Pagham maintained their top-three spot in the SCFL premier division with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Broadbridge Heath on Tuesday night.
Only Hayward Heath’s 5-0 drubbing of Eastbourne Town stopped Pagham going second.
Early action saw the Lions keeping Broadbridge keeper Michael Chester busy. But he was helpless on four minutes as a Dan Kempson ball in fell to Scott Murfin, whose looping shot buried itself in the net.
The visitors equalised on the quarter-hour as Jake Holmes’ shot rebounded off the woodwork to beat James Binfield.
The referee almost aided a second for Heath a few minutes later, accidentally deflecting the ball with Binfield having to scramble the chance away.
Ollie Moore went close with a strike which went wide of the Pagham goal, while Holmes was unlucky to be waved offside just after the half-hour.
Pagham’s Joe Shelley went in with Michael Chester, only for the Bears keeper to reach the ball first. Jake Holmes’ run and shot on 42 minutes saw the Bears’ striker denied by an offside flag.
Keiron Pamment was first to try his luck after the break.
Kempson latched onto a Joe Shelley pass, only for the move to break down.
Chester was at his best to deny a Kempson shot from a free-kick. First to see yellow was Dan Swain, when he brought down Ollie Moore.
Pagham’s 53rd-minute corner saw the ball end up in the net, but a push on Chester meant it was ruled it out.
Scott Weller’s scything pass to Tiago Andrese saw the Bears striker forcing a clearance from Binfield.
Pamment and Murfin combined well, with Pamment’s shot almost hitting the mark.
Pamment did score near the hour mark, collecting a pass from Murfin and hitting home to cheers from the crowd.
On 62 minutees, Broadbridge Heath’s Shaun Findlay saw yellow before Liam Humphreys was booked for a challenge.
Pagham boss Mark Bennett was next into the referee’s bad books, being sent to the stand after an exchange of views.
Ruben French went into the book for a collision with Moore.
Ryan Morey came on for Kempson before Chester made a double save as both Murfin and French tried their luck.
Pamment’s run and shot made Heth sweat and Shelley was next in the book on 84 minutes.
Pagham forced the pace in the last ten minutes, Morey joining Pamment and Lloyd Rowlatt in testing Chester. Broadbridge did fight back, with Binfield pulling off a superb save with a minute of normal time remaining.
Murfin had one final shy at goal, a wild shot going wide and high.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, French, N Murfin, Swain, Humphreys (Rowlatt 80), Shelley, Clark, Pamment, S Murfin, Kempson (Morey 74). Subs: Irish, Hayes, Mepham
Heath: Chester, Sultan, Robinson, Chester, Maxwell, McDermont, Findlay, Weller, Holmes, Moore, Andrese. Subs: Wright, Hunter, McNab.
* Pagham go to Crawley Down Gatwick in the league on Saturday then host Billingshurst in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday.
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