Late error costs Lions dear against Hamble

Pagham gave away one of the daftest goals ever seen at Nyetimber Lane in the last minute of a game ruined by high blustery winds which made quality football nigh on impossible.

The game started in calmer conditions and it was the Lions who looked to take an early advantage, but Howard Neighbour saw his difficult volley fly over the bar after an excellent cross by Mitchell Hand.

Pagham level against Hamble Club / Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham level against Hamble Club / Picture by Roger Smith

Hand then provided a curling free-kick from the left touchline in the 20th minute, only to see George Gaskin touch the ball just wide of the post. But on 25 minutes Hamble took the lead when a defensive mistake by the Lions led to an open goal for a Hamble forward who simply had to nod the ball into an empty net.

A cross from James Thurgar almost paid dividends for the home side a few minutes later, but although Gaskin got good contact on the ball, he could only steer it straight at the Monks keeper.

The equaliser came in the 40th minute following a lovely move down the right from which Gaskin managed to fire a good low cross into the box. It was touched forward by Neighbour and Thurgar rammed the ball home from five yards to level the score at 1-1.

The second half kicked off as the wind picked up speed and although half-chances came and went for both teams, most passes were simply blown out of play. Pagham were getting the best of things, playing with the wind, but they couldn’t really get too much on target.

Sub Dan Simmonds, playing in only his second game since his bad hamstring injury in April, went the closest but his 25-yard blast went straight at the keeper.

Lions skipper for the day, goalie James Binfield, made an impressive save with half an hour left by diving at a Hamble forward’s feet to clear the ball. At the other end Gaskin fired just wide, following an excellent through ball by Tom Jefkins in what was Pagham’s last chance.

The game seemed to be fizzling out for a draw, when, in the 90th minute a horrendous attempted back-pass from the halfway line by a Lions player flew straight to a lone Hamble forward who had no trouble slotting the ball home.

This was not the greatest game, mainly because of the blustery weather, but more precious minutes were played and the Lions' league opener is now just days away.

Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, Hand (Hendrick), Bingham (Cox), Wollers, Williamson (Miller), van Driel, Chick (Jefkins), Gaskin (Bingham), Thurgar (Simmonds), Neighbour (Murfin).

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