Bognor Bexhill HERO

Brilliant Bognor Breeze Past Bexhill

Bognor Regis Town 6-1 Bexhill United

It was business as usual for home side Bognor Regis Town as they overcame a hard working Bexhill United to advance into the Semi-Final of the Sussex Senior Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

Going into the game things had hardly been plain sailing for the Rocks, who had lost their last four games in the league on the spin.

Bexhill on the other hand were a side starting to come into a bit of form, having won four of their last five games.

Yet from the referee's whistle it was Bognor who looked set to make their mark on the game, with their first chance of the match coming just after 10 minutes, when Walter Figueira’s well struck effort clattered the underside of the bar and was cleared away.

However, whilst the home side dominated the early exchanges, the Pirates were quick to take advantage of any wayward passes from the Bognor backline.

Indeed, the first such error at the back was nearly punished by Evan Archibald upfront, who, after intercepting a poor back pass, had enough composure to round Matt Rowley in the Rocks goal, but in the end his effort was a tame one which was cleared away by Joe Briffa.

Despite a somewhat shaky defence, Bognor continued to dominate proceedings in the first-half, with midfield and attack combining with ease at times, leaving the Bexhill defenders struggling to cope.

Yet when the opening goal from the hosts came just before the half-hour mark, it seemed to catch everyone by surprise.

A well taken corner was seemingly cleared away, yet whilst the Bexhill defenders and goalkeeper assumed the ball had rolled out of play, no whistle was blown, and a delighted Dan Gifford was able to pick it up and slot it past Alex Zamini.

Further galvanised by the goal, Bognor continued to fly forward and create chances, with Zamini making a number of saves before the break to keep the score down.

But such was the quality of Bognor upfront that their lead was soon doubled, with Nathan Okokonyero getting on the end of the ball from Sam De St Croix, to head it goalwards, Zamini at full stretch was able to get a hand to it, only to send it back into the path of Okokonyero who made no mistake with the second attempt on the half-volley.

The second-half started in much the same vein as the first had ended, with the Rocks maintaining the pressure on the visitors. 

Just before the hour mark it looked like Figueira had finally got his goal and made it three, but his effort from outside the box was well covered by a diving Zamini.

Bognor would get their third though, just after 60 minutes, courtesy of an own goal by Jamie Thoroughgood who slid in to intercept a ball into the box, only to unfortunately steer it into his own net.

Despite being 3-0 up, the home side didn’t let up on their hunt for more goals, with the crossbar once again coming to the aid of the Pirates, keeping out a powerfully struck effort from the substitute Tom Chalaye.

A few minutes later Chalaye would have an assist to his name however, as he made a marauding run down the right and into the box, only to cut back and lay it on for, fellow substitute, Josh McCormick who calmly slotted the ball home for goal number four of the night.

McCormick wasn’t finished there though, as just four minutes later he made it five for the Rocks; his poachers finish capping off a really well worked team effort by the home side.

With only a few minutes left on the clock, it looked like Bognor were done for the night, but Calvin Davis had other ideas.

Picking up the ball a good 30-yards-out, his cross into the box evaded everyone, including Zamini in the Bexhill goal and nestled in the bottom corner via the inside of the post.

The night wasn’t finished there though, as, with just two minutes left on the clock, the Bexhill captain Tom Vickers gave the travelling fans something to cheer about with arguably the goal of the night, blasting a shot past Rowley in the Bognor goal from a full 35 yards out.

Vickers remarkable goal was the last action of the night though, and whilst Bexhill put in the work, the quality of Bognor shone through, to see them advance to the Semi-Finals. 

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

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