Loxwood 1, Pagham 4: Second half blitz has the Lions roaring

Pagham celebrate a goal against Peacehaven on Saturday. Picture by Roger Smith
Pagham celebrate a goal against Peacehaven on Saturday. Picture by Roger Smith

An epic second half performance from Pagham had the players, coaches and travelling fans roaring with delight as they slammed home four goals, including an early candidate for ‘goal of the season’ past a bewildered Loxwood team who had dominated for most of the first half.

Loxwood had started the night as the only team in the Premier League with an unblemished record, but Pagham were having none of it, despite a poor first half showing.

That first half started with the Lions making chances but failing to take them. The home side gradually fought their way into the game and goalie James Binfield had to pull off a good save at the feet of a Magpie forward following a poor back pass. Two minutes later and Binfield pulled off another excellent save to keep his side level. The home side were now well on top and in the 13th minute Alfie Gritt volleyed home to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Pagham tried desperately to get back into the game, with skipper Jamie Horncastle having a header cleared off the line, but it was soon Loxwood back on the rampage and Gritt hit the post from 25 yards out with a curling shot. Scott Murfin had a chance to get the Lions back into the game on 28 minutes but he couldn’t keep his shot down, and Callum Overton saw his scorching drive from out wide fly past the far post three minutes later. But apart from two good shouts for penalties turned down by the referee, it was Loxwood who went in at the break a deserved 1-0 up.

The second half started with Scott Rafferty replacing Daryl Wollers on the left-hand side of the Pagham defence and with his team flying out the traps, Terrell Lewis sent a dangerous cross into the box that deflected off a defender straight into the keeper’s hands. But Pagham didn’t have long to wait long as in the 47th minute Lloyd Rowlatt skipped past two defenders and belted a shot off the crossbar and into the net from fully 25 yards out to send the very large contingent of travelling Pagham fans in the crowd wild. An early candidate for ‘goal of the season’ if ever there was!

Sixteen minutes later and it was absolute pandemonium as Callum Overton burst through the Loxwood defence, sidestepped the keeper and slid the ball home to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

The third quality Lions goal of the night came in the 81st minute as a stunning move by Pagham, with a long run by Callum Overton leading to a ball out to the right wing for Terrell Lewis to send in a wonderful cross that the onrushing Lloyd Rowlatt crashed into the net for his second goal of the night, giving his side a 3-1 lead. Rowlatt was replaced soon afterwards by David Crouch, to roaring acclaim from not only the fans but the coaching staff as well.

Young Alex Ansa made his first team debut in the 88th minute as he came for Terrell Lewis, who received a standing ovation for his efforts as well.

A fourth nearly came from the hard-working Scott Murfin as he curled a twenty-yard shot just around the far post in the 90th minute of normal play, but Scott got the goal he thoroughly deserved in the 95th minute when he rounded the keeper to slide home the fourth gem of Pagham’s night following a superb through ball by George Bingham.

A superb second half from Pagham that must have given the watching scouts from Carshalton something to think about before their FA Cup tie on Saturday!