Pagham had to settle for a point against Newhaven at Nyetimber Lane - while there was a rare defeat for Chichester City when they made the long trip to Peacehaven.
Read the SCFL premier-division reports below and check out Roger Smith’s gallery of pictures from the Lions-Dockers game.
Pagham 1 Newhaven 1
SCFL premier division
A youthful Lions side had to settle for a point at home to the Dockers.
Pagham exerted pressure right from the off and their exuberance resulted in the first goal on nine minutes.
A sublime Scott Murfin free-kick arrowed towards Callum Overton, who made no mistake as he headed over Jake Buss in the visitors’ goal.
Murfin almost scored himself on the quarter-hour, an exchange of passes between him and Terrell Lewis ending with a fine shot saved by Buss.
Ian Robinson looked useful for Newhaven, hitting the side-netting on 20 minutes. For Pagham, Dan Swain’s free-kick found Matt Ryan, only for Buss to deny him.
The match degenerated into a series of dead-ball situations. Ryan Cox had a shot charged down on 25 minutes, while Swain’s shot ten minutes later sailed over.
The Lions had chances aplenty from corners, but the visitors went closest, Daryl Wollers having to head away under pressure.
Ryan forced the pace for the Lions after the break, testing Buss’ resolve more than once. Lee Robinson was the first in the referee’s notebook.
There was drama nine minutes after the break as Robinson was bought down in the area and a spot-kick given.
Robinson sized up his target, took his run-up... and comprehensively missed his chance.
It wasn’t long, though, before he did score, with a well-taken strike on the hour.
Josh Irish came on for Lewis while a booking for Liam Humphreys marked his return to the Lions side, harshly shown a yellow card for a tussle with Robinson.
Irish was unlucky to be caught offside on 78 minutes, almost atoning with a shot just wide a few minutes later.
With less than five minutes of normal time remaining, Buss’ unorthodox headed clearance ensured the scores stayed level.
In five added minutes, Buss was the busier keeper but the Lions couldn’t find a winner.
Pagham are home to Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.
Pagham: Binfield, Rafferty (Humphreys 57), Cox, Selby, Wollers, Swain, Lewis (Irish 64), Bingham, Overton, S Murfin, Ryan (Parkinson 82). Sub not used: Rowlatt.
Peaceheaven 1 Chichester City 0
City missed a chance to close the gap on leaders Shoreham when they sent down 1-0 at Peacehaven.
On a pitch that looked good from a distance though wasn’t a great surface to play on, Peacehaven started the better team and their front players linked up well early on and started to cause Chichester problems.
In a scrappy first half, neither team held on to the ball for long enough to control the game.
Josh Clack twice went through one on one before the break. The keeper made a great save first time, with Clack putting the ball over the bar from the second chance.
Jack Lee headed a chance wide on the stroke of half-time.
After the break, Chichester started brightly and Clack should have scored – before hitting the post with another effort and Lorenzo Dolcetti should have buried a header.
The longer the game went on, the more Peacehaven got on the ball and in the final few minutes they hit Chichester on the counter attack well and scored through Curtis Ford.
City boss Miles Rutherford said: ‘It was a bad day for us, but these things happen in football from time to time.
“We failed to take our chances and we let them in late on. We must now bounce back next week away to Horsham YMCA.”
City remain five points behind Shoreham, who lost to second-placed Haywards Heath.
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