Under-18 football: Pagham and Felpham on top of world

Pagham under-18s celebrate their title win  Picture by Roger Smith
Pagham under-18s celebrate their title win Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham and Felpham Colts’ under-18 football teams both have reason to celebrate.

Selsey 1 Pagham 4

With both Littlehampton and Chichester City losing, Pagham made sure of the Sussex west-division title with a fine 4-1 victory Selsey.

In a game spoiled by the wind, Pagham kicking against it in the first half and had their chances. But the home side had the first threat on goal as a free-kick caused problems before being headed away.

Pagham went ahead on 17 minutes when Jake Greenslade sent a free-kick into the area which found the home defence wanting as Nathan Ediker slotted home at the far post.

From then on, Pagham took control and Josh Irish finished off a good run on 40 minutes to fire in off the post.

Felpham, having won B division last season and been promoted to A division, had claimed a league and cup double.

This brought Selsey to life and a stinging shot forced Ben Richer to push the ball on to the bar and to safety.

With the second half only ten minutes old, Joe Kilhams was brought down in the box. Up stepped top goalscorer David Crouch, only to see his penalty brilliantly saved by the home keeper.

But Pagham didn’t have to wait long for number three, which came on 78 minutes as Ediker fired home at the back post after a fine run from Irish.

Within minutes Selsey pulled a goal back from a soft free-kick which foiled the keeper.

A Sam Connelly corner on 83 minutes was put into his own net by a Selsey defender, leaving Pagham to see the game out – before the final whistle meant they could celebrate the championship.

One week was to define Felpham Colts under-18s’ season.

First Colts travelled to Littlehampton Town and in a close game they came from behind to take the points, winning 3-2 with goals coming from Joe Coyle (2) and Chris Song.

Two days later, they faced Horndean Hawks in the Saywell Arundel & Chichester Youth League Under-18 Challenge Cup final at Arundel FC.

Horndean flew at Felpham in the opening ten minutes but Colts were resilient in defence and eased themselves into the game. Chances came Felpham’s way but last-ditch tackles and blocks prevented a goal.

With half-time approaching Max Daniels fired the ball home but the referee had already blown for handball and awarded a penalty. Joe Coyle stepped up to fire home the spot-kick.

In the second half, Horndean had chances which were snuffed out and Josh Sergeant made a superb save.

With time running out, a free-kick was awarded to Colts about 25 yards out and Coyle struck a beautiful dipping free-kick into the top corner.

Felpham, with massive support from friends and family, saw the game out. A delighted captain Harry Hood lifted the trophy for Felpham.

After that, Colts travelled to play Horndean again in a title decider. In atrocious conditions, Colts struggled playing into the wind and rain but managed to keep a first-half clean sheet.

With the wind behind them, Felpham took the game to Horndean and with ten minutes remaining fired home the winner.

Felpham, having won B division last season and been promoted to A division, had claimed a league and cup double.

FELPHAM: Josh Sergeant, Myles Embleton, George Yates, Harry Keane, Cameron King, Harry Hood, Joe Coyle, Nathan Riches, Brandon Smith, Chris Song, Sam Nicholson, Ben Gardner, Aaron Hand, Max Daniels, Jamie Rose.