Barrowmen's wheels come off as Pagham chalk up important win - report and manager's reaction
Pagham's game at home to Steyning was one they really had to win - and win they did!
Two excellent first half goals were enough to wrap up the points allowing them to climb a precious place up the table.
It was the visitors that started the game the fastest and Steyning hit the Pagham bar as early as the fourth minute to let the Lions know they were in for a game of it.
However, It was the home team that went in front after 10 minutes through with an excellent goal from recent signing Callum Chalmers. Charging up the left wing he outsprinted the Steyning defence, cut inside and beat the keeper at his near post with a lovely calm finish.
It was 2-0 in the 24th minute with another cracker. Toby Funnell swung in an excellent cross, Harry Prisk made some room for himself before laying the ball off to Kieron Howard and he finished superbly into the top corner of the net. It was all Pagham now and before half-time Prisk had a good shot well saved by Kelly in the Steyning goal.
The first two-thirds of the second half belonged almost entirely to the away side as they tried desperately to get on the scoresheet, but excellent defending kept them at bay.
The match in picturesIt did take one excellent save from Jordan Matthews in the Lions goal to keep them out and Lewis Jenkins to kick another attempt off the line, but other than that no real chances were created by the away team.
Pagham finally created their first decent chance of the half in the 84th minute, Prisk having an excellent 25-yard drive pushed wide by Kelly.
The Lions almost made it 3-0 in added on time, but Chalmers’ excellent run, down the right this time, was scrambled behind for a corner at the foot of his post by Kelly. It was an excellent and much needed win for the Lions and set them up nicely for their huge local derby at East Preston on Tuesday night.
Pagham manager Kerry Hardwell said: "This was a much needed three points that was very much deserved and was important after recent defeats, especially our home fixture against Newhaven, where in fact I think we deserved something out of the game. But unfortunately when you're down at the bottom sometimes you don’t just get that bit of luck you need or deserve.
"The boys were fantastic and deserved all three points against a strong and physical Steyning team. More pleasing for me was to keep our first clean sheet since I’ve been back at the club - the back four were fantastic and as was Jordan Mathews in goal. February is a tough month for us so it was great to kick it off with three points."
Pagham: Matthews, Hallett, Jenkins, Jelley, Clarke, Searle, Prisk (Carroll), Howard, Chalmers, Franzen-Jones (Hands), Funnell (Slaughter). Subs not used: Henton, Heryet.