Pagham slide out of cup at soggy Eastbourne

Pagham's Joe Clarke / Picture by Roger Smith
Pagham's Joe Clarke / Picture by Roger Smith

Football is, to quote many people, a funny old game, but no one from Pagham will be laughing after this game at soggy Eastbourne United which ended in a 4-0 defeat..

The Lions played possibly their best football of the season and dominated for long spells - but suffered their heaviest defeat of the campaign.

The first chance of the game fell to United, on the break, in the sixth minute. A goalbound header by danger-man Paul Rogers deflected off of Conor Geoghegan and into the safe arms of keeper Tom Crook.

The next 20 minutes saw Pagham in possession, pushing forward, but just unable to force the ball home. Geoghegan had a low shot from a corner cleared off the line, Cian Tilley had a long shot from out wide smothered by the keeper before Tilley again had another shot pushed wide for a corner.

Then disaster struck. In the 25th minute Paul Rogers burst down the left on a breakaway, turned inside two players and placed his shot into the bottom corner for 1-0.

Pagham were straight back on the attack and Joe Clarke smashed a volley just wide before, once again on the break, a United throw-in was flicked on by Rogers and Nathan Crabb slid the ball in at the far post for 2-0. And it was almost three just before half-time when a fabulous save from Crook kept the score to 2-0 at the break.

After the interval it turned into almost total domination by the Lions, but as before, no matter how much pressure they put on the Eastbourne defence they just couldn’t score.

Jack Barnes, twice, and Geoghegan came close, but it wouldn’t go in. Dylan Jelley finally got the ball into the net, but it was disallowed for offside. Barnes again had a chance, and a Dave Beaney blast brought out the best from United keeper Hawkins before Jake Heryet hit an excellent free-kick about six inches wide.

As in the first half, Eastbourne broke down the field out of the blue and Nathan Crabb collected a free-kick and simply slotted in the third in the 77th minute, before, a minute later, Rogers burst clean through a static Pagham defence and finished with some aplomb.

Pagham: Crook, da Costa, Beaney (Searle), Jenkins, Geoghegan, Jelley, Clarke (Hallett), Barnes, Chalaye (Prisk), Tilley, Heryet. Subs not used: Mott, Bull.