Lights go out on Pagham's hopes as they sniff a Sussex cup coup

Pagham in recent cup action / Picture by Roger Smith
Pagham in recent cup action / Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham, playing their best football for a month, were robbed of a fine win against a club from two divisions higher up the pyramid by a floodlight failure 12 minutes before the end.

With the Lions leading Bostik premier side Burgess Hill 2-0 in the third round of the Sussex Senior Cup, it looked odds-on that they would take another higher-division scalp to go with the handful they took last season, but it was not to be.

After an even but chanceless first few minutes, the game burst into life in the 13th minute when George Gaskin had a goal disallowed for offside. Within a minute the Lions were back on the prowl and with Dan Simmonds clear through the middle, he was only stopped by the Hillians goalie Mitchell Brumage, who was well outside his area when he grabbed the ball.

Bizarrely, the referee chose to book the keeper rather than send him off and he was back in place to make a good save from the resultant free-kick. Next to try his luck for Pagham was Jack Rowe-Hurst, whose clever shot went past the keeper only for it to be cleared close to the goal-line.

The breakthrough came in the 24th minute when a terrific through-ball from Rowe-Hurst was crashed home by Simmonds.

Simmonds had one more attempt at goal when he stole the ball on the halfway line and whacked it 50 yards over the keeper only to see it bounce just wide of the post. So, a deserved 1-0 lead to Pagham at half-time with Burgess Hill not looking two divisions higher at all.

The second half started with a bang in the first minute when Simmonds doubled Pagham’s lead, tapping in at the far post following a delightful pass over the defence by Gaskin.

The Hillians finally started to hit their stride and Daryl Wollers was injured defending one of several fierce attacks from the visitors. With Joe Ashmore replacing Wollers, the reorganised Pagham defence held out well against the rejuvenated Burgess Hill team who could have had a couple of goals with a bit more care.

And then, just as the Lions were about to make a second substitution, the floodlights partially went out - apparently because of a fusebox problem - and with no chance of repairing the major electrical failure, the game had to be abandoned with just 12 minutes left. It will be replayed on a date yet to be decided.

Pagham: Binfield, Williamson, Hendrick, Davidson, Wollers (Ashmore), Horncastle, Chick, Neighbour, Gaskin, Simmonds, Rowe-Hurst. Subs not used: Prisk, Murfin, Hambleton, Brazil.