Pagham end 14-month wait for away league win as they triumph at East Preston

Pagham finally nudged out of the SCFL premier division bottom three with a well-deserved win away to fierce rivals East Preston. At times, in the second half, fierce it definitely was!

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 5:00 pm
Pagham's Callum Chalmers / Picture: Roger Smith

It was the Lions’ first away league win since December 12, 2018... 19 games ago. The celebrations both on and off the pitch at the end said it all.

It was Pagham who started the game on top, Toby Funnell speeding away down the right as early as the first minute but unable to lift his shot over the advancing Lewis Boughton, the EP keeper.

Eight minutes later, Lukas Franzen-Jones was unlucky to see his shot saved at the bottom of a post.

The game turned EP’s way and it needed a very good save from Jordan Matthews to keep the home side out, but he was unable to stop a shot from Sammy Ndlovu out in the 13th minute that put EP in front.

But back came the Lions and Franzen-Jones broke free running on to Funnell’s long pass over the top and crashed the ball past Boughton to equalise five minutes later.

Pagham were unlucky twice more before the break as Kieron Howard saw his 25-yard drive fly over the bar and Franzen-Jones, pouncing on a good ball from Callum Chalmers, saw his shot well saved once again.

The deciding moment came after 54 minutes when a wide free kick from 25 yards was struck straight past Boughton by Funnell to give Pagham the lead and eventually the three points.

The rest of the game produced lots of East Preston possession, but very little actual creativity. With a strangely quiet Dan Simmonds and Howard Neighbour up front they didn’t really carve out a chance in the whole half.

Lots of little scuffles and arguments broke out, ending in two sin-bins and three bookings for EP and two bookings for Pagham.

The only real Lions chance came ten minutes from the end when Chalmers low shot was just kept out by Boughton.

The final whistle brought a huge cheer from players and supporters of the Lions and the celebrations began. It had been a long time coming.

Pagham: Matthews, Hallett (da Costa), Searle, Clarke, Jelley (Carroll), Jenkins, Funnell, Howard, Chalmers,Franzen-Jones, Prisk (Barnes). Subs not used: Heryet, Slaughter.