Burgess Hill 0 Bognor 4: Rocks bombard Hillians in Sussex derby
Bognor halted a run of three successive defeats with a dominant display against Burgess Hill.
The Rocks raced to a 3-0 lead in the 31st minute through two goals by captain Jason Prior plus a third netted by Daryl Wollers.
Bognor eased off the gas in the second half as Hillians produced a few chances to score.
But none of them found the net and instead, Bognor substitute Sam Crane added a fourth goal with five minutes to go.
The already-postponed game went ahead following a 4pm pitch inpsection following another heavy downpour.
However it proved to be a pleasant spring evening for the friendly, bumper crowd at the Green Elephants Stadium to enjoy an all-Sussex derby battle against the team on everyone’s lips this season.
It was refreshing to begin a midweek evening game in daylight as Bognor made two changes to the side which lost 2-1 at Kingstonian on Monday.
Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Connor Tighe and Stuart Green came in for Alex Parsons and James Crane, who were on the bench.
Hill’s Ian Chapman made just one change, Callum Overton was preferred to Lee Harding, who was not in the squad.
The visitors could have been expected to be exhausted as they were playing their eighth match in just 16 days.
However it was exactly the opposite as Bognor took the game to Hill with a sharp and energetic first half.
They enjoyed most of the opening attacks as Alfie Rutherford was denied by keeper Josh James from outside the area, who then kept Green out from long-range.
Their pressure bore fruit in just the 17th minute as Green was brought down by Sam Fisk in the area and Prior expertly put away the ensuing penalty.
Hill created some chances as James Fraser forced a diving save from keeper Grant Smith.
Green supplied a through-ball to Ollie Pearce who put his shot narrowly wide of the post.
Bognor continued to press hard in the 20th minute as Luc Doherty helped maintain a clean sheet with a double goalline clearance.
Rooks’ went 2-0 up in the 23rd minute from a pacey attack borne from a long throw by ‘keeper Smith.
Tighe found Alfie Rutherford, whose cross from the right was met by a powerful header by Prior.
It was an action-packed start as Joe Keehan had a go from long-range and provoked a fine diving save from Smith.
Wollers made it 3-0 with a half-volley to get on the end of Ollie Pearce’s corner.
The Rooks went into half-time on a high with the last chance of the half as another chance for Pearce was struck narrowly wide.
Hill substitute Jack Rowe-Hurst tried a dipping shot from a difficult angle on the right and dipped narrowly over the bar.
Keehan had a go for Hill with his left foot which took a slight deflection before flying wide from 30 yards.
For much of the second half, Bognor let Hill do what they wanted, yet they were unable to deliver a solitary goal.
Bognor’s Green struck a loose ball with such a sweet volley it would have been a candidate for goal of the season, had it gone in.
The Rooks finally added to their total with five minutes to go when Crane, who had not long come on for Ollie Pearce, put away a fourth goal on the rebound from the six-yard box.
HILLIANS: James, Doherty, Fisk, Kirkwood, Pearson, Rowland, Dan Pearse, Keehan (Capt), P.Harding (Rowe-Hurst), Fraser, Overton
Unused subs: Miles, Budd, Smith, Gayler
ROCKS: Smith, Whyte, Wollers, Nilsen, El-Abd, Field, Tighe (Parsons), Green, Prior (Capt), Pearce (Crane), Rutherford (Joseph-Buade).
Unused subs: Tuck, Kilpatrick
REFEREE: Paul Howard
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