Battling City come up short in season opener

City fought back from two goals down at half-time but were undone by stunning free-kick in an eventful season opener at Bognor Regis Town this afternoon. After an even opening twenty minutes the hosts struck twice in four minutes to take control of the game. First a quick break ended with ex-City midfielder Swallow crossing for Parsons to slide the past Luke Southwood then a misplaced Billy Murphy header allowed Muitt the time and space to fire home. Understandably stunned by this double blow it took City a while to regain their composure but the last 15 minutes of the half saw them well on top. Marvin Morgan had already sent a header narrowly wide before he unleashed a powerful shot that crashed against the bar. Frankie Artus also saw two shots fly the wrong side of the post and Ryan Case and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans had efforts blocked. The interval allowed the Rocks to regroup and the opening exchanges of the second half were more even. Just past the hour mark though City finally pulled a goal back, Artus teeing up Nat Jarvis to drive the ball past Lincoln. Swallow almost restored the host’s two-goal lead – hitting the outside of the post – but ten minutes later City were level. Lemonheigh-Evans pass giving Andy Watkins the space to blast the ball into the roof of the net. Moments later Jarvis was felled in the box but the referee – who would increasingly frustrate City with a series of decisions in the latter stages of the game – not only didn’t award a penalty but instead booked the striker for diving. Then with nine minutes left a tussle on the edge of the City box saw the referee award Bognor a free-kick which Pearce whipped over the wall and past the despairing dive of Southwood. City threw all they could at Bognor in search of an equaliser – Jarvis twice failing to find the target then Naby Diallo seeing his low drive saved by Lincoln’s outstretched leg. From the resultant corner the ball dropped to George Rigg to drive a volley goalwards only for Lincoln to parry the ball high into the air. He then failed to claim the ball which ended up in the net but not before the referee had blown for a foul to ensure the Rocks would hold on for the win.