Lions roar at Loxwood as goal feast sends them top
The Lions roared at their fiercest in the Magpies nest - beating Loxwood 7-1 to go top of the SCFL premier after four matches.
Pagham were getting most of the ball early, but they were shocked when Loxwood took a surprise 12th-minute lead through Matthew Hards following an error by Lions keeper James Binfield.
Pagham kept pushing forward and were almost rewarded in the 25th minute when George Gaskin hit the outside of the post with a 25-yard free-kick.
The equaliser was not long in coming, though, as Gaskin stroked a fine goal under Loxwood keeper Sam Smith following a 40-yard run.
Chances kept coming Pagham’s way, but the ball would just not cross the line. Both Callum Overton and Ryan Cox went close before Overton finally squeezed the ball home from a tight angle via a defender and the keeper in the 43rd minute to send the Lions in at half-time 2-1 to the good.
Three minutes into the second period Overton was crudely brought down on the edge of the area, winning a free-kick and seeing Magpies sub Andy Gritt sent off.
Pagham were aggrieved it wasn’t given as a penalty, but all that was forgotten as Gaskin stepped up and delivered a delicious free-kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net for 3-1.
Overton was on fire and after having one goal disallowed for a dubious offside, he had a rasping 20-yard drive well saved by keeper Smith.
Gaskin hit the post for the second time with a shot over the keeper before Overton got the goal his efforts deserved when a terrific through-ball from Howard Neighbour was taken past two defenders by Overton and buried into the corner of the goal from the edge of the box in the 68th minute.
Lindon Miller entered the fray as a substitute for Johan van Driel and was soon in the centre of things as Pagham started to run riot. In the 87th minute, Miller got the goal of the game, taking an excellent pass from Overton and finishing with aplomb to make it 5-1.
Still Loxwood’s pain went on.
Overton completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute, getting on the end of a Ryan Cox cross at the near post, and still had time to claim his fourth two minutes into added-on time, nodding a Scott Murfin corner in from under the bar.
The win puts the Lions were top of the league.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, Cox, Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle (Bingham), Chick, Neighbour,Gaskin (Murfin), van Driel (Miller).
Subs not used: Thurgar, Hand.
Crawley Down Gatwick 1 Pagham 1
Pagham snatched a late point at the Haven Centre after sub Lindon Miller made no mistake from close in on 97 minutes with his first touch of the ball.
Already without several first-team players in Mitchell Hand, Howard Neighbour and Dan Simmonds, the Lions’ task got harder in the 56th minute when Andy Chick was sent off conceding the penalty which saw Oliver Leslie give the Anvils the lead from the spot,.
But they fought on and were rewarded with the late goal.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, Cox, Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle, Chick, van Driel, Neighbour, Gaskin, Overton, Thurgar. Subs: Hand, Murfin, Miller, Neighbour, Bingham.