ittlehampton Town Football Club made it two Southern Combination League Premier Division derby wins in the space of three days last night.
After seeing off rivals Arundel at The Sportsfield on Saturday, George Gaskin, Brad Lewis and Danny Hand all struck as Golds sealed a 3-2 home triumph over nine-man Pagham.
Former Littlehampton boss Mark Bennett made a return to the team he won the title with two seasons ago, as did ex-players Dan Swain, Shay Wiggans and Liam Humphreys.
In a fiery affair, Wiggans’ evening ended early when he was shown a straight red, while Ryan Cox received his matching orders as Pagham finished two players light.
Following back-to-back league wins, Golds have now moved up to 14th in the table, four points clear of third-bottom Arundel and the final relegation spot.
Littlehampton boss Ady Baker admitted it was far from a fluent showing but wins were all that mattered for him at present.
He said: “We played more football when they had 11 on the field than when they finished with nine. I think coming up against a former manager and old team-mates may have got to some of the players but the win was all that mattered. We were showing them space, allowing them time on the ball in the final few minutes.
“It’s a second straight win and it helps us move up the table. It is just about making sure we remain consistent in the remaining matches.”
Golds got off to a perfect start going ahead inside two minutes. Mark Goldson’s ball split Pagham open, sending Gaskin clear to round James Binfield and slot into an empty net.
Johan Van Driel’s inch-perfect free-kick from the right touchline was poked home by Daryl Wollers to level things up on 15 minutes.
After such a lively start, the game settled with very little created before Lewis’ stunner fired Littlehampton back ahead. Dan Kempson pulled his corner back for Lewis to fire home first-time from all of 30 yards.
Golds were awarded a penalty on the hour after Cox shoved Jack Cole over on the corner of the area. Following the foul, Cox was shown a second yellow, leaving Lions with ten men, and substitute Hand thundered the penalty straight down the middle to make it 3-1.
Joe Kilhams’ introduction inspired Pagham and they had hope 18 minutes from the end. The ball fell kindly to Scott Murfin on the edge, he then picked his spot firing into the bottom corner.
Lions were reduced to nine seven minutes from time with Shay Wiggans given his marching orders for foul and abusive language.
Despite a two-man advantage, Golds were hanging on at the end but stood firm to take all three points.
LITTLEHAMPTON: Askew; Chaplin, McKay, Farrell, M.Hand; Kempson, Lewis; Cole, Goldson, Bell; Gaskin. Subs: D.Hand (Farrell, 45), O’Connor, Ashman, Janman (Lewis, 53), Kew (M.Hand, 80).
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