Lions are kings of cup jungle

TURNING their attentions to cup football gave Pagham a welcome break from their struggle to find league form as they won at Saltdean and Littlehampton in two different competitions.

Saltdean 0 Pagham 2

RUR Cup R2

Pagham progressed to next round of rur cup with a solid win over division-two side Saltdean.

James Temple, Callum Cutler and Rueben French were all recalled to the starting line-up as John Price shuffled his pack in search of a winning formula.

Temple was first to threaten, having a header touched on to the bar and then a shot cleared off the line.

Pagham were camped in the Saltdean half and cross after cross went into the box - but a mixture of good and desperate defending kept the score at 0-0 for a time.

Pagham took the lead after 17 minutes when a thunderous header from Howard Neighbour from a corner was diverted into the net by Temple. The lead was doubled ten minutes later as a towering header from Booker from another corner crashed into the net.

Pagham continued to rain in shots but the best chance was when a blatant push on Murfin was missed by the referee only yards away.

The second half started in the same way as the first with Pagham camped in the opposition half peppering shots in from all angles.

Jake Hawker replaced Ben Buckland on 60 minutes and the Lions were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Scott Murfin only to have his kicked saved by the keeper, who was having the game of his life.

Saltdean briefly threatened as a slip in defence let in the striker one on one with James Binfield in the Pagham goal, only for the young stopper to pull off a fine double save.

Bradshaw came on for Neil Murfin and Tom Jefkins replaced Cutler and the pattern remained the same until the end of the match with Pagham pressing.

Littlehampton 1 Pagham 5

Sussex Senior Cup

Pagham eased into the second round of the county cup with a comfortable win away to league high-flyers Littlehampton.

The better of the early exchanges went to the home side. James Binfield twice had to fend off testing long-range efforts in the first five minutes.

On nine minutes, Scott Murfin gave Pagham the lead. Good work from Howard Neighbour on the right gave Murfin the space to get his shot away and it flew into the bottom corner.

It got better for the Lions on 16 minutes. The lively Murfin played an imaginative reserve pass for the on-rushing Daren Pearce to dink over the Littlehampton keeper.

The away side made it 3-0 with only 20 minutes on the clock, James Temple smashing in the loose ball from a few yards.

Murfin was the star of the first half and probably could have extended the lead further still, but shot over when well placed.

The second half began like the first but this time the Golds took an early chance. Liam Humphreys’ glancing header went in off the post to reduce the arrears just over a minute after the restart.

The hosts put the squeeze on their opponents but Pagham held firm and soon after re-established their three-goal advantage as Joe Booker latched on to a loose ball.

Temple scored from another rebound after Joe Briggs’ fine free-kick came crashing back off the upright.

JAMES SANDFORD