Pagham and Midhurst off to winning starts in SCFL cups
Ten-man Pagham edged a win over Steyning while Midhurst had a fine victory at Midhurst as teams began their SCFL Supplementary Cup campaigns.
Pagham 1 Steyning 0
SCFL premier division cup
Pagham played the final hour of this lively encounter with ten men after Jack Williamson was sent off for two late tackles – but hung on for the win in their first Supplementary Cup game.
The Lions seemed surprised by their visitors’ lively start and struggled for long periods but were defensively superb throughout, with all five at the back (later four) defending superbly.
Pagham did have decent chances. Tom Atkinson created the first, sending in an excellent low cross that just evading the outstretched legs of Callum Chalmers and Dylan Jelley.
On 35 minutes Jamie Carroll smashed a fierce 25-yard shot only just wide before Williamson was sent off for his second late tackle.
The Lions mustered one last chance before half-time, but Jelley blasted a shot from a corner over the bar.
Steyning flew out of the traps for the second half but the Pagham defence dealt comfortably with their attempts and the Lions took the lead on 57 minutes when a superb move down the right by Jared Rance and Ash Hawkes led to a hard low cross that Joe Clarke was perfectly positioned at the far post to volley home.
Steyning missed two clear chances before the end, the first when a goalbound header flicked off the back of a defender’s leg and straight into keeper Conor Kelly’s arms.
The best chance came five minutes from the end, when a Reds subs burst through the Lions defence and, one-on-one with Kelly, took his shot early and blasted over the bar – the final shot of the game.
Pagham: Kelly, Atkinson, Hallett, Clarke, Jelley, Williamson, Carroll (Barnes), Hambleton, Chalmers (Radmore), Rance (Bennett), Hawkes. Unused subs: Heryet, Crouch.
Arundel 1 Midhurst & Easebourne 3
SCFL Division 1 Cup
Midhurst returned to action after a four-month break with a win.
The game started at a fast pace as the hosts put the Stags under pressure from the first whistle.
Arundel had the first big chance in the 7th minute when a corner was half cleared and the loose ball fell to an Arundel player whose shot was deflected wide by one of their own players.
In the 16th minute good play on the Stags left found Liam Dreckmann who beat his man and put in a great cross – and Marcus Bedford got in front of his man and headed home from 10 yards.
On 36 minutes Jake Slater opened up the Arundel defence with a great ball which put Bedford through and his first-time shot from edge of the area flew past the Arundel keeper.
Three minutes before the break Stags keeper Josh Bird made a smart save to his right.
Stags had the ball in the net in the 55th minute when Lewis Hamilton picked out Bedford, who tapped him only to be flagged offside.
Arundel pulled a goal back in the 66th minute as a rare mistake by Stags full-back Oli Kershaw allowed Harry Callaghan to net.
Bird made a couple of good saves then for the Stags Bedford forced a save from the Arundel keeper when perhaps hee should have set up Hamilton.
Arundel pushed men forward and were caught on the break as Hamilton was bundled over in the box for a penalty that Bedford converted.
Stags boss Andy Ewen said: “It was great to get back to competitive football. We have a good group and the lads know we’ll be rotating, giving everyone opportunities to play after difficult times.”