running on and shooting from long distance. It only just flew over the crossbar with Carey flapping a hand at it. Tommy Leigh's cormer found Crane but he was under pressure from a defender before heading well wide on 42 minutes.
Smith's ball back into midfield was stolen by Rollinson and he run on before shooting low but Tangara was equal to it with a save down to his right. HT 3-0
Flint and Whyte combined down the right but Whyte was blocked with his cross, then Godfrey Okonkwo blasted over with an attempted cross. Bognor extended their lead on 50 minutes when Ashton Leigh forced a save from Carey, who could only push it out to Tuck - who composed himself before slotting it neatly low into the net.
Nelson went into the book on 52 minutes for a foul on Whyte. Smith went close with a deflected strike and Taylor went into the book for lashing out at Tangara after he saved Andre Coker’s shot. Whyte looked to have been fouled in the box but instead the referee gave it the other way and booked Whyte for simulation.
Tuck did well to bring the ball down before offloading it to Smith, who hit one from long distance but straight into the arms of Carey on 60 minutes.
Tom Carlse did well to swing a cross in but Rollinson headed it wide of the near post. Taylor committed Tangara into a save before Ross Edwards came on for Keaton Wood on 68 minutes and Whyte was replaced by Ben Mendoza on 69 minutes.
Bognor slipped up at the back with Edwards letting Taylor in. He went on to shoot beyond Tangara to make it 4-1. A neat move by Ashton Leigh saw him combine with brother Tommy, who did really well to wind his way into the heart of the box before trying to pass square to Smith - it bounced back out to Tommy Leigh before he slid in and hooked the ball high into the net on 74 minutes.
It wasn’t over - and Bognor were on fire. Cray lost the ball in their own half before Tuck was set through on goal and he composed himself before slotting it beyond Carey on 76 minutes for 6-1. Arron Hopkinson replaced Tommy Leigh on 79 minutes for Bognor.
Taylor notched Cray's second on 82 minutes, pouncing and running beyond a defender before chipping the ball into the net with a defender failing to clear it off the line. Ashton Leigh's corner kick fell to Cook but his strike was deflected wide by Deint on 85 minutes.
But Bognor had the final say with their seventh from Smith after Hopkinson made a run straight from a kick by Tangara. Smith netted after getting a deflection off a defender, sending it beyond Carey on 87 minutes.
Smith played it out wide to Hopkinson which saw him run inside from the left before he curled it across goal but the support wasn’t there.
Taylor played in Rollinson, who from an acute angle sent the ball across the face of goal and wide with Tangara closing him down. But it was a super victory for Bognor and a great way to push on from their midweek win in the Sussex Senior Cup.
They visit struggling Corinthian Casuals on Tuesday, sitting just three points off a play-off spot.
Rocks: Tangara, Dandy, Crane, Tuck, Cook, Wood (Edwards 68), Whyte (Mendoza 69), T Leigh (Hopkinson 79), Smith, Flint, A Leigh
Subs not used: Scutt, Wakley.
Attendance - 527