Whitehawk 1-4 Bognor Regis Town
Bostik Premier League: Game 21

A number of missed chances and bad refereeing decisions cost the Hawks as they went down in a 4-1 defeat at Home against Bognor Regis Town.

Bognor could have led after just 2 minutes as Brad Lethbridge danced his way up field through the Hawks defence, though his shot couldn’t beat Melvin Minter who palmed his shot away. That then resulted in a rapid break up the hill by Whitehawk with Henry Muggeridge being gifted a fantastic opportunity to score by the Rocks defence, though his shot ended up narrowly wide of the near post. The opening minutes of the game remained incredibly open, with both teams having plenty of chances, though the visitors ended up breaking the deadlock after 12 minutes with Jimmy Muitt smashing a shot home after being set up with a well struck low ball by Harvey Whyte.

A few minutes later, the Rocks were awarded a soft penalty after Lewis Broughton was alleged to have shoved Jimmy Muitt over inside the box, despite minimal contact. Muitt stepped up and duly scored the penalty to make it 2-0. The Hawks had a good chance to claw their way back into the game 5 minutes later as the Bognor defence gifted Jason Williams the ball in their own half, though he was only able to shoot narrowly wide as ex-Hawk Ed Sanders put enough pressure on Williams to put him off. Bognor could have killed the game after 22 minutes as the game full of poor defending continues as they carved open a Hawks defence with Lethbridge hitting the post from a tight angle and Dan Smith having a shot well saved by Minter. Another Hawks chance came on the half hour mark as James Fraser was played inside the box by Aaron Goode, though his teasing effort went just over the bar. A few minutes before half time, the lively looking Ky Marsh-Brown was once again gifted the ball by some poor defending and he weaved his way into the box, with his shot forcing a good save from keeper Dan Lincoln. To say the game could have been 5-5 at half time wouldn’t even be an exaggeration, with Lincoln once again saving the Rocks a minute later, stopping a point-blank header from James Fraser. As time in an exciting first half expired, the Hawks had yet another great opportunity with Williams narrowly heading wide a ball into the box by Ky Marsh-Brown.

The Second Half started a bit more subdued, though it took just 10 minutes for Bognor Regis to effectively kill the game off with captain Harvey Whyte striking to make it 3-0. Shortly after controversy followed as Joe Tomlinson could have seen red after a reckless challenge on Lucas Rodrigues, yet referee Graeme Ions to the surprise of many only showed him a yellow card. The referee gave the Rocks another huge let off a minute later, with Gary Charman obstructing Jason Williams inside the penalty area, Williams dispossessed Charman and smashed home, only for Bognor to be awarded a free-kick. This ended up leading to a 4th for a visitors with Dan Smith scoring a composed finished after a break upfield.

After this the game began to fizzle out with only half chances following for both sides, the best coming 10 minutes from time with Jason Williams again shooting narrowly wide. Shortly afterwards the referee turned down yet another penalty decision for the Hawks with the ball clearly striking the arm of a Bognor player, yet the referee once again turned away the Whitehawk appeals. Harvey Whyte could have grabbed a 2nd for himself and a 5th for Bognor but Minter was able to make a yet another magnificent save to save the Hawks from further embarrassment. The Hawks kept battling to try and spoil Dan Lincoln’s clean sheet and Aaron Goode nearly did that with a brilliantly timed overhead kick, though it ended up narrowly over the bar. A minute later in added time Jason Williams brilliantly latched onto a ball by Matt Drage, doing well to stay onside and then beat Lincoln to reduce the arrears and end the game at 4-1 to the visitors.

Hawks: Minter, Goode, Broughton, Unwin, Christie, Drage, Tighe (Rodrigues 53′), Muggeridge (c), Williams, Fraser (Pinney 68′), Ky Marsh-Brown
Subs not used: Walsh, Hallard, Emberson

Rocks: Lincoln, Sanders, Tomlinson, Tuck, Field, Charman (Scutt 76′), Whyte (c), Widdrington, Smith (Wild 90′), Muitt, Lethbridge (Walsh 69′)
Subs not used: McCormick, Osborne

Goals: Muitt 12′, 16′ (Pen), Whyte 55′, Smith 60′ (Bognor Regis); Williams 90′ (Whitehawk)

Yellow Cards: Tomlinson (Bognor)

Man of the Match: Melvin Minter

Attendance: 400