Rocks fans packed out Nyewood Lane for one of the most anticipated matches of recent seasons.
Nearly 1,400 people flocked to Bognor Regis Town’s stadium as Jack Pearce’s side played Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy.
The visitors from East London, who until recently were a force in the lower tiers of the Football League, brought a number of packed coaches full of supporters to cheer on their side.
But it was Rocks fans, draped in green and white with drums and flags in tow, that won the battle of the supporters, out-singing their rivals from the start of the match to the end.
Bognor’s players put in a fine performance on the pitch, matching their opponents in all phases despite playing at one level below Orient.
After being reduced to ten men, and going a goal behind, all seemed lost for the Rocks.
A late Jimmy Muitt 25-yard strike sent the Rocks’ fans into raptures and the match into extra time.
Sadly for the Bognor faithful, it was Leyton Orient who scored the winner.
But the result did not stop manager Jack Pearce from praising the Rocks supports for their “incredible and passionate support” throughout.
Bognor return to action at Nyewood Lane tomorrow, playing Wealdstone in the National South (3pm).
Club stalwart Pete Helsby spoke for many fans when he posted on social media after the game: “Mixed emotions about the game, one of immense pride in which our little club played and portrait itself against a major non league club and one of disappointment in the defeat.
“I for one would have loved a trip upto Brisbane Road for a replay.
Let’s not forget that less than a year ago Orient were a football league side, and are a National League side now a higher league than us!!
“However, for large periods we showed a superb crowd what Bognor are all about. I have said it so many times this season, we are not a bad team, we are capable of playing at this higher level and like we all know we are just a forward short of being comfortable at National South level.
“The support was magnificent yesterday, and, hopefully, many will be back for our home game against Wealdstone on Saturday, with a little luck, the same vociferous support and hopefully a forward it place (and I know the club are working hard to get one) WE can climb up the league but we need to be together as one.
“Orient fans were very complimentary about us, and good luck to them in the next round. “But making friends is no use if we don’t maintain our current status, so now it’s back to our main priority the league!!”