Lions nick win at Heath - but are lanced by Lancers
Pagham took all three points from their SCFL premier visit to Broadbridge Heath, snatching the winner through sub Scott Murfin in the final minute when they looked to be hanging on for a point.
Joe Booker was booked early on for a foul on Bears dangerman Devon Fender but Fender got his revenge in the 14th minute when he latched on to a poor back-pass to round James Binfield and tap the ball home for his 14th goal of the season.
Lloyd Rowlatt had Pagham’s first shot eight minutes later, but it hit the post and spun to safety. Back came Broadbridge and Binfield had to be at his best to turn away another chance for Fender.
The Lions started to make the running and had a few half chances before Booker got his head to a Lloyd Rowlatt free-kick to pull his side level in the 35th minute.
Pagham had got hold of the game and Callum Overton was thwarted twice by the home keeper, once from a shot inside the box and then a 25 yard free-kick.
But then the game swung the other way and it was Binfield’s turn to pull off a couple of good saves, both from Fender.
The first 20 minutes of the second half was very quiet with just a handful of half chances for both sides. The game sprang to life with 20-odd minutes to go after a couple of changes by Pagham.
Murfin and Terrell Lewis came on for Joe Kilhams and Ryan Davidson before George Cody replaced Johan van Driel.
A flurry of bookings for both sides raised the atmosphere, but the home side looked more likely to score.
Binfield came to the rescue with less than ten minutes left, saving at the feet of Fender, but in the final minute sub Murfin scored the decider, weaving in from the left and burying his shot under keeper Chester from the edge of the box.
Added time saw good chances for both sides – again Binfield saved the day for his side with a brilliant save to deny the hosts.
There was still time for Pagham to miss the best chance of the game when a three-on-one break was eventually cleared as Overton tried to finish things off.
Pagham: Binfield, Kilhams (Murfin), Wollers, Davidson (Lewis), Booker, Horncastle, Bingham, van Driel Cody), Overton, Rowlatt, Cox. Subs not used: N Murfin, Chick.
Pagham 0 Lancing 1
The Lions had a hatful of second-half chances, but in the end the Lancers took a deserved win at Nyetimber Lane.
Concerning for the Pagham management was the loss of James Binfield through injury. Replaced by Neil Murfin just after the break, it’s hoped the Lions keeper will make a swift return, certainly for the Erith FA Vase tie on October 21.
Lancing’s Alex Bygraves crashed into an advertising hoarding in the seventh minute and went to hospitap following a lengthy spell of treatment.
Lucas Tredrea looked dangerous for the visitors, hitting the side-netting early on, and Lewis Finney unlucky more than once.
James Binfield was to the fore, saving well from Finney, while at the other end Callum Overton was an attacking force.
Into the second half and Overton headed across goal nine minutes in. The referee was playing things by the book which resulted in a string of free-kicks.
The Lancing goal was a beauty. Tredrea collected the ball on the left and spotted Murfin off his line. Giving the Pagham sub keeper no chance, he smacked the ball home to give the visitors the lead.
Ryan Cox hit the side netting for Pagham while the Lions had more than one effort hacked off the line.
Daryl Wollers’ superb run on 81 minutes deserved far more than a corner. It was rough justice on Pagham as the game entered the dying moments, with what looked like a decent penalty appeal waved away.
Overton hit the bar and Scott Murfin had a shot rebound off a defender to sum up a dispiriting night at Nyetimber Lane.
Pagham: Binfield (N Murfin 47), Kilhams, Wollers, Davidson, Booker, Horncastle, Bingham (Chick 81), Lewis, Overton, Rowlatt (S Murfin 57), Cox. Unused sub: Van Driel.
Pagham host AFC Uckfield Town on Saturday.