Pagham started 2012 in the worst possible way as Arundel netted a well-deserved 3-0 victory at Nyetimber Lanew in division one of the Sussex League.
The home side were without Scott Murfin, Ross Woolf, James Temple and Tom Broadbent but that takes nothing away from an Arundel side who raced into a lead in the third minute. Lloyd Walker was allowed to get into Pagham’s area and was left with a simple tap-in.
Pagham went close when a through-ball from Howard Neighbour was latched on to by Dan Simmonds only for the offside flag to rob him.
Neighbour shot wide as McCarthy in Arundel’s goal was called into action. An enforced change for the Mulletts saw David Hall leave the field injured, David Walker replacing him.
Arundel had another chance as a screaming shot from Rob Grove whistled past the post before Paul Jones hacked away a shot from former Lion Jack Williamson.
Alex Ward gained a corner for Pagham which was swung towards Simmonds. Keeping the ball in play, he struck a shot which was saved by McCarthy. But with half-time looming, the Mullets netted a second when Norgate struck home from a right-sided cross badly defended.
Matt Wood replaced Jones for the second half and had been on the pitch only a minute before his shot at McCarthy was well held.
Arundel were handed a penalty when Michael Frangou fouled his opponent in the area. Up stepped Scott Tipper looking to score his 14th of the season but Pagham keeper Wes Hallett produced a great save.
Simmonds was twice the beneficiary of good work from Neighbour but couldn’t make the most of it. His first shot went over, then his header had more height than accuracy.
Wood’s superb run ended with a cross that eluded all the Pagham forwards.
With 20 minutes to go, Pip Turner replaced Frangou but Arundel pressed on and two free-kicks could have seen the Mullets score again. When Norgate scored his second with seven minutes left, the Lions knew the game was up.
A final throw of the dice from boss Carl Stabler saw Steve Boston return to Pagham colours, and he soon involved himself in the Arundel area. But a bobbling ball came off Boston last – before he had another go, only for his ball to Ward saw the ball sail over.
PAGHAM: Hallett, Booker, Buckland (Boston 86), Pearce, Jones (Wood 45), Ward, Hyde, N Murfin, Simmonds, Frangou (Turner 76), Neighbour. Subs:
At Shoreham on Saturday, Pagham went ahead on 31 minutes when Scott Murfin placed a crisply-hit shot beyond keeper Ronan Callaghan’s reach.
Ten minutes from time, though, Richard Hudson put in a well flighted ball and Ollie Davis headed home the equaliser from close range.
Pagham continue their title bid with a visit to Redhill on Saturday.