Pagham on cloud nine after defeating Three Bridges

James Temple puts pressure on the Three Bridges goalkeeper Picture by Roger Smith
James Temple puts pressure on the Three Bridges goalkeeper Picture by Roger Smith

Played nine – won nine. That was Pagham’s impressive record in division one of the Sussex League after a 3-0 victory over Three Bridges.

A frantic first five minutes saw Paul Jones score his first goal of the season. His stinging shot from the right gave Rob Woodward in the visitors’ goal no chance.

Even then, the Lions could have been in the lead already as a ball from James Temple allowed Scott Murfin to strike a shot which Woodward did well to hold.

A shaky Bridges’ defence was almost breached again as the Lions took the game by the scruff of the neck. Ross Woolf, Murfin and Phil Turner all took potshots at an increasingly nervous-looking Woodward.

The second goal came after 22 minutes as Turner’s through-ball gave Murfin a the chance to score his 14th of the season. Temple headed just wide and Murfin shot at Woodward.

Three Bridges’ sporadic attacks came through Tim Rivers and Abu. Rivers’ flowing run five minutes before the break ended with his shot being blocked.

Alex Ward tried his luck for the Lions with a header that Woodward did well to tip away for a corner.

Three Bridges started the second half brighter, with Abu felled just outside the area. The referee let play continue with Three Bridges fans shouting for a free-kick.

Another scare for the visitors came as Murfin’s shot was fumbled by Woodward. A free-kick awarded just outside the area gave the visitors perhaps their best chance, but the ball was smashed straight into Tom Broadbent’s face. Pagham physio Colin Mills raced on to attend to him.

Woolf took just too long on the hour mark and his shot was collected by Woodward, but the visitors were looking the better side. Elliott Romain twice tried to beat Wes Hallett, but the chances went begging.

Pagham’s third came from the spot. Woodward brought down Temple in the area, inexplicably collecting only a booking and not the expected red card. Murfin’s shot rocketed into the net.

A trio of substitutions within three minutes for the Lions saw Matt Wood, Dan Simmonds and Michael Frangou come on as the Lions pressed home their advantage.

Simmonds went close with five minutes left as his shot from close range bounced down from the bar and away to safety.

Bridges sub Scott Faber shot wildly over as the game came to a close with the Lions moving another step closer to Ryman league ambitions.

PAGHAM: Hallett, Buckland, Broadbent, Pearce, Ward, Jones, Turner (Frangou 78), Murfin (Wood 76), Temple (Simmonds 80), S Murfin, Woolf. Subs not used: Robinson, Booker

JON ROSE