Report: Just The Job For Bob

Worthing were given their toughest test of pre-season so far as they needed a late equaliser from Nodirbek Bobomurodov to ensure it ended honours even at Nyewood Lane.

Mens Full Time
1
Bognor
1
Worthing
  • Bobomurodov (')
Friendly Friday 29th July, 2022

Both sides fielded strong line-ups, with Worthing welcoming back Danny Barker and unveiling two of their trialists in the form of Whitehawk goalscorer Dan Rowe and Swindon sub Sammi Mcleod.

Bognor meanwhile named Tom Chalaye and Nick Dembele to begin, accompanied by Dan Howick and James Crane on the bench.

Reds almost got off to the perfect start when Aarran Racine’s long ball picked out the run of Jake Robinson, whose lob came back off the base of the far post before Tom Bragg deflected Cal Kealy’s follow-up behind for a corner.

Rocks might have snatched the lead themselves after Calvin Davies swung one over from the left for Alfie Bridgman in acres of space in the box, only for the number eleven to delay too long; allowing goalkeeper Harrison Male to stay on his feet and feel the (full) force with his chest.

The chances then dried up until eight minutes from half-time, thanks to Marvin Armstrong winning possession in the inside-right channel and sliding the ball through for Kealy in the area but Captain Harvey Whyte was ideally placed to steal back off the striker’s toes, before he could get a shot away.

In the blink of an eye, the services of Kane Wills were immediately required up the other end as he prevented Chalaye finding the net against his previous club. Joe Rabbetts denied an assist in the process.

The visitors weren’t looking themselves at times, as they struggled to hold on to the ball and too many passes went astray. Emphasised by Manager Adam Hinshelwood making two changes just before the break; Rowe and Kealy making way for Cam Tutt and Bobomurodov.

Moments later and that man Kane was very much able, placing himself in the right place at the right time again to stop Whyte edging the hosts in front with another brave block, following a fortunate rebound.

Although there was nothing even he could do when Isaac Olaniyan chipped into Bridgman whose powerfully-struck effort smacked against the crossbar in stoppage time.

Olaniyan led a Bognor break two minutes into the second period; charging down the centre then supplying Bridgman on the right. He cut inside Tutt but fired his attempt into the grateful hands of an unmoved Male.

An exchange of passes between Bridgman and Whyte eventually resulted in the host’s Captain receiving a final delivery from Olaniyan, only for Male to reach up and use both hands to claw back a shot that threatened to creep in under the bar.

A touch of controversy surrounded Rock’s taking the lead just past the hour mark, as Davies became the second home player to rattle the woodwork at the conclusion of a dangerous-looking counter-attack. This time though, Dembele – who scored in his only appearance for the guests in a friendly at Littlehampton Town a couple of years ago – challenged netminder Male for the loose ball; his close-range header ultimately allowed to stand despite the protestations of travelling Skipper Racine.

That would prove to be ‘Azza’s’ last contribution of the evening, with his participation in an end-to-end encounter terminated alongside a number of others; both Bosses making changes over the course of the next few minutes to keep the local media busy whilst introducing several pairs of fresh legs.

One of those replacements, Lewis White linked up well with Wills and fellow impactor Reece Myles-Meekums. The latter testing custodian Toby Steward at his front stick.

However, Town nearly doubled their advantage when a right-sided set piece saw Whyte slip in Chalaye and Male stick out a leg to divert Tom’s low, driven effort away from danger as it arrowed it’s way towards the rear upright.

The recently introduced Charlie Bell had Harrison scrambling near the same piece of apparatus less than sixty seconds further on, missing by millimetres after drilling an edge-of-the-box attempt goalwards.

Bell was close to chiming again soon afterwards when he burst through the middle of the pitch before locating Bridgman on the right, who drifted inside and curled over the target around twenty yards out.

A similar tactic employed with a similar outcome by Meeky on the opposite flank not a couple of minutes later, leading to substitute McLeod enduring double frustration via a defensive block and a rare Steward save, preventing the ex-Leicester City Academy prospect levelling the score not once but twice.

Although salvation did present itself through man-of-the-moment Bobomurodov, who took advantage of fortunate circumstances to calmly side foot home from fifteen yards, once a right wing cross had fallen kindly into his path.

A piece of penalty box pinball might have seen a well-fought contest draw to a close with a visiting victory but Myles-Meekums couldn’t quite find a way past a sea of white.