Rocks held - but you have to ad-Mit that was quite a debut goal

Tyrell Mitford marked his Bognor debut with the equaliser / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Tyrell Mitford marked his Bognor debut with the equaliser / Picture by Tommy McMillan

A superb goal by debut-making striker Tyrell Mitford salvaged a point for the Rocks - but they will look back on their 1-1 draw with Horsham believing they had the chances to take all three points.

Mitford, a former QPR youngster signed the same day, came off the bench to fire in a spectacular angled shot with little more than ten minutes left and might have added a couple more after that as a host of Bognor chances went wide or were kept out.

The point at least gets the Rocks off the mark for the season - while Horsham, who'd gone ahead late in the first half through Rob O'Toole, will have gone home reasonably happy with their second point from two games

Bognor's first home game of the Isthmian premier season brought newly promoted Horsham to Nyewood Lane, with the Rocks keen to put their opening-day loss at Bishop's Stortford behind them quickly.

Bognor gave a start to one player signed on the day of the game and had another on the bench.

Brighton academy defender Ben Clark-Eden started in place of Joe Dandy, while Mitford, a striker who came through the QPR academy system, was a sub.

There were also full debuts for keeper Charlie Searle – replacing Pompey's Petar Durin – and ex-Pagham striker Dan Simmonds.

Horsham are back at Isthmian premier level after a seven-year absence and began their campaign with a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Leatherhead.

The first attack of purpose came from the Rocks seven minutes in when Jimmy Muitt – playing a deeper role than usual with Simmonds up front alongside Dan Smith – sending in a cross from the right for Stuart Green, who couldn't direct his header on target.

Horsham looked dangerous going forward but Searle and his defence dealt with everything thrown at them early on.

Green surged through the middle and played the ball into Smith – it deflected into Simmonds' path and he almost diverted it in.

Searle was called into the action at the other end to save a Charlie Harris shot. Then James Crane got forward for a low shot that wasn't far off target but didn't trouble Horsham stopper George Bentley.

Tommy Leigh sent a 25-yard shot well wide of the target just psst the midway point of the half.

Lee Harding got into the box after a flick-on but his shot was straight at Searle. Then Horsham looked certain to take the lead when Harris was played clear in the area but his curling right-footed effort was well stopped by Searle. Immediately Muitt drew a fine save from Bentley as the game opened up.

Smith wasted the best chance of the first half on 37 minutes when he ran on to his own flick down the left and cut into the box but had his fierce low shot saved by Bentley's legs.

Crane was booked for simulation with fiveminutes of the first half left after going down as he tried to hold the ball up in the Horsham area.

Searle dashed out to deny Lavery when Jerry O'Sullivan put him through, then Sealr was beaten by a header but it went just the wrong side of the foot of the post.

Horsham took the lead when O'Toole headed in a right-sided corner which, in truth, the Rocks had conceded after putting themselves under unnecessary pressure. Clark-Eden was booked after the goal for handballing the header on the line and at the break, a number of Bognor players were complaining to the referee.

HT 0-1

Jack Brivio replaced Harding at the start of the second half for Horsham.

Newton had an opening for a second Hornets goal five minutes into the second half but he took too long about it and his eventual shot was weak.

In response Bognor tried to build a bit of pressure and Crane fired a rasping shot at goal that flew off a defender for a corner.

Alex Kelly replaced Harris for the Hornets just before the hour.

Another golden chance went begging for the Rocks on 62. Mitford turned his man on halfway ran through on goal. When a defender closed him down he squared it to Smith but by the time he had composed himself for the shot, the goalkeeper had narrowed the angle and saved.

Newton was booked for a clssh on the touchline with Muitt which had actually ended up with the pair hugging. Then Whyte was booked for a strong challenge on Kelly.

The home pressure kept coming and when Smith dribbled to the byline and cut the ball back to Ashton Leigh, he was blocked and Tommy Leigh sent the loose ball over the bar.

Another series of corners put Horsham under the cosh and from one, Muitt's delivery was met by Smith's head and it needed a header off the line. Dawson was booked for preventing the Rocks taking a quick free kick in the centre circle.

Smith was booked for blocking Bentley as he tried to take a goal kick.

Eventually the Rocks' pressure told – in spectacular style. The ball was played short to sub Mitford as Bognor attacked down the left, he controlled it and cut inside and from just outside the box sent a superb drive beyonfd the keeper and into the far corner.

Within a minute the Rocks had almost surrendered the lead but sub Brivio's shot, bound for the top corner, was clawed away by Searle.

Mitford fancied a second and went past a defender and shot inches over – then Smith, instead of going for goal himself, squared for Mitford whose low shot was superbly kept out by Bentley. It was a frenetic end to the game in stark contrast to a first half that had at times been insipid.

Mitford missed another chance on 84 minutes when he headed over from ten yards as a left-sided cross was nodded on to him.

Dawson was replaced by George Hayward with five minutes left. Horsham might have retaken the lead on 87 minutes but a low ball in from the right was missed by everyone.

Bognor's fans were shouting for a penalty when a Horsham player's clearance seemed to hit a team-mate's hands but it was not given. Tommy Leigh sent a low shot through a crowd of players but Bentley got down well to it.

Rocks: Searle, Crane, A Leigh, T Leigh, Clark-Eden, Wood, Whyte, Green, Smith, Muitt, Simmonds. Subs: Scutt, Dunn, Williamson, Mitford, Durin.

Horsham: Bentley, O'Sullivan, Metcalf, Dawson, Shelley, Merchant-Simmonds, Lavery, Harris, O'Toole, Harding, Newton. Subs: Miles, Hayward, Brivio, Kelly, Smith.

Ref: Tristan Davies

Att - 545