Pagham made it six points from six for Easter as Chichester were beaten 1-0 in a Southern Combination premier-division derby almost as stormy as the weather.
With the visitors looking for their fourth win in a row, the Lions were going to have to go some to beat Miles Rutherford’s resurgent side. But the Lions had been beaten just twice in 11 games since Mark Bennett took over.
The wind threatened to ruin the game as a spectacle, with early chances all breezing past the intended target.
Former Lion Josh Clack’s run on 15 minutes reminded the home crowd what he could do, but the chance was hacked away.
Terrell Lewis’ great ball led to Ryan Cox testing David Hook in the visitors’ goal.
Another ex-Pagham player Jack Bingham went down on 18 minutes and had blood flowing from a wound.
Jimmy Wild’s shot on 21 minutes was close, but it didn’t test James Binfield.
Liam Humphries picked up a booking for the Lions as he clattered into Toby McAuley.
Another chance for Wild followed but Storm Katie was doing her best to make any sort of aerial play a lottery.
Pagham starlet David Crouch went through on Hook, but the ball was cleared.
Controversy came three minutes before the break. Minimal contact in the area on a tumbling Lewis saw the referee point to the spot triggering complaints from the Chichester crowd. Up stepped Lewis to smash the ball home from 12 yards.
After the break, Pagham started much the stronger. Shots rained in on Hook, while Bingham was booked on 52 minutes as tempers frayed.
City tested Binfield from free-kicks and open play. The Lions had the ball in the net on the hour, but an offside flag kept the score at 1-0. Humphries may have been lucky to stay on the pitch on 64 minutes, McAuley the victim of a stiff challenge. The referee gave a stern lecture rather than showing a second yellow card.
Crouch might have scored with a great run on 66 minutes, Hook thwarting him.
Daniel Watts raced into the area for City and seemed to be bundled over, but screams for a penalty went unheeded.
Ex-Chichester stalwart Julian Boniface was booked for taking out Jamie Horncastle.
City kept up the pressure and when the home side came back into it, the closest they came was when Lewis set up Humphries, who missed the ball but headed the post.
The game ended with Cox toe-poking a shot straight at Hook.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Hayes, Warren, Boniface, Swain, Beadle, Humphries, Lewis, Crouch, R Brown, Cox. Subs: Marsh, Thurgar, Cody, Connolly
CITY: Hook, Watts, Bingham, Lee, French, Horncastle, Clack, Case, Wild, McAuley, Hartley. Subs: Smith, Williams, Ansa, Moy.
Pagham 1 Hassocks 0
In a game littered with bookings, the Lions left the Robins with Easter egg on their faces after a narrow 1-0 win.
The Lions were second best for long periods and the away side included a large contingent from the Hassocks youth team.
Hassocks started strongly and physically, but Pagham weren’t to be out-done, Peter Beadle booked for a clash that left his opponent bloodied.
Beadle was at the centre of much of Pagham’s attacking play. One shot went over and a superb ball to Jordan Warren ended with an effort hitting the side netting.
A goalmouth scramble in the Lions area could have seen the Robins fly into the lead, while Dan Swain was lucky on 27 minutes as a wayward tackle on Hassock’s Mark Price resulted in a free-kick which was wasted.
Ryan Cox’s seemingly-harmless clash resulting in a booking. Jack Wilkins saw yellow for the visitors.
Alex Harris in the Hassocks goal kept everything out, then Hassocks had a glorious chance for the opener as a free-kick on the right led to James Oliver striking a shot over the bar.
Daryl Wollers was booked as the half-time whistle went.
A double chance for lively Michael Death saw Hassocks getting closer and closer to scoring. At the other end Cox’s shot went over.
Lions boss Mark Bennett used three subs on 57 minutes as George Cody, James Thurgar and Ceri Marsh came on to replace Neil Murfin, Beadle and Cox.
Marsh soon tested Harris with a stinging shot on the turn.
have dual-signed him with a superb clearance from the in-rushing Russell. Three more Lions – Andy Brown, Thurgar and Dale Hayes – all saw yellow.
Thurgar twice went close to scoring in the 83rd minute before Wilkins picked up a second yellow. From the free-kick, Cody shot over.
With a couple of minutes left, Death was booked for Hassocks and Lewis converted a low shot past Harris to send Pagham and their fans home happy.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Hayes, Warren, A Brown, Wollers, N Murfin, Lewis, Beadle, R Brown, Swain, Cox. Subs: Marsh, Thurgar, Cody, Gashi.
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