Scott Murfin’s second-half hat-trick will take the headlines, but Eastbourne United’s 7-0 defeat at Nyetimber Lane in the John O’Hara Cup first round was a case of the visitors running into a Pagham side full of confidence and quality.
It took just nine minutes for the first goal to go in, Ross Woolf’s industry presenting James Temple with an easy chance.
United fought back and but for Wes Hallett in the Lions goal, they could have been 2-1 up.
Pagham’s second was a rarity, coming direct from a corner. Tom Broadbent wasn’t complaining, though, as Adam Sargent in goal berated his troops for lack of concentration.
The Lions had a succession of offside decisions against them – one denied what looked a legitimate goal on half-time.
Paul Jones had to be alert two minutes into the second half to head a free-kick for the visitors off the line.
Phil Turner and Woolf were having superb games on the wings, but it was Ben Buckland who supplied the cross for the third, Temple again in the right place at the right time.
Scott Murfin and Michael Frangou came on for Dan Simmonds and Woolf. Hallett had to be at his best to save from Calum Holles.
Frangou thought he’d added a fourth on 63 minutes, only for the offside flag to be raised. But a minute later he did increase the lead.
Eastbourne went further behind on 70 minutes as Frangou’s good approach play allowed Murfin to strike home. Five minutes later Murfin did the work himself to make it six.
The visitors’ Jamie Bunn thought scoring would be a piece of cake, but his shot was stopped by a stupendous save from Hallett.
Number seven came with five minutes left as Murfin went on a solo run, shooting low and hard past a despairing Sargent. Turner hit the bar for Pagham before the whistle went on another comprehensive Pagham win.
PAGHAM: Hallett, Buckland, Broadbent, Pearce, Ward, Jones, Turner, N Murfin, Temple, Simmonds, Woolf. Subs: Frangou, Wood, Robinson, Price.