THE Rocks got through to the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup with a comfortable victory as they trounced Rustington 6-0 with goals from five different players and an impressive display from Ashley-Paul Robinson, who scored two goals.
Bognor really wanted to bounce back after their defeat to Leiston in the league and they did that in style against their Sussex League division-two visitors.
The Rocks welcomed youngsters George Branford, Ryan Morey and Dale Hayes into the squad in a re-shuffle of a line-up that boasted five substitutes despite injuries to the likes of Jason Prior and Alex Parsons.
Morey was first in on goal on just two minutes. He beat the defence with his pace before firing at goal but struck it straight at Carl Bennett.
A corner from Robinson found Branford but his attempt bounced wide. Good work from Josh Warren allowed the Rocks to get forward again two minutes later. His through ball to Morey was good but the youngster fired his cross over the bar.
On nine minutes, Harvey Whyte smashed his effort over the bar with his left boot after good work cutting inside from the right.
Omarr Lawson shot at goal from outside the box but it was easily gathered by Bennett on 16 minutes.
Gary Peters tried his luck from outside the penalty box for Rustington and made Chris Winterton get down to his right to save it.
Robinson curled a shot from 22 yards but although it was dipping, it was easily gathered by the goalkeeper.
McIver received a yellow card for a challenge in Rustington’s own half on 21 minutes.
The Rocks inevitably took the lead soon after when a low cross into the box found Warren. The defender’s first attempt was blocked but his secondflew in to give Bognor the lead on 21 minutes.
Robinson, Morey and Green all threatened a second but it was Robinson who got it on 29 minutes. His sharp low shot bounced once before netting in the bottom corner of the goal.
On 32 minutes, Lawson added to the score when he was set up sweetly by Robinson with another decent through-ball. Lawson slotted home with his right foot for his second in two games.
Green added to the tally on 35 minutes, making it 4-0 with another superb finish. Charlie Oatway, returning from injury, curled an effort over narrowly over the bar moments later.
Before the break, there was time for Branford to hit a superb effort low into the bottom corner. Lawson clipped the bar with an effort from 30 yards as the first half came to a close.
Rustington made a change for the restart, bringing off unfortunate goalkeeper Bennett for Gareth Challen.
Branford combined well with Lawson but the latter’s shot was easily saved by Challen.
Robsinson was tripped in the box on 55 minutes. And up stepped the same player – a master from the spot – to coolly curl it inside the post to get Bognor further ahead.
Nick Precious replaced an annoyed Regan Miles on 58 minutes. Miles appeared angry as he left the field and showed his frustration when heading straight to the dressing room.
Rocks gave Green, just back from injury, a rest and replaced him with Jake Thomson on 60 minutes.
Bognor were looking extremely comfortable as Branford and Lawson tried their luck.
Oatway drew a foul from both Ollie Rowland and Peters and both were shown a yellow card for the challenge on 68 minutes.
Robinson came off for Ollie Pearce, accepting a big ovation from the Bognor fans.
Another substitution saw Doug Tuck come on for Oatway on 75 minutes.
Morey, Tuck, Pearce, Thomson and Whyte all kept Bognor’s night of attacking football going but there were no further goals as the Rocks strolled on to the next round, with hopes alive of a fourth county cup final in six years.
ROCKS: Winterton, Whyte, Medway, Branford, Sackman (c), Warren, Morey, Lawson, Green (Thomson 60), Robinson (Pearce 68), Oatway (Tuck 75). Unused subs: Hayes, Robson.
Report by LIAM GOODLEY