FA Vase: As one Wembley route closes, another opens for Pagham

Jake Hawker heads home for Pagham against Chichester  Picture by Roger Smith
Jake Hawker heads home for Pagham against Chichester Picture by Roger Smith
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Just days after their FA Cup adventure ended, Pagham made progress on another route to Wembley as a 3-1 home win over Chichester moved them into the first round of the FA Vase and a home tie against Horsham 
YMCA.

Chichester had visited Nyetimber Lane in August and lost 2-0, and here, again, the Lions prevailed in a game they deserved to win.

Free-scoring reserves forward Ben Anderton took his place on the bench.

Early on, both sides had openings. Joe Booker underwent lengthy treatment for an injury, as did Lee Bradshaw, as tackles flew in.

Scott Dormer shot across goal for Chichester while James Temple went close more than once for Pagham.

Booker’s injury forced him off on the half-hour, Jake Hawker taking his place at the back.

Three minutes later, the Lions took the lead. A header from James Temple found Callum Cutler, whose long-range shot gave Matt Evans no chance in Chichester’s goal.

Daren Pearce almost made it 2-0 with an overhead kick a few minutes later.

Chichester could have equalised through Parsons but Andy Smallpiece saved well. Ken Hagan tried his luck but shot wide. The first half ended with Temple twice narrowly missing.

Four minutes into the second half, Hawker doubled Pagham’s lead with a precise header.

Two minutes after that it was 3-0, with Joe Briggs striking home from a Ryan Cox run and cross.

Chichester came back into it, hitting the side netting, but the Lions went for the visitors’ throats.

Briggs was unlucky to be judged offside while Matt Evans had to race from his goal to deny Temple.

Lions skipper Neil Murfin shot across goal and Chichester brought on fresh legs.

Anderton came on for the Lions for the final 20 minutes in Briggs’ place. With five minutes left, the visitors got a consolation to spark muted celebrations from the visiting fans.

Hagan’s free-kick was sweetly struck past a diving Smallpiece to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.

Temple had no fewer than four chances in the final couple of minutes, but a fourth Pagham goal didn’t arrive.

PAGHAM: Smallpiece, Buckland, Kilner, Pearce, Jones, Booker (Hawker 31), Cutler, N Murfin, Temple, Briggs (Anderton 71), Cox. Subs: Ford, Binfield.

CITY: Evans, Smith, Baker, Dye, Boniface, Bradshaw, Blatchford, Hagan, Parsons, Dormer, Watts. Subs: Hibbert, Gilbert, Lambert.

JON ROSE