PICTURE SPECIAL: Lions hammer YMCA in league opener
Two games, two wins, eight goals scored, none conceded. It's a dream start for Pagham's new managerial trio of Richie Hellens, Tom Simmonds and coach Will Searle.
After cruising past Arundel in the FA Cup, the Lions roared to joint top of the table with a comfortable win against a visiting side featuring the likes of the experienced ex-Lions Joe Shelley and Keiron Pamment.
Neither had much influence as Pagham attacked from the off. Joe Kilhams’ run down the right almost bought a first goal on seven minutes. He was hacked down and the free-kick from Scott Murfin was only just saved by YM keeper Aaron Jeal.
Dave Brown was a threat for the visitors, Joe Booker being at his best to head clear as a stinging shot came in. Shelley’s cross was met by Sam Schaaf, but the YM striker shot well over.
On 21 minutes the first goal came from the spot. Scott Murfin had his legs taken from under him in the area, and the referee pointed to the spot. Murfin gleefully sent his spot-kick into the net.
Josh Irish could have scored twice in two minutes as the Lions pressed for a second. Jeal did his best to repel the chances, but had no hope of saving from Irish’s header on 29 minutes.
Murfin needed attention as he was again taken out. With Murfin revived by the magic sponge, YM attacked through Schaaf. His shot brought out the best of saves from Lions keeper James Binfield.
The Lions thought they had another penalty on 38 minutes as Irish went tumbling in the area, but the referee was having none of it, with Irish judged to have dived.
Pagham’s Lloyd Rowlatt was unlucky to be booked on 40 minutes for a niggly foul. Pamment was luckier a few minutes later when a strong challenge on Kilhams went unpunished.
Ryan Davidson headed away a chance for the visitors.
YM came out much the stronger after the break. Shelley shot just over, while Schaaf hit the side netting.
Pagham skipper Jamie Horncastle’s strike on 53 minutes missed the target. Pamment’s return to Nyetimber Lane ended on 58 minutes as he was replaced by Phil Johnson. Murfin left the field a few minutes later to be replaced by Callum Overton.
Irish tried his luck against Jeal only for the ball to end up behind the goal. On came George Cody for Irish as the Lions – and another familiar face appeared as Liam Humphreys came on for YM to replace Luke Gedling.
A superb save from Binfield stopped Schaaf’s effort.
Cody’s shot went just wide on 73 minutes and YM captain Tom Gilbert was too vocal for the ref’s liking after a Lions attack which saw them almost score another and was shown a yellow card.
Overton shot wide on 84 after good work by Cody but then Overton turned provider, Cody sweeping home a superb strike on 87 minutes.
Pagham scored their fourth as Overton tumbled in the area and stepped up to score.
Next up for Pagham is Saturday’s home tie against Sittingbourne in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.
Pagham; Binfield, Kilhams, Booker, Bingham, Davidson, Horncastle, Rowlatt, Chick, Irish (Cody 67), S Murfin (Overton 61), Van Driel; Gannon, Crouch, Wollers.