Wasps have no sting in tail as Pagham clinch win

Lions goal hero Scott Murfin in action against East Grinstead  Picture by Roger Smith
Lions goal hero Scott Murfin in action against East Grinstead Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham started 2014 with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at home to high-flying East Grinstrad - the Wasps - in division one of the Sussex League.

When the sides met at the start of the season, East Grinstead prevailed 4-1 at home, but the return belonged to Pagham as John Price’s side took the points at a sunny Nyetimber Lane.

The Lions started positively, with Ruben French forcing a last-ditch clearance from Keiran Wilson.

Pagham’s defence gave way first, a goal by Ben King on nine minutes breaking the deadlock as he finished at the second attempt.

In the 21st minute, Scott Murfin’s looping left-sided shot ended eluded Mark Fox in the Wasps goal.

James Temple proved adept at defending for the Lions when a twice-taken East Grinstead free-kick was hacked away by the striker.

Lions keeper James Binfield was kept busy, while a flashpoint shortly afterwards saw Pagham’s Josh Clack and East Grinstead’s George Hiller-Jones clash.

Sensible refereeing saw just a lecture given to each player.

Belli had a shot parried by Binfield, who did the same to Ben King’s follow-up.

King thought he’d got his side’s second on 37 minutes, only for the offside flag to deny him.

With a couple of minutes of the half left, Clack gave Pagham the lead with a sublime header.

Pagham got their third five minutes into the second half, a second from Murfin. After a mazy run, showing persistence against defenders, he shot past Fox to put the Lions 3-1 up.

Temple stretched the Wasps with some probing runs before Chris Eyres was replaced by the more experienced Lee Bradshaw.

East Grinstead were unlucky on 69 minutes as a shot almost eluded Binfield, but the keeper made the save at the second attempt.

Murfin scythed through to set up Daren Pearce, who shot wide.

Pagham physio Lizzie Connor was called on when Jake Hawker required treatment. He was replaced by Tom Jefkins.

King again tried his luck and Binfield pulled off a superb save. Then on 78 minutes, substitute Craig Goodsir struck.

For the Lions, Rob Desport raced toward Fox’s goal but the final ball was poor. Fox almost gave away a goal in the last few minutes.

PAGHAM: Binfield, Eyres (Bradshaw 58), French, Pearce, Booker, Hawker, (Jefkins 78), Clack (Desport 64), O’Connor, Temple, S Murfin, Derry. Sub not used: Sword

JON ROSE