Pagham out of the Vase but making progress in the cup

Neil Murfin on the ball for Pagham in their FA Vase loss to Peacehaven
Neil Murfin on the ball for Pagham in their FA Vase loss to Peacehaven

Pagham fans won’t forget this season’s FA Vase campaign, that’s for sure.

At home to Peacehaven in the second round, they were 2-1 up with two minutes to go, but a Peacehaven onslaught in extra-time ensured the road to Wembley was blocked for another year.

Peacehaven started in robust fashion, Owen Callaghan and Ryan Bradley making their mark. Scott Hinshelwood’s header at Jake Buss in Peacehaven’s goal was the first meaningful chance.

James Temple struck one just over before Joe Booker had to clear off the line for Pagham.

The opener came just before the half-hour mark as Temple bundled the ball over the line after Phil Turner’s shot smacked off the bar.

Booker and Ben Buckland were booked before Carl Dunk headed a superb goal past Wes Hallett to leave it all equal at the break.

Bradley hit the post for Peacehaven within two minutes of the restart while the Lions squandered a promising free-kick. They made amends on the hour as Scott Murfin’s header was turned in by Temple.

The floodlights went out for ten minutes but once they came back on, the Lions laid seige to the goal.

Buss kept the visitors in it and Peacehaven sensed an equaliser.

On 77 minutes a harsh second booking for Booker saw the Lions reduced to ten men. Matt Wood was replaced by Paul Jones as the Lions filled the gap in defence.

Two minutes from the end of normal time, Dunk scored again – and he could have settled it in injury time with a shot well saved by Hallett.

Extra time began with another two Pagham bookings, to Neil Murfin and Scott Hinshelwood.

Peacehaven had two strikes ruled out for offside before Adam Kneller struck a powerful long-range shot to put Peacehaven in the lead. They put the game beyond doubt with a fourth with five minutes of extra-time left.

PAGHAM: Hallett, Buckland, Broadbent, Pearce, Booker, Hinshelwood, Turner (Simmonds 105), N Murfin, Temple (Woolf 102), S Murfin, Wood (Jones 79). Subs not used; Hyde, Frangou.

In midweek, Scott Murfin’s last-gasp penalty settled a cup tie that ebbed and flowed like the fog that had desceneded on the High Street Ground. Murfin’s double from the spot and an incredible cross-shot from Tom Broadbent which levelled the score at 2-2 in the 88th minute won it for Pagham.

Selsey scored just after half-time as Dean Maynard headed home and Max Thoms’ header put the home side 2-1 up. Broadbent’s bullet goal broke Selsey’s resolve, sending the game into extra-time, although Selsey struck the bar with a minute of normal time left.

Pagham should have settled it by the third minute of extra-time, with Scott Murfin and Dan Simmonds having gilt-edged chances.

With all three subs used, Selsey found themselves down to ten men as skipper Mark Lee limped off injured with around 20 minutes left. Just as penalties loomed, Murfin’s spot-kick sent the Lions home happy.

SELSEY: Joyce, Dowsett, Pointing, Dobbs, M Hinshelwood, Lee, Parsons, Morey, Bush, Thoms, Maynard. Subs: Morey, Britton, Hegarty, Kilner, Tribe

PAGHAM: Hallett, Buckland, Broadbent, Pearce, Booker, S Hinshelwood (Jones 107), Turner (Simmonds 81), N Murfin, Temple, S Murfin, Wood (Woolf 71). Subs not used: Frangou, Cox.

JON ROSE