Late double has Lions worshipping Temple

editorial image

James Temple’s late double strike helped Pagham record a 4-2 win against a St Franics Rangers side struggling near the foot of Sussex league division one.

Both sides had seen many changes on the playing and managerial scene since they’d last met, and initially it looked as if Carl Stabler’s Lions would roar to an easy victory.

As early as the third minute Temple had the ball in Rangers’ net, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Scott Murfin raced into the area, but Sam Palmer quick enough to see off the threat.

Keeper Lekhyj was keeping the visitors in the game as time and again Pagham raided the Rangers’ area.

Michael Frangou could have put Pagham two up with a couple of strikes which were almost on target.

Rangers’ first real chance appeared on 25 minutes when ref Nigel Baker awarded them a free-kick.

The dead ball was smashed into the area, but Wes Hallett saved the day.

Louis Pope’s speculative shot scared the crows in the trees more than Hallett, then the Lions pressed forward again.

The opening goal was scored by a St Francis player, but at the wrong end as Ben Palmer connected with a cross from Temple and put it past Lekhyj.

Murfin had two further scoring opportunities before Rangers scored, this time in the right end when Keiron Pammont eluded his marker as the half neared its completion.

Rangers came out the stronger in the second half. Josh Hawkes and Peter Martin tested Hallett while Scott Hinshelwood cleared well from the in-rushing Maz Roxannt.

Rangers brought on Luke Akhurst and Phil Elkins to shake things up as the game started to drift from them.

Elkins made his mark, having been on the pitch only a few minutes. His shot was cleared but gaps were beginning to appear in Pagham’s defence.

The home side saw their second go in as an unmarked Frangou gleefully smacked home his 11th league goal of the season.

The lead lasted just four minutes as Elkins’ shot arrowed past a non-plussed Hallett.

Pagham fought back and sustained pressure on the Rangers goal should have seen them score.

Eventually their third came two minutes from the end. A corner swung in from the left saw the ball guided home by Temple.

Neil Murfin made a cameo appearance, replacing brother Scott, before Temple completed the rout with a header just on full-time.

PAGHAM: Hallett, Hinshelwood, R Cox, Pearce, Jones, Booker, Woolf, Robinson, Frangou, S Murfin, Frangou, Temple. Subs: N Murfin, Kew, Misslebrook, Bassil.

JON ROSE