Pagham saw off Hassocks at Nyetimber Lane to record their second win in a row and stay in touch with the top three in the SCFL premier division.
Early pressure came from the visitors as both Liam Benson and Phil Gault gave James Binfield work to do in Pagham’s goal. A superb tip over from Harry Mills’ header on 12 minutes was the best of the early saves.
Scott Murfin was busy at the other end for the Lions, a shot on the quarter-hour forcing Hassocks’ keeper James Broadhunt into action.
James Westlake was hero and villain within the space of a few minutes, forcing a good save from Binfield before skying a shot that should have ended up in the net.
George Bingham was again looking useful in Pagham’s midfield, but blotted his copybook with a studs-up challenge on Mills that could have got him a booking.
The visitors were looking the most likely to score, with Benson and Gault having chances to take the lead. The dying seconds of the half bought a Pagham corner that resulted in Broadhunt again forced into action.
The first booking came within ten minutes of the re-start, Luke Westlake seeing yellow for a foul on Johan Van Driel. The Pagham midfielder got his revenge a few minutes later as a free-kick left his boot and rocketed into the back of the Robins’ net.
One up, the Lions were looking to follow up their 4-0 thrashing of Hailsham the previous week.
Hassocks weren’t out of it though, with a couple of free-kicks almost pulling them level.
Callum Overton smacked a shot against the post before Hassocks made a double substitution to freshen things up.
Daryl Wollers’ run was curtailed when Gault took the legs from under him. Overton did catch the eye of the man in black, though, picking up the second booking of the game.
Off went George Cody and Murfin for the Lions to be replaced by David Crouch and the returning Josh Irish. With the game still in the balance, Hassocks kept up the pressure, but it was Pagham who looked the most likely to score.
Overton forced Broadhunt to kick the ball away from harm as the Lions sniffed another goal.
On 85 minutes came the substitution the Pagham fans had waited a long time for. Back after a lengthy injury lay-off, talismanic winger Terrell Lewis came on to replace van Driel.
Lewis’ appearance fired up fans and Pagham players alike, and it was to massive cheers that he was instrumental in the second goal.
Collecting the ball and dragging Broadhunt well out of his area as the Hassocks keeper frantically tried to keep his goal protected, Lewis pinged the ball to a grateful Irish, who easily headed home.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, Cox, Shelby, Wollers, Swain, Van Driel (Lewis 85), Bingham, Overton, S Murfin (Crouch76), Cody (Irish 76). Subs not used: Rafferty, Humphreys.
Hassocks: Broadhunt, Tighe, Marsh, Barnes, Akehurst, L Westlake, J Westlake, Mills, Benson, Gault, Rowe-Hurst. Subs: Deuth, Badger, Bant, Wilkinson, John.
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