Half-time offered only the briefest of respites, and Bognor soon moved 4-0 ahead in comical fashion. There looked to be no danger as keeper Billy Collings held on to the ball from a corner, only to stumble and drag the ball back over the line with him. It summed up a torrid semi-final that Brighton will want to forget in a hurry.
Hayden Roberts tapped home the smallest of consolations but still the Rocks were not finished and added gloss to the scoreline with arguably the pick of the bunch after seventy-five minutes. Substitute Jimmy Wild collected the ball wide on the left, stormed beyond his floundering marker Owen Moore, jinked beyond two more Brighton men and thrashed the ball high beyond Collings from the tightest of angles.
Stefan Vukoje was denied by Lincoln’s superb stop late on and tensions then boiled over in injury time with Spong, Roberts and Bognor’s Widdrington all booked. The former in particular was fortunate to escape more serious censure after a crunching challenge on the Rocks man, whose resultant card came in retaliation.
(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Kyle Hemsley Photography)
Stats: (Bognor Regis Town-Brighton & Hove Albion)
Goals: 5-1; Shots: 15-7; Shots-on-target: 7-4; Fouls: 4-9; Corners: 8-2; Offside: 1-1; Yellow cards: 1-2; Red cards: 0-0.
Bognor Regis Town: Lincoln, Read, Field, Wood, Leigh, Whyte, Gilot, Widdrington, Walsh, Maloney, Lethbridge.
Subs: Wild, Dunn, McCormick, Scutt.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Collings, Moore, Clarke-Eden, Spong, Tomlinson, Roberts, Jenks, Everitt, Longman, Cashman, Tolaj.
Subs: Packham, Vukoje, Tanimowo, Lopata, Rushworth.
Match report by Jamie Spoor