FA Trophy trouble at Walton sees Bognor leave the Wembley trail
Injury-stricken Bognor crashed out of the FA Trophy at the second qualifying round stage as two goals from James Ewington in a poor Rocks first half saw the Stags pick up the Â£4,000 prize money and go into Monday's draw.
The Rocks named just three substitutes on the bench as they arrived at the Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub to face a side who play at the same level of the non-league pyramid as them.
Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake's team had managed to get past Bracknell Town in the first qualifying round in a replay at Nyewood Lane that went to penalties.
The rain was teeming down 30 minutes before kick off as warm-ups took place and the players headed off early to avoid the deluge. The rain was to continue for the duration of the game.
Joe Tomlinson’s early ball down the left found Tommy Scutt but he couldn’t get his cross in. Taureen Roberts beat Calvin Davies following a long ball over the top but was denied when Dan Lincoln stopped his shot. Then Luke Holness smashed one wide from long distance moments later for the hosts.
Bognor had a chance on six minutes when Davies won the ball and passed Jimmy Muitt, who found Scutt. The young midfielder curled it with his first touch but his attempt came off the post. Jack Battie forced Lincoln into a save from long distance. Brad Lethbridge cut inside and unleashed a strike just wide of the goal on 13 minutes.
Roberts combined with Ewington before firing high and wide but Ewington did net the first goal when he beat Chad Field and slotted the ball inside the post on 15 minutes.
Lethbridge tried another strike from long distance but it flew wide as Bognor were trying to get back into the game. Soon a Battie effort clipped the top of the crossbar. Davies was at fault for giving the ball away on 28 minutes, allowing Battie to strike the crossbar again. Battie then smashed a free-kick over the bar - and Bognor were all over the place.
Davies set up Lethbridge for a half-chance but it was blocked. Ewington missed from three yards when a neat cross from Battie found him near the back post. But Bognor were punished again as Walton went further ahead on 42 minutes.
Bognor were beaten at the back when Roberts’ cross found Ewington who controlled it before diverting it back into the net from inside the box. Lincoln got a hand on it but couldn’t stop the ball going in.
At the end of the half it was Battie’s low free-kick which a sliding Davies deflected on to Bognor's own crossbar.
Roberts curled another chance straight at Lincoln as the Stags had the first chance of the half. Then Mason Walsh cut inside and from the corner of the box forced Denzel Gerrar into an acrobatic diving save to tip his shot around the post. Battie went into the book for simulation after going down easily on 50 minutes. Then Scutt hit one low at goal from outside the area but it was easily saved by Gerrar.
Jimmy Wild came on for Scutt on 53 minutes as Bognor tried to improve on their first-half showing. Lartey Sarping struck one wide before Bognor had a good chance when Muitt's strike came off the post and into Gerrar's grateful arms on 55 minutes. It began to look like it wasn’t their day.
Tomlinson's curled effort was saved, then Field burst through before shooting just over. Bognor's best chance saw Davies flick the ball along the deck from a low cross but Wild was in the way on the line and inadvertently deflected it away.
Walsh did well to cut along the right byline before his fierce low cross found Muitt, who hit it over. Wild got a foot in the head in the air from Alex Kelly, who was booked.
Tomlinson combined with Lethbridge who confidently cut inside before unleashing a fierce strike high and wide. Then Lethbridge did all the hard work on the left before hitting the side netting. Walsh hit another attempt wide.
Gerrar did well to cut out Harvey Whyte's cross on the right with Wild lurking. Wild worked the ball forward before getting Davies and Muitt on the ball but Lethbridge's attempt was saved.Walsh's cross into Davies saw him mis-time his effort on 76 minutes. Harry Mills clashed with Walsh on the touchline and received treatment on 78 minutes after an accidental challenge.
Holness should have done better when a shot bounced out to him before he belted an attempt high over the bar. Roberts shot narrowly over from the edge of the box on 86 minutes.
Lethbridge cut inside and committed Gerrar into a diving save to his left in stoppage time. But despite their second-half efforts, the scoreline didn’t improve as a tired Bognor side slipped out of the Trophy.
Bognor are next in action at home to Corinthian Casuals on Tuesday (7.45pm) in the Bostik premier.
Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Tomlinson, Tuck, Field, Block, Whyte, Scutt (Wild 53), Lethbridge, Muitt, Walsh. Subs not Used: McCormick, Carroll