Bognor Regis Town
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Blues made a perfect start to their Isthmian League Premier Division campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win against Bognor Regis Town, on Saturday.
A second half penalty for the Rocks threatened a comeback from 3-0 down, but the Blues Brazil’s three first half goals were enough to seal the win at the ProKit UK Stadium.
With Aaron Greene likely to be out for a month with a soft tissue injury to his knee, Ben Worman returned to the side as he started a month’s loan from Cambridge United, and with 12 players in the 16-man squad returning from last season there was a degree of consistency in the Stortford line-up that has been missing in recent years.
The Blues had the better of the first half playing into the wind, all three of their goals coming in the first period, with Jamie Cureton going close in the opening stages.
But Blues made the breakthrough in the ninth minute as Luke Callander converted after an error by Rocks’ goalkeeper Petar Durin.
Last season’s Isthmian League top scorer Cureton got on the scoresheet on 32 minutes with a powerful finish high into the net after an unselfish pass by Worman.
Just six minutes later and Ryan Charles got in on the act, after a brilliant move by Cureton and Johnville Renee down the right – Charles dribbled round Durin for a comfortable finish.
The mercurial Cureton should have doubled his tally shortly after only to see the linesman’s flag controversially deny him after he ran through the Bognor defence to fire home.
The heavens opened in the second half, and playing into the wind Bognor grew into the match but their finishing still lacked composure.
The Blues couldn’t find a second half breakthrough, with Cureton, Charles and Renee all going close soon after the restart.
Bognor were given a lifeline in the 74th minute with a controversial penalty after skipper Dan Smith tumbled over following a challenge by Stortford skipper Sam Robbins, and Smith recovered to convert the spot kick..
Bognor’s James Crane managed to enrage most of the home side in the closing stages with a series of incidents which went unpunished but the Rocks controlled the closing stages without ever looking like staging a comeback.
The Blue Brazil go into Tuesday’s game at Enfield Town sitting second in the Isthmian League table.
Blues: Fred Burbidge, Jack Thomas, Sam Robbins, Ryan Henshaw, Ryan Charles, Alex Warman, Jamie Cureton (Harry Morgan 74), Mark Haines, Johnville Renee (Kane Lowe 90), Ben Worman, Luke Callander (Olly Miles 60). Unused subs: Ben Sampayo, Billy Mycroft-Edwards
Bognor Regis Town : Petar Durin, James Crane, 3. Ashton Leigh (Thomas Scutt 58), Doug Tuck, Haji Mnoga, Keaton Wood, , Harvey Whyte, Tommy Leigh, Dan Smith, Jimmy Muitt, Stuart Green (Dan Simmonds 86). Unused subs: Emmett Dunn, Charlie Williamson, Charlie Searle