Supporters of both clubs were starved of a league derby last season following Worthing’s promotion to National League South.
However, that didn’t stop the two from facing one another as The Rebels rose above The Rocks; winning on penalties in the final of the Sussex Senior Cup in May – as debutant goalkeeper: Will Tillman became a hero.
Today, Bognor who already had two pre-season friendlies under their belt were out for revenge.
Despite boasting the lion’s share of possession early on, the hosts weren’t able to do much with it as the visitors grew into the occasion in the 25th minute.
First, Jasper Mather teased The Rebel’s back-line before forcing the trialing keeper into smart stop.
This was a huge warning side for Hinshelwood’s men, as minutes later The Rocks were ahead when Lucas Pattenden netted his first goal for Bognor as he stroked the ball home; after pouncing onto Josh McCormick’s blocked effort.
After taking the lead, momentum grew amongst the Regis ranks and they almost doubled their lead in the 40th minute.
Fortunately for Worthing, their trialing keeper did really well; getting down low to his right hand side in order to deny Mather once more, meaning The Mackerel Men were only behind by one at the break.
Ahead of the second half, an entirely new fresh eleven was fielded for Worthing including a fourth trialling player of the day; alongside skipper: Aaran Racine in the heart of defence.
The Rebels began the half brightly as Joel Colbran lofted a well timed pass over the Bognor defence, for Greg Luer. The forward lured the opposing defenders to him which created space for Michael Klass to run onto his cutback and fire an effort at goal which was blocked well.
However, Bognor doubled their lead in the 51st minute. A dangerous in-swinging corner caused mayhem in the Rebels’ six-yard box, to the delight of Craig Robson who buried the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Worthing had a number of half-chances as they attempted to get back into the game. Joe Felix was bright and came the closest to clawing a goal back when he fired a low driven effort at goal, just five minutes after Bognor’s second.
Unfortunately, Felix’s effort flew just wide of the mark which summed up The Rebels’ day, who were not quite at it, unable to muster up a comeback.
It wasn’t the start to pre-season that Hinshelwood and his men would’ve hoped for, however they now have another home friendly to look forward to next weekend, this time against Hashtag United.
As for Bognor, they will be delighted to have beaten their fierce rivals; meaning they now have two wins and a draw against League One side: Portsmouth, in what has been a very positive pre-season so far for Robbie Blake’s side.