Stone the Crows, it's a goal feast at Pagham

Pagham came back to claim a 4-4 draw against Southern Counties East League visitors Crowborough after a breathless finish.

The game started quite sedately, and it was the Lions that took a seventh minute lead when Andy Chick nodded a James Thurgar corner towards goal, which was given as a goal by the linesman.

A few minutes later, the Crowborough goalkeeper got a nasty-looking injury that left him limping heavily for the rest of the first half and not emerge at all for the second period.

See a gallery of Roger Smith's pictures from the game, above

The Crows scored next, in the 29th minute, when the Lions defence went into meltdown and the Crowborough forward give goalie James Binfield no chance with his low shot.

Pagham made a few chances but both Linden Miller and returning Howard Neighbour could not quite squeeze the ball home. Neighbour’s overhead kick was brilliantly saved by the almost-immobile keeper.

There was plenty of goalmouth action between Pagham and Crowborough / Picture by Roger Smith

There was plenty of goalmouth action between Pagham and Crowborough / Picture by Roger Smith

One of the Crowborough coaches took over in goal after the break and the Lions licked their lips awaiting their feast, but things didn’t work as expected and it was the Crows who took the lead once more in the 50th minute, when a fierce cross-shot flew across the goal leading to a tap-in at the far post. A whole boatload of changes were then made by both sides in an attempt to give everyone a run-out.

Returning club legend Scott Murfin got his first goal of pre-season when he nodded home Neighbour's pin-point cross after 64 minutes before Ryan Cox was denied a goal five minutes later by a memorable save by the replacement goalie, even though he knew nothing about it as it hit him while he looked the other way!

Murfin regained the lead for Pagham from the spot after 73 minutes following a blatant hand-ball, but that lead lasted only three minutes as a Crowborough substitute watched his first shot rebound off the post only to come straight back for him to tap home.

Three minutes after that, the normally brilliant James Binfield committed a real howler, dropping the ball at the feet of the same forward who could not help but tap the ball into the unguarded net.

Still the drama continued when, eight minutes from time, George Gaskin scored a real cracker, chipping the ball over the keeper from the edge of the box for 4-4.

Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans (Williamson) (Wiggans), Hand (Hendrick), Bingham (Williamson), Wollers (Gilchrist), van Driel (Cox), Chick, Neighbour (Gaskin), Gaskin (Jefkins), Thurgar (Horncastle), Miller (Murfin).