Pagham boss Mark Bennett says he has been pleased with the club’s business over a busy summer.
Bennett has wasted no time in adding Littlehampton pair Shay Wiggans and Dan Kempson and Horsham duo Kieron Pamment and Jordan Clark.
Ben Mepham and Ryan Morey have also agreed deals, with former Chichester City skipper Ruben French signing earlier in the close-season.
Of those to join, Pamment and Clark won the Southern Combination League premier title last season, with Wiggans was a title winner under Bennett’s stewardship at Littlehampton.
The Lions boss has been pleased with how quickly he’s managed to make his signings and said: “It was a big factor for me making sure that I managed to bring in the players I wanted early in the summer.
“We’ve only had two friendlies so far and we’ve got four left so it gives plenty of time for the players to get used to one another.”
I’d like to add one more. If you look at the team, apart from Neil and Scott Murfin and Dan Swain, it’s a relatively-young squad – but most have a great deal of experience of doing well in this division.Mark Bennett
Bennett insists his delaings aren’t over yet and he’s liked to add one more new face before the season gets under way on August 6.
He added: “I’d like to add one more. If you look at the team, apart from Neil and Scott Murfin and Dan Swain, it’s a relatively-young squad – but most have a great deal of experience of doing well in this division.”
Bennett gets his first full season in charge of Pagham under way with an FA Cup extra-preliminary round clash at Littlehampton - a team he both played for and managed.
He says it never gets any easier going back but he’ll be hoping his side can progress in the competition.
He said: “I’ll be honest it’s always a bit of a nightmare facing them but it’s one we’ll want to win.
“The FA Cup is a great competition and we want to progress in the competition.”
Julian Boniface has joined near neighbours Chichester City, while Jordan Warren has agreed a deal with Petersfield Town, though he remains dual-signed with Pagham.
Pagham 7 Fareham 2
The Lions roared to a huge victory against their Wessex League opponents.
Although at this stage results mean less than getting and keeping everyone fit, it was still a commanding performance by Mark Bennett’s men.
It almost turned out very different, though, as the visitors were awarded a sixth-minute penalty that Lions keeper James Binfield did well to save.
Pagham opened the scoring on the half-hour. Scott Murfin raced into the area, was upended and referee Dan Austin pointed to the spot. Murfin made no mistake and the Lions were 1-0 up.
Fareham doubled Pagham’s score with an own goal that was possibly the goal of the game.
The lead was narrowed when a looping left-sided strike evaded Binfield to leave the score finely balanced at 2-1.
With the Lions having their tails up, George Cody’s goal on 39 minutes gave the Lions a 3-1 lead at half-time.
There were multiple changes for the Lions at the break, with the management taking the chance to have a look at a few more of the new signings.
The match restarted at a frenetic pace, Fareham hitting the bar within a minute. New signing Keiron Pamment was looking useful for the Lions, as was the returning Ryan Morey.
It was a surprise that they took until the hour to get their next best chance of a goal.
The Lions’ fourth goal came on 64 minutes, with a fifth following a minute later. Fareham got their second with a run and shot on 75 minutes.
Another Pagham penalty a minute later made the result academic, with the seventh soon following.
It was a fine performance from Pamment and Morey, who made the game their own in the second half.
Pamment’s hat-trick boded well for when the serious stuff starts in August. Pagham’s newly-formed under-21 side ripped into their counterparts from Peacehaven, winning 11-2.
This Saturday, Paghams first team host Portland Utd (2pm) and the under-21s entertain Chi City seconds (5pm).
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