Pagham battle back for point at East Preston - but they're down to eighth

Pagham on the attack in their previous game, at home to Chichester / Picture by Roger Smith
Pagham on the attack in their previous game, at home to Chichester / Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham dropped another couple of points which leaves them in a season-low eighth position in the table.

In a dour first half, it didn’t look like they would even get a point as East Preston were first to everything. After the interval things changed completely around and the Lions could have taken all three points home.

It took just seven minutes for EP to get their first shot on target, but it was splendidly saved by Pagham keeper James Binfield. A minute later, Asa Nicholson got his head to a cross from the left, leaving Binfield with no chance, to give his side the lead.

Ryan Davidson was magnificent in the Lions defence and prevented several more attempts on goal, keeping his side in with a chance.

Pagham had managed several crosses into the East Preston penalty area, but all were comfortably taken by the home keeper until the 27th minute, when Dan Simmonds had the first Lions shot on target, but it to was comfortably taken by George Bentley in the EP goal.

Howard Neighbour was next to try his luck, but his effort flew into the side netting after 34 minutes, and then Bentley saved the ball at the feet of Simmonds before the end of the half as Pagham started to dominate the game for the first time.

The second half started with a bang as an EP defender handled the ball inside the penalty area in the 46th minute, when standing all by himself with nobody threatening. Simmonds blasted the ball home from the spot to tie the game up at 1-1.

Five minutes later Pagham could have taken the lead as five shots were all hacked away by the East Preston defence in a matter of seconds.

With Pagham now dominating, Scott Murfin saw a shot fly just over the bar, before the Lions were on the wrong end of a dubious offside call when Neighbour flicked the ball home at the near post.

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It was a major surprise when EP re-took the lead with just ten minutes left, as Lucas Pattenden made a sparkling run down the left wing before cutting inside to curl a beauty past Binfield.

The Lions made two substitutions in quick succession as they fought to get back in the game, Shane Brazil replacing Ryan Cox and Joe Ashmore coming on for skipper Jamie Horncastle.

It produced the required result in the 87th minute when a cross from Daryl Wollers on the left floated over everyone’s heads and into the net for 2-2. No more chances were forthcoming for either side and the whistle went with each team claiming a point.

Next up for the Lions is a home league tussle with Broadbridge Heath on Saturday (Jan 5).

Pagham: Binfield, Williamson, Hyde, R Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle (Ashmore), Cox (Brazil), van Driel, Neighbour, Murfin, Simmonds. Subs not used: Hendrick, Hubbard, A Davidson.