Bennett off mark as Lions win at Loxwood

Celebrations follow Scott Murfin's strike / Picture by Roger Smith
Celebrations follow Scott Murfin's strike / Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham recorded their first victory under new boss Mark Bennett as they won 2-1 against Loxwood at Plaistow Road in the Southern Combination premier.

Dan Martin and Jake Hawker returned to the side as the Lions troubled the Magpies with their strong tackling and creative forward runs.

Pagham’s first real chance came on 17 minutes when Scott Murfin and then Lloyd Rowlatt’s shots were blocked.

The visitors’ defence remained resolute as Loxwood were reduced to long-range efforts which gave little trouble to James Binfield.

Pagham took the lead in the 37th minute when Martin’s cross found Scott Murfin, who beat his marker to slot home.

The lead lasted just five minutes as Loxwood were awarded a penalty which Ollie Moore rifled home to bring the two sides level.

I would have been delighted to come here and get a draw. The late winner was fantastic, it was just what we deserved for all of the players’ hard work.

Lions boss Mark Bennett

Before the half was out, Pagham were reduced to ten men as Neil Murfin was sent off for a tackle which the referee deemed to be a red card.

The away side started the second half like they started the first with Ryan Cox looking menacing as his strength and forward runs were starting to cause problems to the home defence.

His through ball saw Scott Murfin shoot over on 50 minutes and seconds later Murfin repaid the complement as his ball out wide saw Cox hit the ball across goal which was begging for someone to get on the end of it.

Loxwood then hit on the counter attack as in the 70th minute the home side surged forward, but a fine double save from James Binfield denied them.

Loxwood were now pushing players up and winning a succession of corners but Binfield was in top form with some strong punching to clear the ball.

Pagham brought on George Cody and Terrell Lewis in the final minutes and it was Lewis who won the points for Pagham as Scott Murfin found him out wide before he fired a low shot into the net.

Boss Bennett said: “I would have been delighted to come here and get a draw. The late winner was fantastic, it was just what we deserved for all of the players’ hard work.

“After going down to ten men their heads didn’t drop and now we can begin to start building back up our confidence.”

PAGHAM: Binfield, Andy Brown, Warren, Wollers, Hawker, Neil Murfin, Swain, Martin (Cody), Rowlatt, Scott Murfin, Cox (Lewis). Subs not used: Gromett, R Brown, Davidson.

ROGER SMITH & OLIVER STEVENSON

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