Two games in one night for Pagham - and two trophies too
Pagham brought two trophies home to Nyetimber Lane on the same night '“ although one of them was tinged with controversy!
Forced to play not only the Reserve Cup final but a vital under-21 game on the same night, the Lions came through with flying colours to claim both trophies.
With the under-21 squad in action at Hassocks in a league match, a reserve squad containing several first-team regulars took to the field at The Lashmar, home of East Preston, to take on Broadbridge Heath Reserves in the Reserve Section Cup final.
The final was not much of a contest, partly because the Bears goalkeeper injured himself in the warm-up and was replaced by a defender. This backfired as early as the seventh minute when a left-sided cross by Johan van Driel took a wicked deflection and looped over stand-in keeper Brendan Milborrow’s head and in.
It was 2-0 four minutes later when Ashley Harper tapped home a cross from Callum Overton after great work from Ryan Cox. Overton then turned scorer in the 22nd minute, knocking home a corner at the far post.
Pagham keeper James Binfield was forced into his first save, pushing a free-kick away for a corner after 28 minutes, but the ball was soon back up the other end as Overton had two chances, sending a flashing volley just wide and forcing a great save from Milborrow, having been set up by Harper.
A minute before half-time it was 4-0 as Joe Booker headed home a van Driel corner.
The second half started with Binfield making another good save to deny the Bears, before both Ryan Cox and Overton were denied by the Broadbridge keeper. Pagham made three substitutions, bringing on Joe Matthews, Alex Jasper and Mike Rogerson for Cox, Rowlatt and Overton.
They turned out to be inspired changes, as two of those brought on scored to finish the game off. In the 67th minute Matthews headed home unmarked at the far post, then Jasper lashed the ball home in added-on time from just inside the box following another great ball from Harper.
In between the two goals, Binfield pulled off a double-save of extreme quality, blocking a close-in drive and getting up to push a fierce volley from the rebound over the bar.
Meanwhile, at Hassocks, the Under-21 West league title was won with two games to spare as the Young Lions beat the Robins 3-1.
Scott Rafferty gave Pagham an early lead in the 14th minute before league top-scorer Jack Parkinson scored in the 29th to make it 2-0.
Hassocks pulled one back after 35 minutes but Parkinson, with his second, settled matters two minutes before half-time.
One night, two games, and two trophies – not a bad evening all-round for the Lions to round off an excellent season for the club.
Pagham Res (v Broadbridge Heath): Binfield, Playle-Howard, van Driel, Chick, Booker, Gilchrist, Harper, Gannon, Overton (Rogerson), Rowlatt (Jasper), Cox (Joe Simmonds). Subs not used: T Simmonds, Morgan.
Pagham U21s (v Hassocks): Terry, Rafferty, Hendrick, Keane, Selby, Horncastle, Hambleton, Marsh, Parkinson, Kilhams, Jones. Subs used: Josh Simmonds, Cooke, Bingham.