Jubilation for Julian - but Pagham are pegged back

Julian Boniface puts Pagham into the lead / Picture by Roger Smith
Julian Boniface puts Pagham into the lead / Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham lost a lead and dropped two points against an Eastbourne Town side who stormed back in the second half of a rain-hit Southern Combination premier game at Nyetimber Lane.

WithTerrell Lewis, Dan Swain and Rob Brown missing for Pagham, in came Nathan Ediker to start along with Bognor loanee Lloyd Rowlatt.

In awful conditions the Lions put on the early pressure and it paid dividends as they went ahead on five minutes. Julian Boniface rounded Town keeper Greg Nessling to score and get the home crowd singing in the rain.

Ben Billings almost posted an equaliser on the quarter-hour, only to be foiled by James Binfield. After a blank in his last game, goal machine Dan Simmonds was itching to get on the scoresheet, and it was only the intervention of Foster that stopped him as he raced in on goal.

Rowlatt provided a superb chance for Simmonds on 23 minutes, only for the defence to thwart him. At the other end, the prolific Wes Tate was a handful for the visitors, and only some positive defensive work by the Lions denied him.

Nessling had to be at his best on the half-hour as Rowlatt created an opening for nothing, only for Town keeper to save. Rowlatt made amends two minutes later with a Lions free-kick ending with Rowlatt’s low header putting the Lions 2-0 to the good.

This set them off on a rampage that should have created more goals.

This set them off on a rampage that should have created more goals. On 40 minutes Pagham were given a free-kick for deliberate handball, but referee Mr Hughes waved away protests for an Eastbourne Town booking.

From the free-kick, Simmonds forced a fingertip save from Nessling.

Four minutes into the second half, a nasty collision between Binfield and Billings saw both laid low. After application of the magic sponge, both were able to play on.

A double substitution on the hour from Town almost paid off. Substitute Matt Darby sent a stinging shot which went just over the Pagham bar, followed by the opening goal for the visitors as a goalmouth scramble in the mud ended with the ball in the Pagham net.

Binfield then pulled off a couple of great saves before the visitors got their equaliser. Tate bamboozled the back-four and Bollwell struck the ball past Binfield.

The Lions had abandoned their short passing for a long-ball game in the hope to get behind the visitors’ defence.

Jordan Warren got involved in a war of words with Andy Henson, but the referee appeared only to book Henson, much to the fury of the Eastbourne Town bench.

They might have felt justice was served a short while afterward as Pagham’s Julian Boniface was booked for something and nothing.

In the final stages, Rowlatt and Scott Murfin had shots wide of the mark with the last action seeing Jason Taylor’s shot across goal forcing a save from Binfield at the near post.

PAGHAM: Binfield, A Brown, J Warren, N Murfin, Boniface, Garnett, Rowlatt, Ediker (Gromett 83), S Murfin, Kew (O’Connor 66). Subs: Crouch, Davidson.

JON ROSE

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