Pagham power past Mullets in FA Cup opener

Harry Russell played the full 90 minutes in Arundel's defeat this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Harry Russell played the full 90 minutes in Arundel's defeat this afternoon. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Arundel Football Club kicked off the new season with an FA Cup defeat at Mill Road this afternoon.

Josh Irish was at the double, while Scott Murfin and substitute David Crouch also struck to help Pagham cruise to a 4-0 extra-preliminary round success over Mullets.

The defeat means Arundel missed out on £1,500 in prize money, as well as a home tie in the preliminary round.

Lions were far superior throughout and went ahead after just 11 minutes. Forward Irish picked out Murfin on the edge, who beat a defender before firing an effort in off a post.

Pagham could well have been further clear at the interval but for a couple of fine saves from James Fernandes.

Arundel's goalkeeper pulled off a superb stop from Irish's first-time volley five minutes prior to half time.

Lions did add a second five minutes after the break, though. Irish appeared to have overran the ball, only to win it back and fire past Fernandes.

Arundel's FA Cup exit was then all but assured 15 minutes from time. Midfielder Dion Jarvis was dispossessed by Irish, who took the ball in his stride and curled beautifully into the bottom corner.

A dismal start to the new season for Richard Towers' side was completed on 88 minutes. Fernandes parried Murfin's powerful strike into the path of substitute Crouch to thunder home the rebound.

Mullets start their Southern Combination League Premier Division campaign at home against Hassocks next Saturday.

ARUNDEL: Fernandes; Dollner, Dudas, Towers, Bunker, Hunter; Jarvis, Jenkins, Mottershead; Amoo, Russell. Subs: Bingham (Hunter, 73), Jordan (Amoo, 73), Sparks (Jarvis, 80), Griffin.