Bognor recovered from twice falling two goals behind to deny Carshalton all three points in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday night.
The Robins rocked the home crowd by storming into a 2-0 lead within 15 minutes of the start. After just four minutes, Ollie Cook nodded a Tommy Bradford free kick across goal and Calvin Ekpiteta arrived to side foot a volley into the far corner for his third goal of the season. Ten minutes later, Femi Akinwande marked his league debut by firing past home goalkeeper Toby Steward after a driving run from just inside the Bognor half.
Although knocked back, Bognor never looked ready to lie down and late in the first half centre half Tom Bragg met Charlie Bell’s near-post free kick with a powerful header to narrow the deficit.
Carshalton, however, started the second half in the same fashion as they had the first. Five minutes in, Walter Figueira showed his pace to get behind the Bognor defence and, after he was brought down in the area, got up to restore Carshalton’s two goal advantage with an emphatic spot kick into the roof of the net.
Despite the disruption of the loss of captain Arthur Lee and Akinwande to injuries either side of the break, it was beginning to look like the points would be returning to South London as the game entered the final quarter of an hour.
But when Bognor top scorer Nathan Odoyonkero made it 3-2 with his first chance of the game, it was the signal for an all-out assault on the Robins’ goal. And with two minutes of normal time remaining, the Rocks snatched an equalizer, Odoyonkero getting on the end of Bragg’s flick from a corner.
A deflating end to the evening for Robins fan could have been made worse though if Odoyonkero’s effort after a goalmouth scramble in time added on had gone in rather than come back off the bar.
Robins’ manager Steve McKimm acknowledged this after the game. “I’m disappointed with our set piece defending and composure on the ball late on after we had played well to get 3-1 ahead, but the positive I have to take is that at least we got a point after that one came off the bar right near the end of the game.”
Carshalton Athletic: Bracken, Lema, Mvemba, Lee, Cook, Allen, Ekpiteta, Williams, Bradford, Figueira, Akinwande.
Substitutes: Pearce (for Lee 44’), Smith-Joseph (for Akinwande 55’), Bola (for Bradford 79’), Hamblin.
Bognor Regis Town: Steward, McCormick, Rabbetts, Davies, Bragg, Robson, De St Croix, Olaniyan, Odokonyero, Dembele, Bell.
Substitutes: Howick (for Robson 45’), Chalaye (for Dembele 54’), Lethbridge (for Bell 71’), Crane, Bowman.
Goals: Ekpiteta 4’, Akinwande 14’, Bragg 36’, Figueira (pen) 50’, Odokonyero (2) 78’, 88’.
It’s back to the FA Cup this weekend when Carshalton travel to meet Westfield F.C. in the 2nd Qualifying Round on Saturday 17th September (3pm kick off).
Ground address: The Community Building, Woking Park, Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9BA
Tickets (prices subject to confirmation): Adults – £9; Concessions – £6; Accompanied U16s – £3; Accompanied U10s – Free