Pagham are in the next round of the FA Vase. The Lions got through at the first attempt with a 1-0 first qualifying round win at Bearsted.
They now have a home tie against Horsham YMCA on September 24, but not before being almost held by Vase debutants Bearsted.
Pagham were missing 11 first-team players, so it was good to see the likes of Lloyd Rowlatt back from injury on the bench.
The first threat came from the visitors but Andy Brown’s ball in was just cleared by Bears keeper Scott Andrews.
Pagham had what looked a legitimate penalty claim waved away. Ryan Morey was bundled over in the area, but the referee didn’t give the kick.
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With 20 minutes on the clock, a majestic goal gave the Lions the lead. Ryan Morey’s superb run saw the ball fed to Scott Murfin, and he made no mistake.
Daryl Wollers had to be on his toes for Pagham on three minutes as Sam Flisher raced towards the Lions goal, Wollers the last man standing and hacking the ball away.
The Lions began to dominate with Morey at the root of many moves. Dan Kempson and Scott Murfin both had efforts on goal and Murfin was denied a possible penalty as he tumbled in the area.
With 20 minutes on the clock, a majestic goal gave the Lions the lead. Morey’s superb run saw the ball fed to Scott Murfin, and he made no mistake.
Bearsted moved up a gear, though.
Pete Williams headed on to the post after 27 minutes. But for James Binfield’s finger-tip save, Bearsted could have scored their first-ever goal in the Vase.
Big No9 Andy Irvin forced another good save from Binfield, while at the other end a Lions free-kick saw Keiron Pamment strike the ball straight to Andrews.
A Bearsted corner was pinged off a post then wide just before half-time.
The Lions started the second period on the attck, while Binfield’s tip over at the other end showed the game was not over. On 54 minutes Bears skipper Rob Lyall was booked for hacking down Pamment.
Lyall then had to clear the free-kick off the line.
George Bingham’s game for the Lions ended on 64 minutes as he went off injured, replaced by James Thurgar.
Williams’ run was curtailed by some timely Lions’ defending. Scott Murfin could have made it 2-0 to the Lions after great build-up work from Thurgar on 75 minutes.
Morey struck a shot across goal, while Murfin just missed the target with another effort.
With just over ten minutes left, the home side should have been equal, Matt Garner’s strike going agonisingly wide.
Thurgar took too long with one shot and Dan Kempson’s 88th-minute booking looked unduly harsh.
Time added on brought a booking for Bearsted’s Andy Foster for bringing down Morey.
In the final minute of injury time, Bearsted had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.
Pagham: Binfield, A Brown, Warren, N Murfin, Wollers, Humphries, Kempson, Bingham (Thurgar 64) Pamment (Mepham 75), S Murfin, Morey. Subs: Rowlatt, Swain, Shelley.
– JON ROSE
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