Penalty protects Pagham’s top-five spot

Scott Murfin was Pagham's matchwinner   Picture by Chris Hatton
Scott Murfin was Pagham's matchwinner Picture by Chris Hatton

Scott Murfin’s 21st-minute penalty was enough for Pagham to beat a determined Eastbourne United side at Nyetimber Lane in Sussex League division one.

With all the other sides in the top four winning, the Lions stayed in fifth in the table.

It was a tremendous game of end-to-end football and chances galore.

The Lions welcomed back Lee Bradshaw for his first home game since a head injury and Nathan Hawker lined up with brother Jake in a rejigged Lions defence.

Jake Hawker was alert in the first minute, heading away a dangerous ball from the visitors, while Ryan Morey hit the side-netting for Pagham a minute later.

In the fourth minute, Mike Asare appeared to be bundled over in the area, but the referee chose to award a corner instead of a spot-kick.

United keeper Adam Sargent was their saviour time and time again. James Binfield was also playing a part in goal for the Lions, denying Bailo Camara with a fine save.

Pagham were awarded a penalty on 21 minutes as Murfin went down in the area and gained revenge by scoring his third goal in three games. United pressed on and Wes Tate looked as dangerous as ever, although Pagham’s defence kept him out of sight of goal for most of the game.

Morey, Murfin and Asare all threatened as second goal. Three times in a few minutes, Asare could have put Pagham further ahead but a header glanced off a post and a shot missed the target – then he picked up an ankle injury that would see him substituted at half-time.

With Lloyd Rowlett on for Asare, the Lions were still threatening to increase their lead. Aiden Davidson had to be on his toes to keep out a Rob Wimble shot, while Rowlett forced Sargent into a crucial stop.

Murfin’s solo run deserved a goal, but Sargent was an immovable force. Wimble also went close.

Andy Brown was shown a yellow card just after the hour before Morey showed his worth with bursts down the wing, combining with Murfin to test Sargent in goal.

Tate’s shot was parried by Binfield then flew off the bar and out for a corner. At the other end, Morey hit a shot against one post, and from the rebound, Murfin smacked it against the other post.

United hit the bar and Binfield pulled off a tremendous double save to deny United an at-the-death equaliser.

United’s Peter Featherstone was booked and Tate hit the side-netting in United’s last chance.

PAGHAM: Binfield, A Brown, N Hawker, J Hawker, Bradshaw, O’Connor, Asare (Rowlett 45), R Brown, Wimble, S Murfin, Morey. Subs: Irish, N Murfin, Davidson, Richer.

JON ROSE

Pagham Reserves moved up to second in the Reserve Premier with a fine 3-0 win at Haywards Heath.

Going in at the break 2-0 up through a Luke Rose double, they made sure there was no way back for the home side as Sam Connolly continued his run of goals to score number three.

The under-18s made the long trip to unbeaten Newhaven for a County Cup match and carried over their league form to run out 7-1 victors. Danny Greenslade scored four while Sam Conolly, Jake Stanley and Josh Irish got one apiece.

ROGER SMITH