Lions’ league loss follows FA Cup exit

Lee Bradshaw's goal gives Pagham hope before they lose at Dorking   Picture by Roger Smith
Lee Bradshaw's goal gives Pagham hope before they lose at Dorking Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham suffered defeats in the FA Cup and league in their latest run-outs.

Dorking 4 Pagham 2

FA Cup first qualifying round

Pagham’s FA Cup journey ended as Dorking went two up in the best-of-three series between the teams.

Having dumped Gary Block’s side out of the Peter Bentley Cup in midweek, Wanderers provided proof that wasn’t a freak result.

With a league fixture against Wanderers to come this Saturday, the Lions will be out to get one over on them.

Dorking took the lead after six minutes as Gary Drewitt struck past James Binfield. He made it two on 12 minutes, a ball in from the right leaving him a simple tap-in to leave the Lions reeling.

Inconsistency by the officials didn’t help either side, with a booking for Josh Clack on 20 minutes the start of a busy day for the referee. He seemed unsighted when Luca Coleman-Carr was hacked down by Wanderers’ Alex McGregor.

Coleman-Carr lasted only a short time before the injury led to Matt Wood replacing him.

Ruben French did very well to deny McGregor when the Wanderers player was clean through. Tom Tolfrey was causing problems for the Pagham defence.

Scott Murfin was tricky for the Lions, and deserved at least a goal with a couple of shots that Taylor in the home goal did well to save. The half ended with Alfie Bunker making a superb effort to stop the rampaging Tolfrey.

With Lee Bradshaw on for the Lions in the second half, the defence reshuffled. But a few minutes in, controversy reigned.

A hotly-disputed penalty was awarded to Wanderers after Jake Hawker was adjudged to have fouled in the area. Up stepped Tolfrey to tuck away the spot kick and the Lions went 3-0 down.

The lead was cut shortly afterwards courtesy of a defensive clearance that sailed into Wanderers’ own net.

This seemed to galvanise the Lions but not before McGregor had hit the bar from long-range and a shot had to be hacked away.

The hour mark saw the Lions score a second. An inswinging corner was put away by Lee Bradshaw for his second in two games against the same opponents.

Five minutes later, though, Wanderers scored a fourth with a flick-on from a corner being headed home by Luke Hackett.

An already-stretched Pagham lost Bradshaw. An accidental clash of heads with Hawker left Bradshaw with blood flowing. Quick action by the physios saw Hawker able to carry on but Bradshaw was escorted from the pitch, his head strapped up.

Rob Brown came on to replace him and Clack’s 72nd-minute free-kick curved round the wall, only for Taylor to save.

The Lions had a shot cleared off the line with four minutes of normal time left. A booking for Pagham’s Andy Brown and a shot over the bar for McGregor brought Pagham’s 2014-15 Cup dreams to an end.

PAGHAM: Binfield, A Brown, French, Bunker (Bradshaw 45 (R Brown 70)), Hawker, N Murfin, Clack, Coleman-Carr (Wood 31), Wimble, S Murfin, Asare. Subs unused: Dormer, Richer.

Pagham 0 Broadbridge Heath 2

Sussex League division one

The Lions found Broadbridge Heath too much to bear as they fell to their third defeat on the spin.

With a lengthening injury list, Gary Block could have used this as an excuse as Pagham failed to capitalise on periods of pressure, but he didn’t.

The visitors were under the cosh for the first 20 minutes but came back strongly.

Early on Josh Clack and Scott Murfin looked lively on the attack. The Lions’ injury problems worsened when Matt Wood went down under a challenge. Wood was forced to leave the field, Rob Brown coming on.

James Binfield was the Lions hero, pulling off save after save to keep the score down.

Just as it looked like the first half would end goalless, a free-kick awarded for a foul against Ollie Moore saw Moore strike a free-kick through the Pagham wall and past Binfield.

Pagham had a penalty appeal denied early in the second half, with Brown going down.

The Bears’ second resulted from a midfield error by Pagham. Moore ran away with the ball and hit a snap-shot beyond the stricken Binfield. The Lions hit the woodwork and Brown should have scored as Pagham began to realise it wasn’t their night.

Binfield’s fingertip save from Adam Wilkins was possibly his best.

Next up for the Lions is a quick return to Dorking on Saturday in the league and a chance to avenge the cup exits.

JON ROSE