Two second-half goals sealed a Sussex Senior Cup second-round win for Pagham against Selsey.
On a windy night at Nyetimber Lane, either side could have been victorious come the final whistle, but persistence from Pagham secured them their third-round berth.
As early as the third minute they hit the bar from long range, but it was the visitors who made most of the running in the opening exchanges. Ex-Lion Tom Jefkins and Remi Coates were looking very useful for the Blues, but James Binfield was also looking imperious in Pagham’s goal to keep the threat at bay.
George Gaskin tried his luck with a shot that Blues keeper Connor Kelly did well to catch. Ex-Lion Ryan Morey was a threat for Selsey, twice in a couple of minutes denied goalscoring chances.
Ryan Davidson was superb, marshalling the Lions defence with authority. More openings came and went, Johan Van Driel for Pagham and Coates for Selsey both spurning chances to get the first goal. As the first half drifted towards its close, Howard Neighbour was booked for a foul.
Kelly punched away a Pagham shot before the whistle went for half-time.
After the break, Callum Dowdell tested Binfield, but the Lions keeper cleared with some ease. The goal the game so sorely needed came five minutes into the half, Selsey’s defence opening up and allowing Callum Overton freedom to run and shoot past Kelly.
Selsey fought back almost immediately, with a shot whistling just over Binfield’s bar. Neighbour and Morey went close for their sides before Dowdell’s run towards the Pagham area created a chance for Selsey. Hacked down as he raced toward goal, he could have gained justice, only for his free-kick to end in the arms of Binfield.
Selsey's John Phillips saw yellow for a foul on George Gaskin. It was Gaskin who scored next, though, as another Selsey defensive lapse allowed him to strike a shot into the back of the net. Both sides continued to attack but little came of the constant runs towards goal.
With the game almost up, Pagham were awarded a spot-kick after a handball was spotted by the referee. But Neigbour put the kick over Kelly’s bar.
The visitors had the last chance as a free-kick taken by Bradley Higgins-Pearce rebound off the wall and out to safety.
Pagham join Bognor and Chichester City, among others, in the next round.
Pagham: Binfield, Williamson, Cox, Davidson, Wollers, Van Driel, Chick, Neighbour, Gaskin, Overton (Brazil 86), Rowe-Hurst. Subs: Murfin, Prisk, Hendrick, Ashmore
Selsey; C Kelly, Mockford-Allott, Buckland, Hambleton, Higgins-Pearce, Atkinson, Dowdell, Phillips, Coates, Jefkins, Morey. Subs: Britton, T Kelly, Hall, Bennett, Bain.