A flat Lewes performance saw the Rooks’ play-off hopes ended with a 1-0 defeat at local rivals Bognor, reports Tom Harper.
Tony Russell made four changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Kingstonian 48 hours earlier, with Ayo Olukoga, Tom Phipp, Taylor Maloney and Ollie Tanner replacing Juevan Spencer, Tom Carlse, Casey Pettit and Bradley Pritchard in the starting line-up.
Lewes started brightly, knowing that they need to win to keep themselves in with a realistic chance of making the play-offs, and saw Tom Phipp have a long-range effort helped onto the bar by Amadou Tangara early on.
The hosts were comfortable on the ball but were finding it difficult to test Lewis Carey, an Alfie Bridgman curling effort from the edge of the area going just wide being the closest they came to opening the scoring.
The Rooks were having the same problems as the half progressed though, with Michael Klass shooting wide after good play down the right by Deshane Dalling as they looked to make the most of the possession they were enjoying.
Joe Taylor then went close to giving Lewes the lead just before the break, capitalising on a misunderstanding at the back before shooting over the bar from distance with Tangara out of position.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with both sides enjoying spells of possession without really looking like breaking the deadlock.
Bognor’s high press nearly saw them opening the scoring through Charlie Ball, who saw a strike from the edge of the area deflected off target after a loose pass from Ayo Olukoga.
Lewes were inches away from making the most of this let-off minutes later, an excellent one-touch passing move ending with Taylor Maloney shooting just wide after being teed up by Taylor.
The hosts began to pose more of a consistent threat heading into the closing stages, with Nathan Odokonyero shooting straight at Carey after getting in behind the Lewes defence.
Bognor took the lead on 79 minutes through Dan Gifford, who ran onto a ball in behind and finished with aplomb past Carey.
They came close to doubling their lead almost immediately, Carey parrying a Gifford strike before Odokonyero saw his goal-bound effort on the rebound blocked.
Lewes pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages but were unable to create a chance of note, with the Rooks falling to a disappointing 1-0 defeat in their final away game of the season.
They will hope to finish the season positively when they welcome Bowers & Pitsea to the Pan on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.
Bognor Regis Town: Tangara, Robb, Bridgman, Davies, Cook, Howick (Robson 46), Whyte, Bell (Holland 88), Ayoola (Brook 56), Gifford, Odokonyero.
Unused Subs: Barnes, Wyatt.
Lewes: Carey, De-Graft, Salmon, Olukoga (Murrell-Williamson 83), Nelson, Klass, Tanner (Addy 69), Maloney, Taylor, Phipp (Pettit 61), Dalling.
Unused Subs: Yao, Spencer.
Attendance: 870 (approximately 250 travelling Rooks)