PICTURE SPECIAL: Pearce double sees Rocks beat Howell's men in FA Cup

Ollie Pearce was the goal hero as the Rocks notched their best result of the season to date to knock Jamie Howell's Eastbourne Borough out of the FA Cup.

Saturday, 30th September 2017, 9:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:27 pm
Ollie Pearce celebrates his first goal at Eastbourne / Picture by Tommy McMillan

A goal in each half was enough to put the Rocks into the fourth qualifying round - the last stage before the likes of Pompey and Charlton come in for the first round.

Bognor travelled to Priory Lane to face the Sports looking for revenge for Boro's 1-0 league win at Nyewood Lane in August. The game started at a lively pace and Jimmy Muitt's low cross was snuffed out inside the first minute.

Bognor were passing the ball well but Doug Tuck's pass rolled out for a goal kick following some great build-up play. Pearce tried to pick out Muitt with a similar pass moments later but goalkeeper Bailey Vose got there first.

Ollie Pearce celebrates his first goal at Eastbourne / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Jamie Taylor combined with Kiran Khinda-John for Boro but the pass to the latter was poor. Soon Pearce netted Bognor's first goal, weaving his way towards goal after a mistake in the area to tuck the ball low into the bottom corner on 12 minutes, sparking joyous scenes among the team and travelling fans.

Harley Willard's cross was well stopped by Dan Lincoln on 14 minutes before Pearce was caught offside on the counter-attack. Then Willard won a corner on the left for the hosts. Wills took it and Gary Charman rose highest before heading the ball over the bar. Harvey Whyte was brought down and Pearce's free-kick was chipped into the box but headed away.

Ben Swallow's cross from the left saw the ball bounce out to Tuck who hit it over the bar on 23 minutes. Charlie Harris's curled cross from the right was well gathered by Lincoln moments later. Nathaniel Pinney ran on to the end of a through-pass but his shot was saved by Lincoln and the follow up by Willard spun well over the bar.

Sergio Torres passed to Gavin McCallum but his cross from the left flew out of touch on 29 minutes. Wills' corner was headed out and Willard squared up to blast one over the bar on 34 minutes when it looked easier to hit the target.

Lincoln pulled off a great reaction save to deny Taylor again on 37 minutes after Harris's deflected free-kick. Captain Dan Beck headed a Torres chance off the line as the Rocks came under some pressure nearing half-time. Another Wills cross was headed wide by Charman.

Muitt won the ball straight from Vose's kick. He ran on and found Swallow, who struck the ball towards goal - but the goalkeeper redeemed himself and stopped tje effort. Beck's floated cross picked out Swallow unmarked but his glancing header flashed narrowly wide on 41 minutes. Then Swallow's cross saw Tuck lurking on the back post but a defender headed it out.

McCallum cut inside from the left to fire at goal, committing Lincoln into a fine save. Khinda-John fouled Pearce on the counter and received a booking as the half drew to a close with Bognor on top.

HT 0-1

Tuck was replaced by Joe Lea after half-time for Bognor. The Rocs went further ahead when Charman made a mistake from Calvin Davies' ball down the right for Muitt and he ran on before finding an unmarked Pearce, who shot it low under Vose on 49 minutes.

Harris was replaced by recently signed Lloyd Dawes from Worthing on 50 minutes for the Sports. A cross was gathered by Lincoln, who set Bognor instantly on the attack and Muitt received the ball on the left before cutting inside and shooting along the deck but wide. Charman was replaced by Will Hendon on 57 minutes.

Wills' corner was nodded over by Ian Simpemba on 59 minutes as Eastbourne looked to get back into the tie. Pinney was denied by a brave block as Bognor's defence were determined to hold on to the lead. Pinney was replaced by Leon Redwood on 64 minutes.

McCallum knocked another shot well wide from 20 yards as frustration set in for the Sports. Wills' free-kick found Simpemba but his header looped straight into Lincoln's arms.

Davies did well in Bognor's half before slipping the ball through to Muitt, who ran inside from the right before shooting low and forcing Vose into a save with his right leg. Swallow passed inside to Davies who smashed an effort low and wide of the post.

Whyte played in Muitt who skewed his attempt wide of the post on 72 minutes. Alex Parsons replaced Muitt on 80 minutes.

Wellard struck a shot straight at a grateful Lincoln. Wellard did it again soon after, striking the ball along the deck - and Lincoln did well to deny him again. Sami El-Abd went to ground and looked in pain and Corey Heath returned to action on 85 minutes to replace him.

Whyte cleared another belter off the line as Bognor continued to put their bodies in the way to progress. Hendon received a yellow card for a very late challenge on Pearce. Beck received a yellow card as well for time wasting.

Vose made a mistake and gave away a corner following a pass back. The hold up play by the corner flag didn't work for Rocks and McCallum on the counter attack smacked a shot straight at Lincoln.

But after four minutes of stoppage time the Rocks were winners to the delight of the Green Army - and now await the fourth qualifying round draw on Monday, when National League premier sides are among those they could face. Also flying the flag for Sussex are Burgess Hill, who beat Wealdstone.

Rocks: Lincoln, Davies, Beck, Tuck (Lea HT), Field, El-Abd (Heath 85), Muitt (Parsons 80), Block, Whyte, Pearce, Swallow. Subs not Used: Wild, Suraci.