Late drama at City and in Lions’ den

Chichester on the attack against East Grinstead  Picture by Kate Shemilt C131492
Chichester on the attack against East Grinstead Picture by Kate Shemilt C131492

It was a winless week for Pagham and Chichester City in division one of the Sussex League - but they did pick up home points.

Pagham 2 Horsham YMCA 2

Division one

There were a few fireworks as Horsham YMCA earned a point at a breezy Nyetimber Lane.

The visitors took the wind out of the Lions’ sails with a late equaliser they probably deserved.

With Pagham’s 9-0 mauling of Worthing United fresh 
in the memory, YMCA 
were a sterner test for John Price’s men.

In the fourth minute Pagham could have gone ahead with Josh Clack causing frantic back-pedalling in the YMCA defence.

As the wind increased, so did the speed of play, with Howard Neighbour going closest as his shot just pinged over. James Binfield was tested by a YMCA header.

The first goal came on the half-hour as Ben Buckland raced down the left and saw his pin-point cross smashed home by Neighbour for his 14th goal of the season.

Lions’ duo Calum Cutler and Neil Murfin received yellow cards.

A YMCA free-kick was dealt with by a Daren Pearce clearance. Sam Smith in YMCA’s goal was at his best to stop a Scott Murfin stinger while Binfield repeated the feat at the other end.

The second half began with a Liam Hunter chance for YMCA thwarted.

Pearce sent a header wide.

Pagham were just shading it although Matt Crane went close for the visitors with a header.

Jake Hawker headed at Smith, but the game’s second goal was a YMCA leveller.

Having been on for no more than a minute, sub 
Brad Curtis struck the goal of the game.

The visitors continued to press, but Pagham scored next when Neighbour added to his tally to give them the lead with ten minutes to go.

Ruben French was replaced by Ryan Cox while the injured Scott Murfin’s place was taken by Tom Jefkins.

A fine clearance by Jefkins almost saw the Lions home and dry, but three points turned to one when Crane netted on 88 minutes.

Pagham: Binfield, J.awker, Buckland, Pearce, Booker, N Murfin, Clack (Briggs 73), Cutler, Neighbour, S Murfin (Jefkins 84), French (Cox 84); Hallet.

JON ROSE

Chi City 2 Newhaven 2

Division one

A LATE GOAL from Joe Gromett earned Chichester a 2-2 draw against Newhaven on Saturday in a match of changing fortunes.

City, facing a forceful wind in the first-half, took the lead after ten minutes with a brilliant goal from Morgan Forry. The left-winger stole the ball on the edge of the box and swivelled to rifle in an unstoppable shot for his fifth goal of the season.

On 25 minutes Lee Robinson had a clear run on the City goal, but his angled shot was narrowly wide.

But on the stroke of half-time the Dockers drew level when the ball was cannoned out of a bunch of players to the unmarked Mark Probert who converted.

A Newhaven move on 51 minutes finished with the ball hitting the post and rebounding off keeper Anthony Ender.

Three minutes later Newhaven playmaker James Rhodes squared to Jayson Sowter who made it 2-1.

Jake Buss did well to block a powerful shot from Alex Ansa, the follow-up going agonisingly wide with the keeper sliding in the mud.

The turning point came with 13 minutes left when Newhaven were awarded a soft penalty, but Probert’s kick went over the top.

Chichester launched a frenzied assault in the dying stages, with Gromett causing havoc for the exhausted Newhaven backline.

On 89 minutes Gromett’s trickling ball found a path through a crowd of players for the equaliser.

Straight from the restart, Gromett shot just wide.

Frazer Smith spearheaded one last attack. For a moment it seemed Chichester had clinched an incredible victory with Gromett netting, but the linesman’s flag came to Newhaven’s rescue

City: Ender, Heath, Prior, Cody, Boniface, Blatchford, Tallant, F Smith, Burbridge, Ansa, Forry. Subs: Gromett, Groom, Watts.

City were defeated 4-0 by leaders East Preston on Tuesday.

City matched EP in the first half before the hosts moved up a gear after the break. Bif Shelley (2), Mike Huckett and Darren Boswell got their goals in a 4-0 win.

CHESTER BROWTON