RYE were denied a home victory by high-flying Pagham’s late equaliser in a Sussex League division-one clash.
On an at-last sunny and milder afternoon at The Salts, Rye were missing four regulars and Yarney Camara made just his second senior appearance in goal after an 11th hour call-up and hobbled through most of the game after tweaking a hamstring early on.
Pagham had the first real chance when James Temple latched on to a ball over the top amid a strong suspicion of offside, but could only fire into the side-netting when well placed.
Reece Johnson headed just over at the other end from an Olly Lockyer corner moments before Lockyer gave Rye a 26th-minute lead by punishing a defensive slip with a terrific left-foot strike into the corner.
Lockyer went close to doubling his and Rye’s tally just a couple of minutes later with a low shot that brought a diving save out of Pagham keeper James Binfield.
A miscued shot from Ryan Cox bounced up and over Rye’s crossbar while Camara did well to palm away a Joe Briggs free-kick which bounced awkwardly in front of him as Pagham ended the half strongly.
Rye striker Dominic Clarke was twice denied by Binfield in the first eight minutes of the second half. He first saw a cracking volley beaten out, then had an instinctive goalbound prod pushed away following a long throw.
Cox shot just over Rye’s crossbar and Temple headed right across the face of the home goal from an inviting position before Howard Neighbour’s goalbound header hit his own team-mate.
Rye had a lot of defending to do in the closing quarter with Pagham bossing the play, but they remained resolute and looked like securing a second single-goal victory over their opponents in 12 days until a free-kick from the left was headed back across goal for Neighbour to nod home.
Rye had a half chance in added time, but Clarke couldn’t get over a header from Liam Upton’s free kick.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Hawker, Buckland, Pearce, Geoghan, Bradshaw, Briggs, Ford, Neighbour, Temple, Cox. Subs: Booker, Davidson, Murfin, Hallett.
- SIMON NEWSTEAD
* Pagham, who lost 1-0 at Ringmer on Tuesday, visit East Preston tonight (April 11) and host Lingfield on Saturday before heading to Arundel next Tuesday.