Prior and Pearce see off Harrow as Rocks return to winning ways

Jason Prior scored one and set one up for the Rocks against Harrow   Picture by Tommy McMillan
Jason Prior scored one and set one up for the Rocks against Harrow Picture by Tommy McMillan
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A GOAL in each half was enough to secure a win for Bognor and keep the play-offs a possibility.

Strikers Jason Prior and Ollie Pearce were on the scoresheet as Bognor made it five games unbeaten to move up to 11th in the Ryman premier table.

Following a goalless draw at AFC Hornchurch last week, Bognor were hoping to get their scoring boots back on at a soggy Nyewood Lane against struggling Harrow,who arrived third from bottom.

Fans’ favourite Terry Dodd returned to the Bognor bench - his first time in the squad since he left Nyewood Lane at the end of last season.

Newly-signed loan striker Callum Overton, from AFC Wimbledon, joined Dodd on the bench.

Early pressure from Bognor saw James Crane win a corner on the left. Pearce took it and it was headed on by Prior to Crane but was deflected for another corner. Ryan Woodford powered a header well over the bar from the second corner.

Bognor’s third corner saw Woodford’s shot deflected into the grateful arms of Nick Jupp.

Sam Whiting slid in late on Alex Parsons and received a yellow card on nine minutes.

Harvey Whyte played the ball forward for Pearce, who tried a first-time chip over the goalkeeper from 35 yards. The ball flew over the bar.

Play was held up on 21 minutes when Michael Peacock required treatment after going to ground. He soon returned.

Trickery from Pearce on the left saw him beat his marker and play a low cross in for Doug Tuck, who struck it first time but it was deflected away.

But Bognor’s dominance paid off on 26 minutes when a deep cross from the right found Pearce on the back post. Pearce played it back inside heart of the penalty area and Prior was there to tap home from close range.

Pearce’s free-kick from the left on 33 minutes found Woodford unmarked on the back post but the defender struck his effort well over the crossbar.

Craig Robson was spoken to by the referee after a challenge on Marc Charles-Smith. Ryan Hope took the free-kick but it was cleared.

A Bognor counter-attack saw Whyte make good ground up the field to pass to Parsons, but his ambitious effort flew well off target.

On 43 minutes, Michael Bryan beat Crane to get a cross in from the right. It was palmed over by Chris Winterton as it dipped at the last moment. Winterton had to punch clear another swirling cross moments later as the visitors began to gain momentum.

HT 1-0

The second half saw an early chance for the visitors. Dan Moody found Carl McCluskey in the box with a curling cross but the forward’s header was looping and was easily gathered by Winterton.

Parsons let fly with a fierce shot on 50 minutes. Jupp pulled off a decent save.

On 56 minutes Charlie Oatway replaced Crane. Two minutes later on 58 minutes, Harrow brought on Kamaron English for David Taylor.

Winterton had to pull off a fine diving save to deny Bryan seconds later before the goalkeeper had to punch clear a corner kick.

Pearce sped down the left to get a cross in but the ball flew over the bar with Prior lurking on the back post on 62 minutes.

Anthony Maissiatt needed treatment from the phyio on 65 minutes.

Jake Thomson tried his luck from 25 yards out. He spotted Jupp off his line and was unfortunate not to see the ball dip below the bar.

A swirling cross from Bryan tried to find Maissiatt but he was under pressure from the Rocks defence and it deflected wide for a corner.

Dodd came on to replace Parsons on 70 minutes, sparking cheers from the home support.

Pearce’s corner on 73 minutes was cleared after being flicked on by a Harrow defender and Bognor were struggling to add to their lead.

Pearce ran from halfway before shooting low and forcing an instinctive save from Jupp on 78 minutes.

For the visitors, Peacock smashed wide from long distance.

The Rocks extended their the lead on 80 minutes when Prior did well to win the ball before squaring the ball to Pearce in the box. Pearce composed himself before slotting low into the bottom corner.

Prior smashed a long-range effort high and wide after getting into space.

Omarr Lawson replaced Stuart Green on 87 minutes. Green was named man of the match for a hardworking performance.

Lawson smashed an effort at goal from outside the box but it was well stopped by Jupp.

Rocks: Winterton, Whyte, Crane (Oatway 56), Tuck, Woodford, Robson, Green (Lawson 87), Thomson, Prior, Pearce, Parsons (Dodd 70). Unused subs: Sackman, Overton.

The Rocks travel to face Hampton & Richmond next Saturday.

LIAM GOODLEY