Bognor complete double over Burgess Hill - and it's 10-0 for the season
Battling Bognor won 2-0 at Burgess Hill thanks to a Jimmy Muitt double.
In-form Muitt netted from the spot early in the second half before scoring again late on to push his team back into a play-off position in the Bostik premier.
It's the Rocks' fourth win in six and brings Muitt's goal tally to five in the past four matches since 2019 dawned. One downside was two more injuries to Rocks players in a season full of such setbacks - Gary Charman confirmed he has broken his shoulder, so will be out for some time, while Theo Widdrington has sustained a hamstring problem.
Bradley Lethbridge was missing from the line-up because of a groin injury but two other Pompey loanees, Freddie Read and Leon Maloney, both got starts. There was no Dan Smith - the striker seemingly likely to be moved on to a higher level by parent club Pompey, who used him as their 19th man for their clash with Blackpool.
Mason Walsh did well to run into the box early on but Burgess Hill surrounded him to block his low attempt - that after good defending from Joe Tomlinson set up the move. Following a corner Gary Elphick’s overhead kick flew over the bar as Burgess Hilll started brightly.
Ex-Rock Tom Cadman's left-footed cross picked out Marco Figuero Correia, who curled one over the bar.Then Charlie Bennett's turn and instant shot flew over the crossbar and it was all Hillians in the early going.
Walsh did all the hard work during a better spell for Bognor but his low cross was cleared as Maloney lurked. Following a throw Walsh's cross picked out Muitt but he nodded the ball over on 19 minutes.
Tomlinson had to defend as Bennett caused problems and the ball spun up dangerously in the area. The Brighton youngster shepherded the ball off down the slope. James Richmond nodded down a corner for the hosts and it fell to Bennett but he blasted it wide.
Doug Tuck threaded the ball out to Walsh on the overlap before his cross bounced out to Widdrington but from 25 yards he struck it over. Read won the ball in Hillians territory and his short pass to Maloney saw him turn - but his shot curled over. Richmond headed a Michael Wilson corner wide.
Burgess Hill gave it away to Walsh who ran across the defence before striking it low with his right foot, but he rolled it wide. Soon Pat Harding did well to win the ball in the hosts' half before committing Dan Lincoln into a save. Walsh ran back to whip a cross on to the head of Muitt on the back post and his effort was pushed away by Josh James, who dived down to his right to save it on 40 minutes. HT 0-0
Walsh was blocked off with his chance before Muitt blasted over the bar from the edge of the box. Lincoln punched clear a corner by Wilson but the referee had blown for a foul on the goalkeeper. Cadman was replaced by Tolulope Jonah on 53 minutes.
Then, the breakthrough as a penalty was awarded to Bognor on 56 minutes. Jonah, who had only just come on, tripped Maloney with his back to goal in the area. Muitt stepped up to slot the ball and send the keeper the wrong way to put Bognor into the lead.
Wilson was replaced by Billy Barker on 58 minutes and Correia was replaced by Farrell Ryder two minutes later for Burgess Hill. Maloney did well to run down the right, beating his defender before crossing. The ball flashed across the goalmouth, with Walsh the closest.
Dan Choules went into the book for a foul on Muitt but Widdrington's curling free-kick bounced harmlessly wide. Widdrington pulled up straight after striking the ball with a hamstring problem. He was replaced by Ed Sanders on 63 minutes. Maloney received the ball on the right but blasted over the bar following a run on the right side of the box.
Bognor failed to clear their lines and the ball bounced to Ryder but his strike curled wide. Ryder blasted over the bar again shortly after that. This followed a chance from Bognor as Walsh sped down the left but the final pass bounced through to the keeper off a defender. Charman was clattered and fell awkwardly on his arm and had to be replaced by Tommy Scutt.
Scutt stubbed one at goal which was easily saved following a long ball from Lincoln after Bognor defended a free-kick. Walsh’s strike was stopped by James after a free-kick saw Richmond receive a booking for a poor challenge by the defender on Muitt. Lincoln had to dive to save an Alex Samizadeh strike from 25 yards, then managed to punch clear the resulting corner.
Maloney was replaced by Jimmy Wild on 85 minutes before Muitt went into the book for kicking the ball out of play after the whistle.
Wild dealt well with two long throws from Jonah and a couple of other crosses from the right flank as soon as he came on. Then Lincoln made a wonderful save down to his right to deny Ryder from point blank range to keep Bognor ahead.
Eight minutes were added on - could the Rocks hold on? They could do better than that as hard work on the left flank paid off when Muitt was set through on goal unmarked before slotting low beyond James with seconds left.
This impressive second half meant the Rocks completed the league double over the Hillians with a total aggregate of 10-0 and moved up to fifth, back above Worthing who had two men sent off as they lost 4-3 to Lewes.
Rocks: Lincoln, Whyte, Tomlinson, Tuck, Field, Charman (Scutt 77), Read, Widdrington (Sanders 67), Maloney (Wild 85), Muitt, Walsh. Subs not used: McCormick, Osborne.
Attendance - 508