Pagham roared into round two of the county cup with a 6-0 win over Billingshurst, but the scoreline flattered them a little as Billingshurst never gave up – even when 4-0 down at half-time.
Goal number one came after six minutes, Keiron Pamment taking advantage of slack defending to slot home. That triggered a period of Pagham pressure that saw Joe Shelley and Pamment both go close.
Billingshurst keeper Tom Betts was doing much to repel the Lions and it wasn’t until the half hour that the second goal went in, a superb Pamment run ending with him sliding the ball into the net.
Shelley sent an effort narrowly over before Liam Humphreys’ looping header made it three. The visitors suffered a double booking on 40 minutes, Tom Bradshaw and Kai Bichard being shown yellow cards, the latter for a foul many thought deserved more than a caution.
Before the break, Shelley marched forward and hit a stinging strike beyond Betts.
Being given time and space by the visitors, Mark Bennett’s men were showing just what they could do when allowed to play an expansive passing game.
Kai Bichard did have a half-chance for Billingshurst, but his attempt went well wide.
A penalty on 56 minutes heralded goal number five as Pamment gained revenge for being hacked down in the area with a well-taken spot-kick.
With Scott Murfin on the bench, Pamment struck up a good understanding with Dan Kempson and Ryan Morey.
The latter combined with Pamment on the hour but the attack broke down with desparate defending by the visitors.
A few minutes later it was six. Another scything tackle by Billingshurst was punished by a Pagham free-kick.
Ruben French did the honours this time, with a fine long-range shot.
Billingshurst’s Perry Monks saw yellow after frustration turned to dissent. Romeo Ugbene came on as a sub for the away side and got a shot in that James Binfield dealt with.
The Lions were robbed of a seventh as an attacking move was curtailed by an offside flag.
Jake Chadwick for the visitors escaped with just a talking-to after taking out Pagham’s Andy Brown.
Lloyd Rowlatt headed just over from the free-kick, while a Billingshurst free-kick was steered toward Binfield by Paul White.
Humphreys tried for his second, only for the ball to whistle past the post.
Pagham: Binfield, Hayes, Warren, N Murfin, French, Humphreys, Shelley (Wiggans 89), Rowlatt, Pamment (A Brown 70), Kempson (Mepham 60), Morey. Subs: Wollers, S Murfin.
* Pagham maintained third spot in the SCFL premier division with a 3-0 win at Crawley Down Gatwick.
Scott Murfin and Kieron Pamment struck to put them in control before the break and Dale Hayes added a late third.
Pagham go to Horsham YMCA in the league on Saturday and host Midhurst next Tuesday in the Peter Bentley Cup.
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