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The only way is up for Rocks after defeats put them bottom

Bognor’s miserable season back in the National League South was sealed on Tuesday night when another home loss confirmed the Rocks would finish rock bottom of the table.

 

With relegation already a certainty, the club now have only pride to play for on the last day of the season after defeat to Chelmsford Town opened up an insurmountable seven point gap to fellow Sussex strugglers Whitehawk.

 

The club’s 12th home league defeat was sealed by a goal in the fourth minute by their promotion-chasing visitors.

 

It compounded another tough week for Bognor after they were thumped 4-0 away to fellow strugglers Oxford City on Saturday.

 

The Rocks were on the ropes from the start at the Marsh Lane Stadium and Matt Patterson put the hosts on course for victory with a first half brace.

 

His first was a 39th minute penalty bizarrely awarded for a late challenge after Oxford had the ball in the net following a neat one-two. Four minutes later, he had found the opposite corner of the net, smashing home from eight yards after the Rocks failed to deal with a corner.

 

A well-hit Frankie Musonda drive from the edge of the box gave Oxford their third via a slight deflection on 76 minutes before Robbie Sinclair sealed the rout a minute from time, following up after Patterson had been denied his hat-trick by a Dan Lincoln save.

 

After the weekend thrashing, the Rocks restored some pride with a battling display in midweek – albeit with the same outcome of no goals and no points.

 

As well as another moral sapping defeat, the weekend fixture had created a central defensive crisis with Sami El-Abd’s suspension and Gary Charman’s injury forcing manager Jack Pearce to partner midfielder Tommy Block with Keaton Wood for the home game.

 

The pair were still getting to know each other when the deadlock was broken as a through ball freed Chelmsford’s Christopher Dickson to slot home the opener unchallenged.

 

The Rocks battled hard for the remainder of the match but again the lowest scorers in the league could not carve out enough clear-cut chances and failed to put away the half-chances that fell their way.

 

The hope of better days to come back at a level at which the Rocks can hold their own beckons.

 

But, before that, they face a tough finish to the season with a visit from high-flying Dartford who need a win, and potentially a big win, if they are to overhaul Havant and Waterlooville at the top of the table.

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