Dan Kempson’s daisy-cutter wasn’t enough to save the Lions from defeat against Wessex League Portland.
Kempson was one of a host of new players on show against visitors who came to Nyetimber Lane after back-to-back promotions.
The Lions fell behind to an early goal, a ball in from the left being converted with only two minutes on the clock.
Early dominance by the visitors ended just after the quarter hour as Ryan Morey’s run almost brought a Pagham goal.
A decent free-kick from Pete Beadle forced a reflex save and Terrell Lewis and Beadle were causing problems.
The Lions equaliser came when Beadle’s cross was headed home by Ben Mepham for a deserved equaliser.
Lewis could have made it 2-0 but his run down the wing petered out.
Five minutes before the break, Rob Brown could have stolen the lead, but was denied.
The second half started with the Lions on the front paw. Johan Van Driel went close with a shot while at the other end James Binfield did well to force a corner from a stinging shot.
On the hour Kempson made it 2-1 to Pagham with a long low shot the keeper could do nothing about.
The lead lasted all of five minutes as a Portland free-kick sailed over Binfield in.
A drinks break preceded Scott Murfin trying his luck from long range. Morey also went for goal.
On 75 minutes, Pagham were awarded a penalty but Murfin’s effort was saved.
Portland went 3-2 up from a penalty that many in the crowd felt was unjust, then on 89 minutes new Lions signing Jordan Clark scored after some great build-up work from Liam Humphries.
It looked like a draw... until some lax Lions defending allowed the visitors to hit a winner two minutes into time added on.
Chichester City winless pre-season run continued on Saturday.
They travelled across the water to face Newport on the Isle of Wight but it was not a successful day for them.
A tricky afternoon saw them go down 4-0 as they made it five pre-season friendly matches without a win.
Mile Rutherford’s side kicked things off with a two draws against Andover Town and Salisbury City.
A first defeat came away as they went down 3-0 at the hands of Guildford City.
Rutherford’s side then hosted Ryman premier outfit Bognor, who included former City players Jimmy Wild and Jamie Horncastle, this time falling to a 3-0 home defeat.
The latest setback for City came on Saturday as they were beaten once again.
Chichester have their sixth and final friendly this Saturday at home to Christchurch.
Just a week later, the curtain comes up on the new season with a trip to Arundel in an extra-preliminary round FA Cup clash.
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