GALLERY: Rampant Rocks hurt Hamlet’s promotion bid

Bognor’s supreme first 45 minutes was enough to sink Dulwich Hamlet, who must have wanted to head back home at half-time – when they were already four down.

This was the Rocks’ third straight win and puts them right in the thick of the play-off picture, leaving them just three points behind fifth-placed Met police.

It was non-stop pressure on the Dulwich goal in the first half   Picture by Tim Hale

It was non-stop pressure on the Dulwich goal in the first half Picture by Tim Hale

Some clinical finishing, closing down and resolute defending saw Rocks gain an important win.

The Rocks looked in good spirits for this home fixture against third-placed Dulwich Hamlet, who they had beaten 1-0 away in October.

Drizzle hit Nyewood Lane before kick-off and with Stuart Green out with a calf injury, Callum Overton got a start in the line-up. With Ryan Woodford recalled by Havant, Dan Sackman resumed centre-back duties in the heart of the Rocks’ defence.

Almost straight from kick-off Ollie Pearce was brought down outside the box on the right. Jake Thomson took the free-kick but Overton couldn’t direct his header goalwards.

A great ball from the right by Pearce found Jason Prior in the box for a header but Phil Wilson was there to deflect it away – but only to Doug Tuck, whose instincts paid off when he slammed home the rebound to put Bognor into a third-minute lead with his second strike in a week.

Dulwich battled back with a chance of their own moments later when a low shot from Jack Dixon was kept out by a great diving save by Chris Winterton.

The Rocks doubled the lead on seven minutes. Alex Parsons cut in on the right, after brilliant work from young Overton, to slam low in off the post.

Pearce’s corner from the right had to be punched clear by Wilson as Bognor continued to look dangerous.

Neat play down the right saw Pearce win a corner. Pearce’s kick fell for Prior, but the striker was blocked off with his instant attempt.

Pearce fired at goal but was denied by a two-handed save by Wilson, and the rebound was struck just wide by Tuck.

A chipped pass from Dixon found Tom Derry with the ball and a clear scoring opportunity. After getting into the box, though, Derry’s attempt was closed down by Winterton.

A penalty appeal from Rocks was ignored moments before Pearce tried his luck again from long distance. His dipping shot was well saved by Wilson on 25 minutes.

Harvey Whyte cut inside from the right before shooting low on 27 minutes, but Wilson gathered the attempt easily.

The Rocks went further ahead on 30 minutes. A free-kick from Thomson fell to Prior who, under pressure, knocked it back towards Craig Robson. The defender and captain took the ball first time and with a deflection saw his half-volley sail through the crowded penalty area, over goalkeeper Wilson and into the net.

Sackman cleared a loose ball but Derry slid in late on him on 34 minutes and received a yellow card.

Great speed from Parsons saw him win a penalty on 39 minutes. The winger’s commitment to the ball had to be admired, drawing the foul. Prior stepped up to place the penalty low into the bottom corner. The effort of Wilson in goal, despite diving the right way, wasn’t enough to stop the ball going in.

Luke Wanadio tried his luck moments later with a fierce shot from outside the box and a deflection saw the ball fly just over the bar as the visitors failed to find a reply.

HT 4-0

A half-time replacement was inevitable for the visitors with Jordan Hibbert being replaced by Xavier Vidal.

A foul was committed on Parsons soon after the restart and the free-kick by Thomson had to be headed clear near the back post.

Good work from Overton on the right saw Parsons win the ball. Parsons’ neat low cross was just a little too early for Tuck.

A counter attacking move saw Prior and Tuck combine before the latter found Overton, who worked his way past his marker before getting into the box and attempting a low cross. Wilson was there to cut it out.

Vidal’s shot was deflected off Thomson from the edge of the penalty area, sending the ball towards goal on 61 minutes. But Winterton produced a fine fingertip save to divert the ball over the frame of the goal.

James Crane gave away a free-kick on the right as Nyren Clunis made headway down the right. But the kick and the follow-up were bravely blocked.

Pressure from Dulwich saw Derry run square just outside the box before shooting low. His attempt rolled wide of the post.

A crossed was whipped into the box from the left by Vidal which eventually found Ashley Carew, who struck early but well over the bar.

Crane was booked for tripping Clunis on 73 minutes. Bognor cleared the danger from the free-kick.

Robson latched on to a swirling Thomson cross after a Pearce free-kick was partially blocked. Robson’s header forced a save from Wilson and the ball hit the frame of goal in the same scramble on 82 minutes.

Pedro Cunha replaced Clunis on 83 minutes before the Rocks made two late substitutions – Prior being replaced by Charlie Oatway and young Jordan Warren replacing Crane.

Frazer Shaw received a yellow card for a tackle on Parsons wide on the right with the game well into stoppage time.

The Dulwich supporters continued to sing throughout the second half despite their team being 4-0 down and they continued long after the whistle.

But on the pitch it had been the Rocks on song and they can now look foreward to taking on another of the sides just above them in the table, East Thurrock, who they visit on Tuesday.

Rocks: Winterton, Whyte, Crane (Warren 85), Tuck, Sackman, Robson, Overton (Lawson 70), Thomson, Prior (Oatway 86), Pearce, Parsons

Unused sub: Dodd.

LIAM GOODLEY