Lions beat City thanks to a Clack-trick

Chichester's Aidan Madden and Julian Boniface, and Pagham's Brad Derry   Picture by Louise Adams C131751-6
Chichester's Aidan Madden and Julian Boniface, and Pagham's Brad Derry Picture by Louise Adams C131751-6
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Pagham beat the weather and Chichester City 3-0 as Josh Clack’s hat-trick moved the Lions up the Sussex League division-one table and above local rivals Selsey, who they visit on Boxing Day morning.

With Daren Pearce and Lee Bradshaw missing, Pagham boss John Price dug deep into his playing resources, with new signing Robert Desport taking a place on the bench. After his excellent showing last week, Brad Derry kept his place in midfield.

In the first minute, Neil Murfin’s free-kick was blocked. Pagham camped in the visitors’ half and an endless stream of corners forced the best from keeper Anthony Ender.

Morgan Forry did have a strike for Chichester, but the ball whistled past the upright. Twenty minutes in, Scott Murfin spotted Ender off his line but a speculative long-range shot just missed the target.

Clack couldn’t quite see the ball home as the Lions’ pressure failed to bring goals.

Chichester did some attacking themselves but were looking second best.

Forry tried again for Chichester, but his run was curtailed by a marauding Chris Eyres. The first half ended with a shot from Scott Murfin, saved by Anthony Ender.

Murfin went close again within a minute of the restart but the visitors had began the half brighter, with a scoring opportunity being hacked away by Pagham.

James Temple shot wide for Pagham, Scott Murfin hit the post and Clack was causing problems with scything runs on the right.

Just after the hour, latching on to a pinpoint cross, Clack struck home to give the Lions the lead.

This sparked more pressure on the visitors and Chichester joint boss Sean Forry became more and more animated in the away dugout.

Clack, Temple and Scott Murfin all had strikes on goal, but Ender was equal to anything thrown at him.

Derry was looking dangerous again, creating openings for the Lions which led to the second goal as Clack beat Ender at his near post.

A competitive game on a slippery surface was free of bookings until Chichester sub Joe Manners was shown a yellow card by referee Mr Lowe.

The last few minutes saw Temple unlucky to be caught offside before Clack’s third. Another ball in from the right was thrashed home to give the Lions all three points, Clack all three goals and the Pagham fans plenty of Christmas cheer.

Chichester visit Arundel on Boxing Day and host Selsey on Saturday. Pagham are at home to Arundel on Saturday.

PAGHAM: Binfield, Eyres, French, Jefkins, Booker, N Murfin, Clack, O’Connor, Temple, S Murfin (Desport 88), Derry. Subs: Jordan, Stevens, Allfrey.

CITY: Ender, Heath, Madden, Boniface, Sanashee, Cody, Groom, Smith, Landais, Forry, Hegarty. Subs: Manners, McCarthy, Tallent, Holden.

JON ROSE