Selsey punish Pagham in Boxing Day derby

Goals from Matt Wood and Ryan Morey sealed it for Selsey as the Blues left the Lions cheerless at Christmas with a 2-0 win at the High Street Ground.

The visitors found themselves having to make changes to the starting XI, but this was no excuse for a result which didn’t flatter the home side.

Unseasonably mild and sunny weather greeted a sizeable crowd as the teams started the game level on points, the Lions just shading it on goal difference.

As is traditional in this fixture, there was an early booking. James Parsons saw yellow for a robust challenge four minutes in. Graham Bush’s header a few minutes later sailed just wide from an inswinging free-kick.

The Blues did open the scoring on eight minutes, ex-Lion Wood thrashing home a superb volley from a corner.

Three minutes later and it was 2-0, Morey running through and striking the ball past Binfield.

The visitors had chances from free-kicks, but it was Selsey who were much the sharper side.

Pagham’s first booking was given to Tom Jefkins for dissent. Bush could have added a third just before the half-hour, a header going wide of James Binfield’s far post.

John Price’s Pagham persisted with high balls into the area, which came to nothing. Scott Murfin skewed the ball past the post, and Neil Murfin avoided a booking when disputing a referee’s decision.

Selsey had another two strikes on goal, the first blocked, the second seeing Bush shoot over the bar.

There was a change for Pagham at half-time, Neil Murfin coming off injured and Billy Stevens taking his place.

Selsey nearly increased their lead as Omar Buguiel had a crack at goal, but Binfield’s fingertip save kept the Lions in the game.

Brad Derry and Stevens combined well as the Selsey defence was put under pressure but the home side were having most of the play.

A free-kick pinged back off the upright, only for Binfield to save the Lions.

Selsey keeper Sam Joyce almost became the villain of the piece on the hour, spilling the ball from a corner, only to recover just in time. The Blues were robbed of a third goal by the offside flag on 62 minutes, and Bush was fortunate to escape a booking for chipping the ball into the net after the whistle had gone.

Bugiel was replaced by Joe Gunstone. Josh Clack - a hat-trick hero against Chichester on Saturday - looked to repeat his goalscoring on 78 minutes, Joyce again spilling the ball only to collect again in the nick of time.

Daren Pearce and Scott Murfin missed gilt-edged opportunities with ten minutes left, the Selsey defence scrambling back as the goalmouth lay open.

The Lions stepped up the pressure, but Selsey stayed disciplined. A last-minute volley from Rob Wimble was acrobatically tipped over by Binfield with strike partner Bush picking up a booking to bring the game to a frenetic end.

Selsey: Joyce, Haggar, Bingham, Parsons, Chatfield, Miller, Bugiel, Bush, Wimble, Morey. Subs: Gunstone, Harrington, Kilham, Richer.

Pagham: Binfield, Eyres, Hamm, Jefkins, N Murfin, O’Connor, Pearce, S Murfin, Derry. Subs: Hallett, Stevens.

JON ROSE