Ford gets Pagham motoring back into top four

James Ford strikes home Pagham's first  Picture by Roger Smith
James Ford strikes home Pagham's first Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham roared to their third straight win as struggling Uckfield were well beaten in division one of the Sussex League.

The Lions - now fourth in the table - started by raining shots in on Uckfield’s beleaguered defence, but the goal wouldn’t come.

Howard Neighbour, Joe Booker and Scott Murfin had chances to open the scoring but visiting keeper Tom Callingham held firm, keeping his team in the game.

Referee Barrie Small was at his most attentive, although a booking for Uckfield’s Chris Gould on 20 minutes had most of the crowd mystified.

George Callingham will not wish to remember his shot on 23 minutes which typified the luck of the visitors. It sailed high and wide of the mark.

Defensively, they seemed solid, clearing off the line on the half-hour, with Pagham’s Max Thoms unlucky to hit the bar a minute later.

Neigbour saw yellow a few minutes later, after failing to hear the whistle for offside and smashing the ball home.

Three minutes of the half remained when James Ford added to his goal against Selsey with a superb strike from a Lions corner. The half ended with a trio of Lions corners.

Within a minute of the restart, Gould struck Uckfield’s goal with a fine effort. His side dominated play for the next few minutes but couldn’t make their pressure count, and it was the Lions who scored next.

Another goal from Ford, his third in two games, restored the advantage for the Lions.

Gould and Scott Murfin had scoring chances at either end. Ryan Cox was booked, adjudged to have used both feet in a tackle on his opponent.

Uckfield’s luck in front of goal again deserted them as George Callingham probably had the miss of the game on 68 minutes. Pagham didn’t have it all their own way, with Greenfield stopping Scott Murfin with a great tackle on 70 minutes.

Neighbour shot wide as Uckfield’s defence found cohesion at last. But the Lions went 3-1 up on 76 minutes. Scott Murfin took advantage of Tom Callingham’s poor keeping to strike home with ease.

James Temple, on for Murfin, saw his shot snuffed out, but the Lions were still on top. Gould again missed the target for the visitors.

Pagham’s fourth came with four minutes to go, Thoms hitting home to give the Lions a convincing lead.

Uckfield struck back within a minute, George Callingham atoning for earlier misses with a great goal.

There was time for a final Pagham booking as Joe Booker saw yellow for a late tackle.

PAGHAM: Binfield, N Murfin, Ford, Pearce, Booker, Geoghegan, Briggs, Thoms, Neighbour, S Murfin (Temple 76), Cox (Williams 81). Subs: Buckland, Harris.

JON ROSE

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