U18 Bognor Regis Town 2 Whitehawk 3
Nevill 36′ Mundy 26′
Smith 89′ Reeder 70, 90′
Toby Reeder scored a dramatic last gasp winner for Whitehawk U18s at Bognor Regis Town last night to ensure the Young Hawks didn’t end the season bottom of the Isthmian South Youth League.
Having led 1-0 and 2-1, only to be pegged back by an 89th minute equaliser, the Hawks broke for one last time and James Lyon-Monk’s pin point left-wing cross found top-scorer Reeder for a tap in and the deserved three points. Earlier a Josh Mundy header and a classy Reeder finish has given the Hawks hope, in a game which the visitors dominated without ever finishing off their opponents, who always looked dangerous on the break.
The Young Hawks ran the first half, showing calmness on the ball and spreading the play from side to side, without finding the killer final ball. Not for the first time this season, a strong challenge on Luke O’Neil meant the diminutive Hawks midfielder having to leave the field after 20 minutes with a badly damaged ankle. Michael Donovan replaced him.
Hawks took a deserved lead on 26 minutes when a great free kick from the left by Ellis Martin was headed home by Josh Mundy. Two minutes later Alex McLean had a header cleared off the line. The Rocks equalised against the run of play when Henry Nevill smashed home out of the blue from the edge of the box after 36 minutes. Despite good build up play the Hawks couldn’t finish off the moves, with Callum Esnouf, just back from injury, denied as the half ended.
The Hawks continued to play the better football in the second half and were galvanised when Sonny Weber replaced the tiring Esnouf just after the hour. James Lyon-Monk switched from right back to left wing and started to cause problems for the home defence with his pace and close control.
On 70 minutes Reeder cut inside with his right, leaving a defender on the ground, to then finish expertly with his left foot on the near post to give the Hawks the lead. The tiring Rocks threw on subs and piled on the pressure without creating a great deal as the Hawks kept their shape. The sucker punch looked to have occurred when Joe Briffa played in Owen Smith – a constant menace all evening – for a neat right foot finish past Elliott Dailly with a minute to go.
However, Lyon-Monk and Reeder had the last laugh almost straight from the kick off as the Young Hawks endured three added minutes to ensure they recorded their fourth win of the season and finish above Burgess Hill Town at the foot of the table.
Having played all season with a young side against older and physically stronger teams, Del Tobias’ team will be looking forward more confidently to next season, as the the hard work of this campaign pays dividends.