Pagham make FA Cup progress - and league progress of sorts

Pagham celebrate a goal in an earlier FA Cup round, when they beat Woodstock   Picture by Roger Smith
Pagham celebrate a goal in an earlier FA Cup round, when they beat Woodstock Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham made FA Cup progess - then battled back for a draw in a league game at home to Loxwood.

Canterbury City 0 Pagham 2

FA Cup preliminary round

PAGHAM put on their Sunday best as they ensured Canterbury’s tale was one of woe in the FA Cup preliminary round.

Having disposed of Woodstock Sports in the previous round, a Lions side yet to be beaten this season could easily have doubled the win margin.

Dominating for all but a short spell at the end, Pagham were very much the better side.

The first couple of minutes saw shots from City’s Hemmings and a tremendous save by James Binfield to deny Alex Kendall, but then the Lions took control.

Josh Clack took advantage of some clever Rob Wimble approach play, Mike Asare pinging in a cross that Clack sliced just past the post.

For the home fans, time and again Chevan Xavier was called offside.

First in the book for Pagham was Rob Brown on 20 minutes. Rob Wimble was put clear on goal a few minutes later, only for City keeper Rod Hayward to scramble the ball away.

A speculative Canterbury shot was fingertipped on to the bar by Binfield.

Scott Murfin was unlucky on the half-hour as he appeared to hesitate before shooting, which allowed Hayward time to gather the ball.

Jake Hawker became the second Lions booking, for apparent back-chat.

An acrobatic overhead kick from Clack sailed over the City bar while Hemmings became the next cautioned player.

A rare foray into Pagham’s half for Kendall ended with the ball scrambled away for a corner.

Desparate City defending robbed Wimble and Clack of the Lions’ first goal but on the stroke of half-time the two combined for a timely opener. Wimble provided a pinpoint cross and Clack scored in a second successive FA Cup tie.

Canterbury’s Dan Lawrence went down heavily in a tackle. He was okay after treatment.

But Pagham’s Neil Murfin was substituted after pulling a hamstring.

Matt Wood came on and the Lions hardly broke their stride.

Chris Lewis saw yellow for City before an unconventional upfield clearence by Binfield set Scott Murfin on his way, but the shot went over the bar.

Josh Clack’s 72nd-minute cross saw Murfin shoot just wide, while Murfin was hacked down by Lewis Bennett on 74 ninutes, Bennett taking a deserved booking.

Luca-Coleman Carr entered the fray for Pagham in place of Clack.

Xavier headed over for City on 80 minutes, heralding a short period of Canterbury pressure – but Pagham’s defence kept them at bay.

Alfie Bunker and Jake Hawker snuffed out the threat from City, Bunker being named man of the match.

As City’s threat waned, Wimble sniffed blood and a scything left-sided run and shot gave Hayward no chance on 86 minutes, killing the game off.

Three more bookings, including Pagham’s Matt Wood, followed before Pagham could savour a victory that gives them a first qualifying round tie against Dorking in two weeks’ time.

PAGHAM: Binfield, A Brown, French, Bunker, Hawker, N Murfin (Wood 51), Clack (Coleman-Carr 78), R Brown, Wimble, S Murfin, Asare. Subs: Bingham, Garnett, Richer.

JON ROSE

Pagham 2 Loxwood 2

SCFL Division one

It was one for sorrow, but then two for joy as the Lions came back to snatch a draw against Loxwood’s Magpies.

Pagham lined up without injured captain Neil Murfin, but Ryan Morey was on the bench following his move to Nyetimber Lane.

The first couple of minutes were all Pagham, Paul Brown shooting wide and a corner pressuring Loxwood’s defence. The rest of the half belonged to Loxwood, though, as the division-one draw kings looked in determined mood.

Dean Wright made space for himself to test James Binfield in the Lions’ goal. If it hadn’t been for Binfield, Loxwood could have scored long before their 22nd-minute strike as Wright wafted in to the area and shot past Binfield.

The lead was doubled six minutes later as Gary Pritchard hit a ball from nowhere that rifled in.

The Lions seemed to still be celebrating their FA Cup triumph as the visitors drove forward at will.

As the half came to an end, Josh Clack almost capped a decent performance with a goal, only for his effort to be misdirected.

A minute into the second half a Ruben French free-kick saw the Lions go close. Only the offside flag stopped them halving the lead.

One minute later, though, Rob WImble’s low right-sided shot gave Sam Smith no chance, triggering a positive period from Pagham.

Wimble and Scott Murfin saw headers miss, with Murfin’s effort pinging back off the bar.

Wright forced clearences from Jake Hawker and Binfield. A long stoppage for an injury gave both teams a chance to regroup, probably benefitting the Lions the most.

Pagham grazed the upright while another injury scare saw Luca Coleman-Carr go off, Michael Asare replacing him and soon heading just wide from a Ruben French free-kick.

As the game moved into injury time, Binfield and Bunker combined to deny Loxwood’s Tim Martin.

Just as the home crowd were resigned to a first defeat of the season, a stunning Clack free-kick gave the Lions an equaliser their second-half performance deserved.

Pagham: Binfield, A Brown (Morey), French, Bunker, Hawker, R Brown, Clack, Wood, Wimble, S Murfin, Coleman-Carr (Asare 77). Subs: Garnett, Dormer, Nash.

JON ROSE