Lions’ pride comes before a fall in charity cup

Pagham ensured the lights went out on Midhurst as the Lions won an action-packed Brighton Charity Cup tie 3-1 at Nyetimber Lane – but had their own hopes ended six nights later in a 3-0 defeat to Ryman League outfit Worthing.

With the original Midhurst tie hit by floodlight problems, the rearranged fixture went ahead last Wednesday and saw the Lions progress.

Both sides had chances before the Lions took the lead when Scott Murfin’s shot evaded Midhurst’s packed defence and keeper Guy Souch for a deserved goal.

On the half-hour, Paul Jones brought down Liam Dreckman in the area. Up stepped James Glue to convert the penalty.

With five minutes of the first half left, the Lions went 2-1 up. A well-placed free-kick from Ryan Cox met the head of Jones, who made no mistake.

Matt Wood, James Temple and Charlie Marshall all went close before Pagham got their third. An inswinging corner was met by Jones, who doubled his tally for the game.

Alex Kew saw a tremendous late shot tipped on to the bar by Souch .

On Tuesday night, round three brought Worthing Rebels to Nyetimber Lane and although they won, they were forced to fight all the way as a spirited Lions team tested them more than the scoreline suggested.

Four years ago, these two contested a 4-3 thriller in the Sussex Senior Cup, and this game looked to have the makings of another classic.

From the off Pagham attacked, Ross Woolf’s searching cross in the first minute asking questions of James Fernandez in Worthing’s goal. The visitors fought back, their Ryman league pedigree showing on 11 minutes as Mike Huckett scored the opener.

Pagham went on the onslaught again from the restart, at one point having three players caught offside at once.

Worthing’s second came from the spot as Ryan Cox’s mistimed tackle on Ryan Timms allowed Huckett to step up for his and Worthing’s second.

The third came when Tom Lawley struck the ball past Wes Hallett. Five minutes before the break, Scott Murfin was clean through but his shot bothered the seagulls flying above the goal more than keeper Fernandez.

After the break, both Murfin and Justin Gregory created chances and Paul Jones shot wide.

Murfin shot across an empty goal before former Lions striker George Gaskin contrived to shoot wide himself.

Desperate defending by Steve Metcalfe denied Murfin as Pagham laid siege to Worthing’s goal.

Murfin’s involvement ended just after the hour as another injury forced him off. On came Alex Kew to give Pagham fresh legs and twice more Pagham made changes before a controversial sending-off.

Metcalfe went down heavily under the challenge of James Temple, who was shown a red card, much to his disgust.

Worthing sub John Lansdown shot well wide in the dying moments.

PAGHAM (v Midhurst): Hallett; Hinshelwood, R Cox, Pearce, Jones, Wood, Marshall, N Murfin, Temple, S Murfin, Kew. Subs: Williamson, Tribe, Robinson, Misslebrook, Price

MIDHURST: Souch, Dummer, O’Leary, Glue, Farr, May, Waller, Hyde, Sheldrake, Williams, Dreckman. Subs: White, Churchill, Day. PAGHAM (v Worthing): Hallett, Tribe, R Cox, Pearce, Jones, Booker, Woolf, Wood, Temple, S Murfin, Gregory.

Subs: Robinson, Kew, Williamson, Price.

JON ROSE