A BLOOD-and-thunder Sussex League division-one derby saw honours even between Selsey and Pagham at a windswept High Street Ground.
With both sides missing players, including the Murfin brothers being absent for the Lions, the starting line-ups were still strong enough to put on a decent display.
Within a minute, Calum Britton had forced a save from Lions keeper James Binfield and the Blues had much of the early play.
Ollie Haggar survived a talking to from the referee, but generally the game wasn’t one for the officials to worry about.
The opening goal came when Lee Bradshaw ran through and strike a low shot past Selsey custodian Sam Joyce to give the Lions the lead on the quarter-hour.
Howard Neighbour could have doubled this a few minutes later, but his shot rocketed over the bar.
The balance swept Selsey’s way, although Dan Martin caught offside when through on goal.
A free-kick for the home side was well-placed by Tom Broadbent but Binfield caught the ball with ease.
Martin managed to shoot over for Selsey, while Daren Pearce had to be at his best to head the ball away from a Blues corner.
Another corner provided an equaliser for the home side. Deep into first-half time added on, Britton’s inswinging ball seemed to go straight past a non-plussed Binfield to leave it all square at the break.
The second period started with both sides missing chances.
Ryan Cox’s long-range shot for Pagham almost hit the target, while Matt Wood’s shot for the Blues went wide of the mark.
Broadbent cleared another Pagham attack and a free-kick from Selsey’s Connor Cody was hacked away by Connor Geoghgan for the Lions.
Joe Briggs was looking lively on the wing and just after the hour mark could have put Pagham 2-1 up.
With a decent sight of goal, his well-taken shot pinged back off the post, much to his disgust. Selsey missed a sitter at the other end.
Joe Booker was sacrificed in a tactical change that saw Carl Turney come on up front for the Lions.
Briggs again went on the attack, his cross on 71 minutes just too short to bother the Selsey defence.
With Max Thoms having picked up an ankle injury in the first half, he came off after 75 minutes with youngster Ryan Davidson making his first-team debut.
Joyce was still being kept busy in Selsey’s goal but the Lions weren’t able to make their shots count.
Selsey, for their part, also kept up the pressure without a positive outcome. Just as the game was petering out, Ollie Haggar burst through for Selsey only for his shot to be cleared.
SELSEY: Joyce, Cody, Bingham, Williamson, Broadbent, Lee, Britton, Wood, Bush, Martin, Haggar. Subs: Colville, Cavell, Parsons, Morey, M Hinshelwood.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Hawker, Bradshaw, Pearce, Booker (Turney 65), Geoghegan, Briggs, Thoms (Davidson 75), Neighbour, Williams, Cox. Subs: Atkinson, Hallett.
* The draw at the High Street Ground came two days after an Easter Saturday of contrasting fortunes for the Blues and the Lions.
Selsey were stunned by a three-goal blast inside 15 first-half minutes at Shoreham - strikes by Dan Jordan, Jono Melia and Lee Eastman proving the only goals of the game.
Pagham were winners by the same score at Lancing. Scott Murfin’s ten-minute double midway through the game was added to by brother Neil to wrap up another fine away win for John Price’s men.
Selsey are back in action this Saturday when they host Redhill while there’s no rest for Pagham as county-league teams play fixture catch-up.
They hosted Peacehaven last night (see www.bognor.co.uk for the result) and have a tough visit to Rye on Saturday.
Next Tuesday, Selsey go to Hailsham and Pagham visit Ringmer.