Pagham returned to winning ways in Sussex League division one with a goal in each half seeing off resilient Lancing 2-1.
Martin Gander’s visitors held sway in awful conditions for most of the first half, with their opening goal in the first minute direct from a free-kick.
Pagham gradually edged their way back in, Joe Briggs almost equalising on the quarter-hour.
Dan Turner was a handful for the visitors, and more than once he created useful openings for the Lancers.
The Lions equaliser also came from a free-kick, James Ford heading home on 25 minutes.
Howard Neighbour tested Joel Harding in Lancing’s goal, while Turner fed Richard Hudson for the away side only for his looping shot to go well wide of the target.
James Temple hit the Lancing bar from long range and the final chance of the half fell to Ash Harper, who was unable to score.
At half-time the referee had to be replaced, with Lions stalwart Wes Hallett taking over as an assistant referee for the second half.
The Lions started much the stronger, Harding being kept busy. Lancing’s Sam O’Regan saw yellow,and Neighbour hit the bar from the ensuing Pagham free-kick. He almost repeated the feat a few minutes later.
Bookings for Pagham just after the hour saw Neighbour and Briggs booked for a foul and dissent respectively. Pagham’s second came with 13 minutes left as Temple thundered the ball home. Many in the ground thought the chance should have come just before as the Lions had a legitimate call for a penalty waved away.
Justice having been done, the game swung Lancing’s way again. Adam Hunt’s shot on the turn forced a great save from Andy Smallpiece in the Lions’ goal.
Max Thoms went down, only to wave away physio Alex Wallace as he decided to run off the injury.
Adam Hunt was booked for Lancing after an awful tackle. Lancing were unlucky as a fine strike saw Smallpiece save Pagham again.
Deep into time added on, Paul Jones cleared a Lancing free-kick - moments before the Lions ended the game by hitting the bar.
PAGHAM: Smallpiece, Hawker, Ford, Pearce, Jones, Martin, Briggs, Thoms, Temple, Neighbour, Harper; Cox, Booker, Williams, Kilner, Binfield.
Horsham YMCA 5 Pagham 3
A Howard Neighbour double couldn’t mask a poor defensive display by the Lions.
Ashley Dugdale, Liam Hunter, Martin Smith and Scott Wason were four up inside 25 minutes before Neighbour pulled one back.
Elliot Romain’s strike made it 5-1 at the break late goals by Ashley Harper and Neighbour gave the scoreline a more respectable look.
The sides meet again at Nyetimber Lane on Saturday in the first round of the FA Vase.
Sidley 1 Selsey 1
Oli Haggar’s goal on the hour rescued a point for Selsey after they had fallen behind to a first-half Jason Taylor effort.
The Blues go to Hailsham in the first round of the Sussex Senior Cup this weekend.