A GOAL by supersub Alfie Rutherford 16 minutes from time was enough to give ten-man Bognor a vital win against the team who startted the day as leaders of the Ryman premier.
Bognor continued their terrific home record – they have now won seven in a row at home in three different competitions – to move within four points of top spot, now held by Dulwich Hamlet.
Ex-Rock Dan Thompson was amongst the substitutes for the visitors, while new Pompey loan signing Calvin Davies was on the home bench.
Bognor started brightly and Alex Parsons won a corner on the right early on. Itwas taken by Ollie Pearce but his cross was headed out by Moussa Diarra.
Parsons latched on to a Stuart Green pass down the right before getting another cross in but the linesman had spotted the ball rolling over the line before he struck it.
Jerome Federico spun a forward pass over the Bognor defence but the linesman had flagged Nicke Kabamba offside.
Bognor won another corner on eight minutes. Pearce’s kick from the left found Jason Prior, whose header was blocked by a defender inside a crowded penalty area.
Green got a talking-to from the referee after a foul in the middle but Kieran Murphy’s free-kick bounced harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Parsons was punished after his run ended in Diarra going to ground rather easily and the referee gave a free-kick to the Beavers.
A lofted ball forward from the right found Pearce, who with his back to goal controlled the ball well before hitting an attempt straight over his head. The ball dipped but goalkeeper George Legg was well positioned to save it.
Neat build-up play saw Whyte play the ball down the right and after good work from Nilsen, and the move continued with a good run into the area by Prior. The striker poked the ball back inside and Rutherford slammed it low into the corner on 74 minutes to give Bognor the lead.
Prior’s cross was cleared but only to Green, who hit it with his left foot just wide of the right post on 15 minutes.
Brendan Kiernan went down under a challenge and was on the ground for a while.
Federico made good headway down the right before cutting inside to fire into the box. Kiernan met it in the air but his header flashed just over the bar on 21 minutes.
Josh Casey’s corner had to be palmed over the bar by Grant Smith, woho then punched clear a cross from the left.
Parsons’ cross from the right was pushed away by Legg and Doug Tuck’s follow-up was miscued on 27 minutes.
Some great counter attacking saw Harvey Whyte make good ground. He passed forward to Pearce, who in turn teed up Green on the right. His cross was just headed away with Prior lurking at the back post.
Prior tried to find Sami El-Abd with a cross, but Legg was out of his goal to intercept the chance.
Chad Field had to block a cross from Kiernan on the right, meaning another Casey corner had to be cleared by the Bognor defence.
Kiernan was causing real problems with his pace, cutting inside from the left along the by line and winning a corner. The kick found Murphy but his header from the back post went wide.
Tensions were high between El-Abd and Kabamba as the latter appeared to push the Rocks defender but a stern talking-to from the referee was all that ensued.
A long ball over the top found Kabamba and his run into the box ended in a shot but despite Smith appearing to get fingertips to it, a goal kick was given.
Smith flapped at a high hanging forward ball as the first half drew to an end.
Smith conceded a corner on 47 minutes after Jamal Lowe caused the hosts some problems. The corner was only just shepherded away by the Bognor defence.
Casey was tripped by Pearce and was sent immediately off with the referee showing a straight red card on 50 minutes, to the dismay of the home side and their fans.
Dean Sinclair’s free-kick from the left was punted high into the box but was cleared again and Green’s first touch on the counter-attack was too strong as Hampton regained possession.
Dan Beck’s free-kick was headed out to Prior but his deflected shot bounced out for a corner. Beck’s corner found Prior but his header was instantly cleared.
Beck’s square pass found Whyte on the right but his ambitious effort from around 22 yards flew well over.
Lowe hit a cross with the outside of his foot just inside the box which James Crane put out for a corner. Casey’s corner bounced in the area before going out.
Diarra failed to clear his lines with Prior pressurising, and winning a corner. Beck’s lofted cross from the right was headed out on 64 minutes.
Kiernan was closed down quickly on the counter-attack as the Beavers rushed down the right.
A good chance went begging for the Beavers as Lowe’s driven shot was stopped by Smith, who got down to save it.
The Rocks needed to freshen up and the management team decided to bring on Rutherford for Parsons on 70 minutes. Within minutes, the change unlocked the game.
Neat build-up play saw Whyte play the ball down the right and after good work from Snorre Nilsen, and the move continued with a good run into the area by Prior. The striker poked the ball back inside and Rutherford slammed it low into the corner on 74 minutes to give Bognor the lead.
Beck’s corner found Crane on 79 minutes and the defender’s header was only just wide of the goal.
Hampton’s Eddie Hutchinson received a yellow card on 80 minutes for a foul near the halfway line.
Beck received a yellow card on 85 minutes for a challenge just outside the D. Tom Jelley’s direct free-kick flew well over the bar, sparking ironic cheers from the home support.
Rocks brought on Gary Charman for Tuck on 88 minutes as they managed to clear away an inswinging free-kick from the right, with man-of-the-match Beck moving the ball out of the area.
Murphy received a yellow card for a challenge as frustrations grew.
Smith made an important save right at the end as a cross found Kabamba, whose header brought a fine stop by Smith down to his left.
The Rocks held on in over five minutes of stoppage time for a very important win, increasing their hopes of promotion.
They are back in action - at home again - when Leiston visit for a league game on Tuesday night.
BOGNOR (4-5-1): Smith, Whyte, Crane, Tuck (Charman 88), Field, El-Abd, Green (Nilsen 63), Beck, Prior, Pearce, Parsons (Rutherford 70)
Unused subs: Davies, Robson.
Attendance - 620
by LIAM GOODLEY
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