Pagham denied at home - then grounded by Gatwick
Pagham drew for the first time this season in the league, finishing 2-2 at home to AFC Uckfield Town, but ended the match with nine men and having lost a 2-0 lead.
With James Binfield injured, Neil Murfin once again donned the gloves. He was called into action early on, but was assured as he caught the ball from a shot.
At the other end Mat Dann spilled the ball from a Lions effort which was hacked away.
Three minutes later it could have been 1-0. A Lions free-kick was sent in by Andy Chick, with Darryl Wollers forcing a good save from Dann.
Scott Murfin was unlucky on 23 minutes when many watching thought he was unfairly judged offside.
George Bingham was cautioned for a tackle on Uckfield player-manager Anthony Storey. A last-gasp header from Dean Stewart-Hunter denied the Lions. Uckfield’s Victor Borade was next in the referee’s notebook.
Shouts for a Pagham penalty on 38 minutes were rightly denied as a superb tackle by Craig Norman took the ball away from Callum Overton.
In first-half time added-on, Pagham were rewarded with a penalty. Keeper Dann bought Overton down and Murfin converted.
A booking for Overton on 48 minutes was a sign of things to come. Uckfield’s goal was peppered with shots and goal number two was possibly the easiest Lions’ skipper James Horncastle will ever score.
A chip from Chick left the Uckfield defence bamboozled and Horncastle tucked away the ball to double the lead.
A slick one-two between Murfin and Overton just after the hour didn’t quite come off, but a few minutes later Overton was sent off. A second yello, for a niggly tackle left the referee no option, having just warned Overton about his conduct.
Worse was to come on 72 minutes, as a late tackle saw Ryan Cox given a straight red to leave the Lions two goals up but two men down.
Uckfield upped the ante, with Hassan Ibraham trying his luck twice.
Uckfield’s first came when a goalmouth scramble ended with the ball in the net, off the unlucky Neil Murfin.
With just over five minutes left, Chick and Scott Murfin were replaced by Terrell Lewis and David Crouch entering the combat zone.
Uckfield sub Matt Holland pinged a shot across goal before a free-kick for the visitors was hacked away as burly Bailo Camara was shaping to shoot.
Just when the Lions looked to be hanging on, a ball found its way to Shaun Loft, who hit the equaliser.
Pagham: N Murfin, Wiggans, Cox, Booker, Wollers, Horncastle, Bingham, Chick (Crouch 84), Overton, S Murfin (Lewis 84), Cody. Subs: Davidson, Parkinson, Terry.
Uckfield: Dann, Barbosa, Norman, Borade, Welch, Storey, Ibraham, Stewart-Hunter, McClean, Loft, Camara. Subs: Black, Holland, Funnell.
Crawley Down Gatwick 5 Pagham 1
Peter Bentley Cup R3
A Pagham side depleted by injuries fell to a heavy defeat at The Haven Centre as their hold on the Peter Bentley Cup ended.
Pagham, missing almost half of their first-choice team, more than held their own early on.
Crawley Down took the lead in the 14th minute when a dreadful defensive error was collected by and driven home from the edge of the area by Nick Sullivan.
Pagham’s first decent chance fell to Scott Murfin when he picked up a mis-hit shot by David Crouch but drove it just wide of the post. Murfin had another shot from further out which Anvils keeper Seb Bos held at the second attempt.
Disaster befell the Lions after 27th minute when a 25-yard drive from Crawley midfielder Michael Spence took a wicked deflection to wrongfoot Pagham goalie Luke Terry and finish in the bottom corner.
A drive from left winger Festus Lori flew high over the bar. Lori then went off injured.
George Cody flew down the left but saw his cross roll along the goal-line and away to safety.
The Lions’ Andy Chick was forced off to be replaced by Joe Ashmore at the interval, but Pagham started the brightest in the second half. David Crouch broke through the offside trap only to see his shot hit the post and be cleared to safety.
In the 58th minute Pagham got the goal their play deserved as Murfin outpaced the defence and was brought down by keeper Bos, who received no card. Murfin got up and buried the penalty low to the goalie’s left to make it 2-1.
An horrendous mistake by Pagham keeper Terry fumbled the ball to Crawley’s Oli Leslie, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net to restore his team’s two-goal lead.
Another Cody cross rolled along the goal-line with nobody to knock it home. Disaster followed for the Lions again when another fumble by Terry led to the ball nestling in the net.
The Lions kept pushing forward and they made two good chances thanks to splendid work down the left by Lloyd Rowlatt, the first bringing a tremendous save by Bos from Murfin. Rowlatt’s shot brought yet another excellent save.
Anvils sub Kieran Greig broke through the defence to score easily in the last minute.
Pagham: Terry, Bingham, Cox, Booker, Wollers, Horncastle, Rowlatt, Chick (Ashmore), Crouch (Rafferty), S Murfin, Cody.
Pagham U21 3 Hassocks U21 2
SCFL U21 West
With the remains of Storm Ophelia sweeping across the ground, Pagham came from behind to beat previously-unbeaten leaders Hassocks 3-2 at Nyetimber Lane.
Pagham forward Jack Parkinson had the first two chances, the first well saved by Hassocks keeper Green, the second striking the post from the rebound.
Lions goalie Luke Terry was called into action, diving to steal the ball from the feet of an onrushing Hassocks forward.
On 25 minutes the Lions were unlucky not to take the lead as a great run by Parkinson ended with his ball across the box just evading Mike Rogerson – who soon afterwards saw his long shot bounce to safety off the bar.
On 32 minutes the visitors took the lead when Robins midfielder Matt Berridge hit a low shot that found the net.
Pagham had a last chance to equalise in the half when Ceri Marsh became the third Lions man to hit the woodwork with a speculative shot that got caught up in the wind.
Six minutes after the restart a great ball in from Harry Keane was pushed to safety by the keeper, but a minute later, a header was flicked across goal and smashed in at the far post by Rogerson.
A number of substitutions were made by Pagham before they took the lead on 66 minutes as a long free-kick from the left by Marsh swirled across the area and evaded everyone to drop into the net.
Hassocks made it 2-2 on 75 minutes when a long run by Kieran Rowe saw the ball tapped in at the far post by Connor Bradley.
Soon after that, Rowe, clean through, put a shot wide of the far post.
Hassocks were made to pay in the 80th minute as Parkinson planted a sublime header over Green to win the game for the home side.
In a final chance for Pagham, Joey Jones hit the post following a corner, but it should have ended 3-3 as Rowe hit another great chance over the bar in the last minute of normal time.
Pagham: Terry, Rafferty (Cooke), Keane (Spray), Ashmore (Simmonds), Selby, Gilchrist (Anderton), Jones, Hambleton, Parkinson, Marsh, Rogerson. Sub not used: Sanctuary.