Pagham 0 Selsey 1
Sussex League division one
Talk about a game of two halves.
The first 45 minutes of the Christmas derby at Nyetimber Lane was as stodgy as stale Christmas pudding.
Apart from some profligate shooting from both sides, the first half had absolutely nothing to recommend it.
With the pitch passed fit for play after an overnight thaw, those who missed the match would have been grateful as the game turned into one of mistimed passes and the type of shooting more often seen at Twickenham, such was the number of shots that went over the bar.
The half ended goalless – inevitably – with the vocal crowd less than satisfied with the festive fare on show.
The second half, however, was a different beast.
Five minutes in and Selsey were seemingly denied a legitimate penalty as Max Thoms tumbled in the area.
The referee decided he’d dived and Thoms picked up a booking, much to the Selsey fans’ disgust.
There were further problems for Selsey as Alun Morey’s almost traditional sending-off against Pagham came as he was taken to task by the ref.
Pagham went close as Scott Murfin forced Sam Joyce in Selsey’s goal to spill the ball, only to recover and deny the opening goal.
Graham Bush missed an open goal for Selsey just before they were awarded a penalty. Joe Miles was brought down in the area by former Selsey stalwart Scott Hinshelwood, and the official pointed to the spot.
Much to the anger of the away fans, Hinshelwood picked up only a booking.
Up stepped Thoms but Wes Hallett moved well to collect the ball from a poorly-taken spot-kick.
Selsey stepped up a gear with former Lions Calum Britton and Edwin Bowers both testing Hallett.
Pagham joined Selsey in going down to ten men on 65 minutes as Hinshelwood picked up a second booking.
Selsey were awarded another penalty, and this time Bush made no mistake, striking past Hallett.
More poor shooting followed and the pitch seemed to be affecting both sides and producing poor football.
Bowers was possibly unluckiest as he tried time and time again to get the ball past an acrobatic Hallett.
The game ended after an unexplained lengthy period of time added on with Bowers shooting at Hallett.
The victory saw Selsey move 12 points clear of the relegation zone, while the Lions were left to reflect on a missed opportunity to go level on 37 points with second-placed Three Bridges.
PAGHAM: Hallett, Misslebrook,
R Cox, Pearce, Booker, Tribe, Woolf,
S Hinshelwood, Frangou, S Murfin, Robinson. Subs: Williamson, Hamm, D Cox, N Murfin.
SELSEY: Joyce, Fallick, Haggar,
M Hinshelwood, Pointing, Thoms, Miles, Morey, Bush, Bowers, Britton. Subs: Parsons, Norris, Covill, Chard.