The three points gained were well received, but the fact the Lions had beaten the hot favourites for the title made it that extra bit special, and the noise from all parts of the ground when the final whistle blew bore that out.
The first half was all action, most of it being in Pagham’s half but they hung on bravely and actually had the two best chances of the period. Jack Barnes’ shot crashed off the crossbar early on, but the Tigers keeper managed to smother Callum Chalmers header from the rebound. Ross Edwards then had his header cleared off the goal-line 20 minutes later. The Lions were indebted to goalie Lewis Broughton, replacing the suspended Conor Kelly, for a couple of excellent saves to keep it all square at the interval.
Broughton was at it again early in the second half, one superb dive saving a certain goal as Saltdean tried to maintain their superiority. As has been said before however, this Pagham team does not lay down and die and they gradually started to control the game.
The result was a quality goal in the 85th minute that would have graced any game anywhere. Full back Nathan Da Costa chased a no hope ball down the right and got his foot to it first to send Jake Heryet away down the wing. His deep cross was headed back across goal by Ryan Morey and Jack Langford rose to bullet his header into the net. The noise from the stands almost lifted the roofs off as it did again a few minutes later as the final whistle went.
It leaves the Lions six points clear at the top having won seven of their nine games.
Pagham: Lewis Broughton, Nathan da Costa, Ryan Hallett, Conor Geoghegan, Jack Williamson, Jack Barnes, Ryan Morey, Ross Edwards, Jack Langford, Joe Clarke and Callum Chalmers (Jake Heryet). Unused Subs: George Bingham, Alfie Davidson, Matt Hambleton and Dylan Jelley.