Pagham snatched the points in a bad-tempered rollercoaster of a game at Uckfield, thanks to a highly disputed goal, scrambled in by Daryl Wollers following a 78th minute corner.
It looked so easy for Pagham for the first 47 minutes as they dominated their hosts and built a 2-0 lead.
George Gaskin and Jack Rowe-Hurst were thwarted by Uckers keeper Louis Rogers before Lions captain Jamie Horncastle received a head injury bad enough to necessitate a trip to hospital in the tenth minute.
SEE ALSO Chichester researchers say football coaches can do their bit to find the next Gerrard or Lampard | Weather can't beat Cowdray pro-am golfers | Sussex cricketers thrill big crowd in Chichester
He was replaced by Liam Humphreys before Rogers was in action again, thwarting Johan van Driel, then Gaskin finally put the away side in front after 25 minutes when he tapped home a cross from Rowe-Hurst set up by Ryan Cox.
Pagham notched a second after 25 minutes when Rowe-Hurst scored with a lovely chip over the keeper from 25 yards.
But with the Lions waiting for the half-time whistle, Uckers forward Dee Okojie got behind their defence and gave keeper James Binfield no chance to halve the lead at the break.
The whistle brought a huge kerfuffle between the players as they eventually left the pitch. Fortunately, things had calmed down during the interval and the second half started with no problems, with Uckfield as dominant as Pagham had been in the first half. Cox produced a goal-saving tackle before the home side levelled in the 51st minute, Ellis Cormack scoring from close in after a goalmouth scramble. Five minutes later and a non-playing Uckfield sub was sent off after saying something to the referee, the manager having already gone at half-time for a similar offence.
That didn’t slow down the home side and they took the lead through Callum Smith following yet another goalmouth scramble.
It only took Pagham six minutes to make it 3-3 when Howard Neighbour nodded home a van Driel corner. Chaos presided in the 78th minute when the linesman said a scrambled effort from Daryl Wollers had crossed the line for what turned out to be the winning goal.
Uckfield were furious but neither referee or linesman were about to change their mind and the goal stood.
It still needed a super save in time added-on from Binfield when the ball ricocheted off a Pagham defender and looked to be heading for the net, but the Lions held on.
Pagham: Binfield, Williams (Hendrick), Cox, Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle (Humphreys), van Driel, Neighbour, Gaskin, Overton, Rowe-Hurst (Murfin). Sub not used: Brazil.