On what felt like the wettest and windiest night of the year, Pagham dismantled Littlehampton and, with more careful finishing, could have scored eight or nine. Instead they had to settle for a 6-1 triumph.
The game didn’t start off looking like a drubbing and it wasn’t until the 12th minute that the Lions managed their first strike at goal when Jamie Horncastle blasted over from distance.
Not long after that they took the lead when Andy Chick sent a high cross into the box from the left wing which evaded everyone and floated into the net.
Overton nearly made it two a couple of minutes later when he managed to get around the keeper, but his shot was blocked on the line.
Pagham did double their lead in the 25th minute when Callum Overton scored his first of the night with a cheeky backheel after Terrell Lewis had fed the ball into the six-yard box.
They almost made it three a minute later when Lloyd Rowlatt had a header kicked off the line from a corner.
The only problems caused by Littlehampton had been a long-range shot over the bar and a 25-yarder well saved by Pagham keeper James Binfield.
Then out of the blue the Marigolds pulled one back when home striker Alex Laing broke through the Lions offside trap, managed to get around Binfield and slotted in from an acute angle.
Six minutes later, Pagham restored their two-goal cushion when Overton broke through the middle, skipped around a defender and was up-ended in the box by Hagan, who got a red card for being the last man. Overton stroked home from the spot, low the keeper’s left.
The Lions could have added another before half-time when Lewis hit the bar and Overton’s shot on the rebound was blocked on the line.
Straight from the second-half kick-off the ball was played out to Lewis and his speculative long shot from way out on the left squeezed under the keeper to make it 4-1.
Overton squirted a chance over the bar from close in after a difficult bounce. Lewis almost grabbed another when his raking drive was saved by Hutchings in the home goal.
On a rare breakaway, the home team hit the bar from around 40 yards and a follow-up shot was well saved by Binfield. But it was soon all Pagham again and Overton completed his hat-trick from close in, tapping home a superb low cross by Scott Murfin in the 58th minute.
The driving rain that had been coming down since early in the game was now being driven across the pitch by high winds. Another Lewis drive from the edge of the box was well saved and was followed by a raft of substitutions over the next couple of minutes by the Lions as George Bingham, George Cody and David Crouch replaced Neil Murfin, Lewis and Horncastle.
As the weather worsened, Pagham were creating chance after chance to increase their lead as Chick, Overton and Scott Murfin all had shots saved, before Murfin finally got his deserved goal from the spot three minutes from full-time after David Crouch was brought down by Ross McKay, who was sent off to reduce the hosts to nine men.
Still Pagham poured the pressure on their hosts as Murfin hit a drive wide after being sent clean through and Cody shot over from wide left before the referee put an end to Littlehampton’s misery.
Pagham: Binfield, N Murfin (Bingham), Wollers, Kilhams, van Driel, Horncastle (Crouch), Rowlatt, Chick, Overton, S Murfin, Lewis (Cody).
Pagham U21 2 Horsham U21 3
SCFL U21 West
Pagham’s under-21 team were beaten by a very good Horsham YMCA U21 side.
The away side that flew out the traps and they went 1-0 up inside the first minute when a defensive mix-up led to Horsham tucking the ball in the net after a superb initial save from goalie Luke Terry. They almost added to their lead seven minutes later with Terry again coming to the rescue.
Pagham’s first shot came a few minutes later when a drive by Jack Parkinson was kept out by Horsham’s keeper.
Horsham kept coming at Pagham and it was only keeper Terry holding them at bay.
Almost out of the blue, Pagham equalised. Parkinson ran on to a long ball out of defence, took it past a couple of defenders and blasted home from the edge of the six-yard box.
Scott Rafferty had a long-range shot saved by the keeper, but soon Rafferty had to clear off his own line.
Three minutes into the second half Pagham took the lead as a long throw fell to Tom Gorman, who turned past one defender and buried his shot into the far corner.
The Horsham keeper was busy and a 30-yard drive from Ceri Marsh pushed him to his limit.
Pagham conceded an equaliser on 52 minutes when, from a free-kick, a midfielder got up to head over Terry and into the roof of the net.
Terry made several good saves to keep the score level. At the other end Matt Hambleton hit a sensational drive on to the top of the bar from 40 yards and sub Joe Ashmore drove wide from 20.
Pagham were to rue their missed chances when the visitors scored the winner in the 75th minute. A long free-kick into the box was squeezed inside the far post to put the away side 3-2 up.
A succession of Pagham corners came to nothing.
Pagham: Terry, Rafferty (Kane), Spray, Hambleton (Simmonds), Selby, Gilchrist, Marsh (Stanley), Gannon (Ashmore), Parkinson, Stanley (Jones), Greenslade.
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