Fraser treble helps Rocks cane Canvey and extend lead

James Fraser, pictured facing Folkestone, scored a hat-trick against Canvey / Picture by Kate Shemilt
James Fraser, pictured facing Folkestone, scored a hat-trick against Canvey / Picture by Kate Shemilt
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James Fraser netted his first hat-trick as Bognor put four past Canvey Island at Nyewood Lane to extend their lead at the top of the Ryman premier.

With Charlie Moone having made a surprise exit from the Rocks, Jimmy Wild got a start up front for Bognor. Darren Budd came into midfield with Dan Beck out waiting on a scan on his hip problem.

James Fraser dragged an early deflected attempt wide following good work from Wild and Harvey Whyte straight from kick-off. Jimmy Muitt's high cross found Wild in space in the box but his strike on the volley was deflected wide.

Ollie Pearce sped down the right before crossing for Wild, who was ahead of his man, but he smashed it wide of the near post on five minutes.

Frankie Merrifield smashed the upright with a low attempt from just outside the box seconds later. James Crane headed the rebound back to Dan Lincoln. Pearce's corner picked out Gary Charman, but his high swirling header was easily saved by the goalkeeper.

Pearce's run ended down the left saw him get tripped by George Allen, who received a booking.

The Rocks took the lead on 14 minutes. Fraser poked it in from close range following a sharp save from a Crane chance by Connor Gough following a deep cross which was headed back into the area.

Ryan Blackman received a yellow card on 20 minutes as he slid in late on Sami El-Abd in Bognor's half. Then Mitch Gilbey's inswinging corner saw Lincolnget a punch on it as the visitors saw it out again.

Doug Tuck found Muitt on the right with a pass. He cut inside before shooting with his left foot. It lacked much power and the goalkeeper gathered it rather easily.

Fraser made his way forward, eventually ending his run with a high shot with his left boot, but it swung over the bar against the wind. Blackman smashed one well wide from long distance on 34 minutes..

Wild was tripped in the box by Gabriel Adelowo on 37 minutes and the referee awarded a penalty. Up stepped Fraser who tucked it away, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Lincoln had to gather a dangerous inswinging cross by Blackman on 41 minutes.

HT 2-0

Pearce went close when a forward ball split the defence and after outpacing his marker, his shot was pushed away by Gough on 50 minutes. The resulting corner saw Gary Charman and Alex Stephenson clash heads near the back post. Charman (head bandaged) and Stephenson (nasty cut above the eye) were both replaced. On came Calvin Davies for Charman and Jake Pitty for Stephenson on 55 minutes.

Fraser smashed a free-kick wide then spooned another long-range effort high and off target on 61 minutes.

Bognor extended their lead on 65 minutes. A through ball saw Muitt beat Ashley Dumas with his turn before slotting it inside the right post. Game over, most felt.

Wild hit one which the goalkeeper bundled out. Pearce pounced on it to slot in on the rebound but the the goal didn't count as he was offside. A long chipped pass forward by El-Abd saw Muitt run on. But Gough got there first to gather it near the edge of his box on 73 minutes.

Budd's forward pass picked out Muitt but he was closed down by the keeper on 78 minutes. Davies smashed one from around 25 yards and Gough pushed it over the bar on 80 minutes.

Bognor scored again on 89 minutes. Wild did well on the left to put it across to Fraser, who was there on the back post to slot it in.

Bognor carried on confidently for another seven minutes of stoppage time to take the points - then learned that second-placed Havant had only drawn 0-0 at Needham Market, making the Rocks' lead at the top four points.

The Rocks are at home again on Tuesday when they host Leiston. Next Saturday they face a tough trip to Enfield.

Bognor: Lincoln, Whyte, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Charman (Davies 55), Fraser, Budd (Dolcetti 78), Wild, Pearce (Haynes Brown 68), Muitt. Sub not used: Parsons

Canvey: Gough, Adelowo, Dumas, Merrifield, Allen, Stephenson (Pitty 55), Lawson, Blackman, Sykes, Thomas (Ibe 64), Gilbey (Curran 75). Subs not used: Agyakwa, Mbamarah.

Report by LIAM GOODLEY