Muitt on spot but it's away draw number SEVEN for Bognor - plus Robbie Blake's post-match thoughts

Bognor had to settle for a point at Harlow after a ninth-minute penalty by Jimmy Muitt was cancelled out by an Emile Acquah equaliser.

Sunday, 2nd December 2018, 9:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 8:19 am
Bognor had to settle for a point at Harlow / Picture by Darren Crisp

Amazingly it's Bognor's seventh draw in eight Bostik premier away games - they won the other. The point leaves them ninth in a tightly packed top half ot the table in which only three points separate fifth and 12th.

The Rocks headed to the wet and windy McCullochs Arena looking to build on winning their previous league game, against Wingate & Finchley win at Nyewood Lane a fortnight ago.

Dan Smith was fit to start up front as the Rocks welcomed back defender Gary Charman for a third spell with the club. Brad Lethbridge was back in the starting line-up after missing the Sussex Cup win over Three Bridges.

Charman got in the way of Mayowa Adaje when he worked his way early on through the defence, the veteran's sliding challenge stopping the advance. A short corner from Muitt went to to Harvey Whyte and his knock-on fell to Lethbridge, who smashed the chance high over the bar.

With just nine minutes gone, Whyte was fouled in the area and was awarded a penalty. Harlow felt the contact was marginally outside the box but the referee pointed straight to the spot. Up stepped Muitt who smashed it low to the right of Josh Bexon to give Rocks the lead.

Smith hit one on the rise but was denied by a decent save, then Lethbridge hit a cross straight to Smith in the area and he forced a fine save from Bexon, who pushed it over the bar. Bexon saved Lethbridge's attempt from outside the box on 17 minutes before Smith set Muitt through with a neat chip - but the ball bounced up and struck his hand.

Calvin Davies got the ball out to Whyte, who hit it low from long distance and forced a diving save from Bexon. Worryingly for the Rocks, Lethbridge pulled up injured following a diagonal ball from Davies and had to be replaced by Mason Walsh. Apparently the injury occurred when his ankle went the opposite way as he controlled the ball on the 3G surface.

Harlow equalised on 26 minutes when a quick low ball in from the left was deflected in by Acquah, who was first to react at the near post. During the incident Dan Lincoln took a heavy knock and who had to receive treatment as a lengthy hold-up ensued. Happily the stopper was fine to continue.

Joe Tomlinson’s ball to Smith saw him flick the ball towards goal but Harlow sprang on the counter-attack and Adaje's low ball along the deck was cut out. Davies combined with Muitt, who found Smith, but he was blocked with his first chance and then he hit his second wide with his left foot. Muitt did the hard work before finding Walsh on the run and his cross whizzed across the face of goal and out of play.

Tomlinson crossed from the left but Smith wasn’t up with play. Charman failed to cut out a Harlow cross and Lincoln didn’t read it, but Bognor's defence dealt with the danger. HT 1-1

Davies worked well with Smith and the striker turned inside before shooting low and bringing an easy save out of Bexon. Lincoln went to ground in a worrying moment as the Rocks defended an attack but again he was soon back on his feet. Yanick Kissi's corner had to be punched away by Lincoln.

Taylor Hastings' long ball into the area hit the top netting but the referee gave a corner. Harlow failed to capitalise on their good fortune and the ball was cleared. Acquah had another chance easily saved by Lincoln. Walsh, having apparently picked up a knock, was replaced by Tommy Scutt on 69 minutes.

Straight from a Davies short free-kick, Harlow had another chance when Paul Rodgers sped down the right before getting a neat cross in for Christian Scales. The substitute diverted the ball towards goal but an instinctive stop from Lincoln kept the score 1-1. Acquah stabbed the rebound over the bar.

Tomlinson picked out Scutt with a wonderful pinpoint cross into the area and his first-time volley came off the bar in Bognor's best chance of the second half. Bognor had to deal with a number of crosses as Harlow sought a late winner.

Bognor welcome Enfield Town to Nyewood Lane on Tuesday (Dec 4, 7.45pm) and host Dorking next Saturday - with the prospect of Jason Prior and Sami El-Abd both returning to the Lane with the Surrey club.

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Tomlinson, Tuck, Field, Charman, Whyte, Block, Smith (Wild 83), Muitt, Lethbridge (Walsh 25 (Scutt 69)). Sub not used: McCormick.

Att: 196