Lions held at Arundel... but under-21s make cup progress
Pagham's first team had to settle for a point at Arundel - while the resserves played out a draw with Sidlesham. The club's under-21s enjoyed a solid home win over Three Bridges.
Reports by Paul Davidson and Roger Smith are below...
Arundel 1 Pagham 1
In a game that will not linger long in the memory, Pagham and Arundel shared the points at Mill Road on a sunny but cold afternoon.
The Lions showed first – after just 90 seconds – when Dan Simmonds fired a foot or so over the bar from 25 yards.
He didn’t have to wait long for his goal though, as less than a minute later, a superb cross from James Thurgar on the left fell to the unmarked striker at the far post and he blasted home to give his side the lead.
It was all Pagham until they were completely surprised in the 15th minute when Arundel’s Shane Brazil made himself some room on the right, on the break, and his low cross was smashed home by Alex Biggs.
Biggs could have given the Mullets the lead not long after, but he put his lob over the bar when he should have scored.
Joe Booker had a header saved by Arundel keeper Stevens but that was the last real action of the half.
Pagham brought on Jamie Horncastle for Daryl Wollers and after a quiet second-half opening, Lions goalie James Binfield was forced into a smart save, following his own error to set up the chance in the first place.
A minute later Pagham missed the best chance of the game as the ball looped into the air off off Stevens from a low Callum Overton shot, but somehow Simmonds nodded wide with the goal at his mercy.
Eleven minutes later Simmonds compounded a miserable afternoon when he hit a shot straight at Stevens having been put clean through.
Pagham tried to force the winner, bringing on Joe Kilhams for James Thurgar after the latter appeared to have been booked for taking too long to take a corner, but even moving Joe Booker up front failed to get the required results and the game petered out as a 1-1 draw.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, Wollers (Horncastle), Davidson, Booker, van Driel, Thurgar (Kilhams), Chick, Simmonds, Rowlatt, Overton. Subs not used: Jefkins, Bingham.
Pagham Res 0 Sidlesham Res 0
Pagham had the first chance when Joe Matthews headed the ball down to Scott Rafferty, who blasted over.
There followed a strong 15-minute period for the home side, when the closest they came to scoring was a shot from Harry Hendricks which found the side netting.
Sidlesham were unlucky on 25 minutes, hitting the bar, while for Pagham, Ollie Chick brought the save of the game from the visiting keeper.
The second half saw a chance feel to Charlie Selby, whose effort was scrambled away. Sidlesham were always a danger on the break.
Hendricks found time to send a wicked ball into the box which the wind took on to the bar and over. Pagham thought they had won it as Krzysztof Paraficz’s bullet header flew in – but the lineman flagged for offside.
Pagham U21 3 Three Bridges U21 0
SCFL U21 Challenge Cup
On a freezing cold night at Nyetimber Lane, Pagham’s young Lions qualified for their second semi-final of the season by beating Three Bridges.
Pagham made all the early running and scored with their first shot on target in the fifth minute when Joe Ashmore whacked a nice volley home from the edge of the box. As light snow began to fall, Alex Ansa-McIntyre had the chance to double the score but hit his shot straight at the keeper.
In the 28th minute, Pagham striker Mike Stanley did the same after he was put clean through. Joe Kilhams’ shot flew just past the far post soon after.
Mike Gilchrist volleyed home at the far post in a carbon copy of the first goal in the last minute of the half and his side went in 2-0 to the good.
The second half brought more pressure from the away side and Pagham goalie Luke Terry was forced into a good save from a free kick. At the other end Michael Rogerson hit his shot straight at the keeper when clean through.
In the 75th minute, a sweeping move out of defence by Ryan Cox ended in James Cooke’s cross being volleyed in by Ashmore.
Pagham U21s: Terry, Kilhams, Hendrick (Cox), Gilchrist, Selby, Bingham, Gamble, Horncastle (Cooke), Stanley (Rogerson), Ashmore, Ansa-McIntyre.