Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
Both sides made changes from Saturday, with injury ruling out Cam Tutt and Danny Barker on the bench, there were starting places for Dean Cox and, for the first time this season, Jesse Starkey. The visitors had Jake Flannigan and Joe Cook missing, which meant Joe Hancott and Ash Leigh came in, as Gavin McCallum swapped seats with Kayne Diedrick-Roberts amongst the substitutes.
The home team enjoyed much the better of the opening period and created a good chance after eleven minutes, when Tom Chalaye held the ball up for Dayshonne Golding to tease a cross with his right foot, before sending one in with his left that Jasper Pattenden, at the back post headed agonisingly wide of the opposite upright.
Golding was involved again soon afterwards as the ball ran loose, allowing him to turn and shoot but Amadou Tangara in the visitor’s goal claimed comfortably.
A typical burst through the middle by Marvin Armstrong saw him spread play out to Pattenden on the left; his subsequent delivery into the penalty area nodded over the top by Chalaye.
Just shy of the midway point of the first forty-five, Dean Cox also watched his cross met with a header, this time from Golding that he couldn’t quite keep down either.
The same player then robbed a Rock’s defender on the edge of the box, drove forward and appeared to hit the post but, in actual fact, made contact with the wheel behind it for a goal-kick to be awarded.
This coming after Ollie Pearce had curled his effort narrowly over the crossbar.
A change of ends failed to bring about a change in momentum, as a strong run by Armstrong led to him side-footing the wrong side of the near upright.
Rock’s first real chance of the afternoon came as a result of a counter-attack that concluded with Kayne Diedrick-Roberts flashing an attempt desperately close to the front post, on it’s way past it.
Tangara then produced a fine save to keep out Golding, after he’d taken a return pass from Pearce inside the eighteen yard area and forced an impressive one-handed stop from the Bognor number one.
A good run down the right by Luca Cocoracchio led to a delightful delivery that Golding got his head to though was unable to get enough purchase on it, as he put it behind at the back stick.
Next up to test the reflexes of the visitor’s netminder was, once again, Armstrong who ended another promising-looking run with a shot the man in yellow was able to hold on to.
Just shy of the hour mark, Pattenden played inside to Starkey who performed a quick one-two with Chalaye, before finding Pearce who strained every sinew but was only able to prod past the upright.
Typically, after peppering the guest’s goal for sixty-one minutes, the opener came from them.
A deep delivery off the left flank sailed over everyone, Golding’s attempted clearance went straight to Leigh and he despatched beyond the despairing dive of Harrison Male, into the far side of the net.
Only a tremendous tackle by Joe Dandy denied Chalaye an almost immediate equaliser, as he latched on to a long ball over the top.
Male then pulled off a top-draw stop to prevent Jordy Mongoy doubling his side’s advantage, although not for long.
A neat build-up on the right resulted in Calvin Davies’ low cross being swept home from close range by Diedrick-Roberts.
Worthing continued to apply the pressure and attack at will but looked like they left their shooting boots at home.
This was emphasised again when Armstrong fired over the target, after Golding had returned Dandy’s misplaced clearance to the danger zone.
Goalkeeper, Tangara frustrated Aarran Racine by keeping out the centre-halves’ far post header as the host’s strived to get back in the game.
However, a flowing move threatened a third for Bognor with Leigh knocking the ball into the path of Diedrick-Roberts, who curled onto to the roof of the net.
One final throw of the dice saw sub, Pat Webber on his competitive first-team debut released by an inch-perfect, threaded through ball from Starkey on the left wing and fizz in a delivery that Golding seemed certain to bury at the back stick, only for the forward to find the side-netting.