James Temple’s double strike earned Pagham all three points against Dorking in a Sussex League division-one clash at Nyetimber Lane.
A much-changed Lions line-up took to the field, with Brad Derry making his first-team debut.
John Price’s side started in a positive vein, Temple looking lively in a lone striking role. His first goal came on 12 minutes, a looping shot completely foxing Cupit in Wanderers’ goal.
Pagham’s lead lasted all of a minute as Tom Tolfrey struck home. James Binfield made a triple save before the ball ended in the net.
Cupit was nearly beaten by a 20th-minute Pagham corner, hands flapping in the breeze to almost gift Pagham a second. This did arrive a few minutes later, Brad Derry capping a superb debut with a classy cross that Temple gratefully hit home for his ninth of the season.
A terrible free-kick from Luke Longhurst typified the visitors’ luck. The referee booked Dorking player Brown, who’d talked back once too often.
The Lions were again looking for a third, more than once turning defence into attack, but the nearest they came was a Derry shot over the bar on 42 minutes.
The half-time whistle came as Ruben French’s direct free-kick ended in the arms of Cupit.
The Lions started the second half as they had ended the first. Daren Pearce went close and the Lions kept up the pressure on a side who had topped the table in September.
The visitors were still in the game, with corners and free-kicks threatening Pagham’s lead, but the Lions defence held firm.
The defence was rocked on 62 minutes as Joe Booker went down under a challenge, but a lengthy spell of treatment saw him carry on.
Taylor Hayes stepped up from the youth team to take his bow for the Lions on 64 minutes, Neil Murfin making way.
Booker went close to beating Cupit before the Pagham bench had to protest when a corner was felt to be wrongly awarded.
Dorking camped in Pagham’s half. Duff shot well over, but another strike hit the bar, and French had to clear a shot off the line.
A second booking for Dorking saw Pigeon’s wings clipped after he brought down Derry.
Binfield rescued Pagham with a superb save on 84 minutes, but five minutes later he needed treatment after Tom Tolfrey’s run and shot was cleared off the line by Bradshaw and he was left in a heap.
The last few minutes gave boss Price more selection headaches as Lee Bradshaw came off with a hamstring injury, Chris Ayers replacing him.
The final action saw Temple hit the side netting.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Hawker, French, Pearce, Booker, Bradshaw (Ayers 88), Clack, N Murfin (Hayes 64), Temple, O’Connor, Derry. Subs not used: Jordan, Hallett.
* Brent Williams has resigned as chairman of Pagham. He offered his resignation at a committee meeting and the Lions committee reluctantly accepted.
Marc Hilton is the interim chairman until a new candidate is installed. The club would not comment further.