At the end it was all hands to the pump, but for the first 70 minutes of their RUR Cup tie at home to Newhaven, Pagham had their best spell of football of the season – and they scored four goals in the process.
Newhaven arrived at Nyetimber Lane seemingly expecting a comfortable win, but Pagham were having none of it. Attacking right from the first whistle they had the first two chances of the game - Dave Beaney hit his 20-yard drive wide and Jake Heryet hit a shot a foot past the other post, following a wonderful pass from Joe Clarke.
It wasn’t all Pagham though and keeper Tom Crook was forced into a good save, pushing over a flying header after 13 minutes.
After another excellent couple of saves, one at each end, the Lions took the lead on 22 minutes with Tom Chalaye nodding in from a corner. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 as Jack Barnes scored from inside the six-yard box. The final act of the first half was yet another Pagham goal, with Clarke brilliantly lobbing the Dockers keeper Buss from distance as he broke down the right.
The second half started with the Lions enjoying an unlikely 3-0 lead and they kept pushing forward. Chalaye had a couple of half-chances to increase the lead further, one header going wide and another just over the bar.
But a fourth goal just had to come and Heryet supplied it just before the hour mark, turning his marker Ebou Jallow inside out before blasting the ball home from the edge of the box.
The game changed in the 70th minute as the referee awarded Newhaven a penalty for a foul in the box, with Jallow crashing in from the spot. It could have been 5-1 soon after, when Heryet had a goal disallowed for offside but it was not to be.
Once again, the Dockers moved forward and when Jack Langford had a free-kick beaten away by Crook, Ian Robinson was in the right place at the right time to slot home the rebound. With Pagham visibly tiring, it wasn’t really a surprise that Robinson scored again two minutes into added-on time at the far post, but Pagham played out the last three minutes at the other end of the pitch with some comfort.
Pagham: Crook, Hallett, Beaney, Jenkins (Slaughter), Clark, Searle, S Tilley (Britton), Barnes, Chalaye (C Tilley), Clarke, Heryet. Subs not used: Jelley, Smith.