Pagham held again as Little Common fight back

Pagham on the attack v Little Common
Pagham on the attack v Little Common

Ten-man Pagham were held at home for the second Saturday running as Little Common twice came from behind to draw 2-2.

Richie Hellen and Tom Simmonds were left with much to ponder come the end of a SCFL draw that left the Lions in eighth place.

It started so promisingly, Howard Neighbour latching on to Daryl Wollers’ sublime cross to give the Lions a second-minute lead. They built on this, pressurising Little Common, with visitors’ keeper Matt Crutwell kept busy.

He fumbled in the area on nine minutes, and Neighbour wasn’t quite there to get what would have been his and Pagham’s second goal.

Then the visitors found their feet. Jamie Crone was unlucky to be caught offside, Adam Smith raced toward goal and Crone had a shot charged down.

Just after the quarter-hour, Little Common got an equaliser. A free-kick was pinged into the area, and Lewis Hole found a gap for the visitors to bundle the ball into the net. They kept the pressure on Pagham, with Sam Ellis and Hole both finding openings.

It wasn’t until the latter stages of the half that they got the ball into the net again. A free-kick by Russell Eldridge was pinged off the bar, and from the rebound the ball was smacked back beyond Binfield. Up went the offside flag, and it was 1-1 at the break.

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Pagham were quickest off the mark after the interval. Ryan Cox’s shot ended in the arms of Crutwell, but it was a promising start. Wollers struck the ball just past the upright, but again the visitors came back into the game.

Turning defence into attack at ease, the away side were a threat - only to come up against a stout Lions back-line. The return of loanee Lewis Hyde made a difference and the visitors couldn’t find a way through.

Johan Van Driel was busy for the Lions in midfield, at the centre of many of Pagham’s attacking moves, but it was Cox who scored Pagham’s second goal. A great ball in from Andy Chick was directed beyond Crutwell to give the Lions the lead just after the hour mark.

A scare for an already injury-ravaged Lions side came a few minutes later as Neighbour needed treatment after clashing with the visitors’ Paul Feakins. Neighbour came back on to much relief.

Crone hit the side netting for Little Common before a flurry of substitions and bookings changed the course of the game. Ryan Davidson collected his second yellow card of the game, leaving the Lions a man down and having to reorganise at the back.

Within a minute the visitors had their second equaliser. A corner was sent into the area, and an overhead kick by Liam Ward saw the ball go into the net despite Binfield’s best efforts.

Veteran striker Wes Tate on, on for Adam Smith, could have made it 3-2 with ten minutes to go, only for Binfield to save Pagham’s blushes. Twice in the last couple of minutes another Little Common sub Nick Richardson had strikes on goal, but neither shot reached its target.

Hole headed over Pagham’s bar before the whistle blew on a hard-fought draw.

Pagham; Binfield, Wiggans, Hyde, R Davidson, Wollers (Hubbard 63), Ashmore, Van Driel, Chick, Neighbour, Williamson, Cox. Subs: Hendrick, A Davidson, Cody.

Little Common: Crutwell, Makwriamiti, Weeks, Ward, Feakins, Eldridge, Smith (Tate), Pool (Richardson), Hole, Crone, Ellis; Ryan.