There have been contrasting fortunes in the past week for Chichester City and Pagham.
Chichester City 0 Pagham 2
Sussex League division one
PAGHAM continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 triumph at Chichester.
Two goals in rapid succession midway through the first half did the business for Gary Block’s men, who dominated the early stages.
The opener on 29 minutes appeared rather harsh, with ex-City striker Scott Murfin hitting the floor after he’d received the softest of touches from an opponent.
The referee pointed to the spot and Murfin converted, with keeper Anthony Ender only getting half a hand to the ball.
Then two minutes later, the City defence failed to deal with a long ball, allowing Lions’ left winger Michael Asare to drive a cross into the box that was turned into the net by a home defender.
City showed improved form after the break but lacked the finishing punch. Pagham’s main threat now came from counter-attacks and with 15 minutes remaining they almost scored a third with a run down the wing, but Ender turned the ball away for a corner.
CITY: Ender, Williams, Edwards, Fowlie, Hegarty, Hibbert, Groom, F Smith, Gromett, Bush, Northeast. Subs: Silvester, Ansa, Forry.
Chichester City 0 Dorking W 1
LEAGUE pacesetters Dorking stole the three points in a fairly-uninspiring encounter against Chichester at Oaklands Park.
With City still missing their rock-like centre-half Peter Hibbert and Wanderers fielding prolific striker Tom Tolfrey, it could have been a case of damage limitation for the home side against a team that had scored seven in their previous game.
However, the Chichester backline coped admirably throughout, containing the lively Tolfrey and generally making an even fight of it.
The contest was determined by a couple of incidents soon after half-time.
On 56 minutes, the referee signalled for a foul against Wanderers just as Tom Groom delivered a Chichester corner and ordered it to be retaken.
Protests from the sidelines, claiming that a penalty should be awarded under such circumstances, were ignored and within a couple of minutes another decision by the officials resulted in a spot-kick being given at the other end.
This time it was the linesman who met the disapproval of the home crowd, flagging for a handball which no-one else seemed to have been aware of. Tolfrey took the resulting penalty, sending Anthony Ender the wrong way to make it 1-0.
Apart from that, there were few clear-cut chances. Jon Boswell netted for Dorking in the first half following a free-kick but it was ruled out, and City had a short burst of gusto when Julian Boniface and Morgan Forry were introduced with 15 minutes remaining. The latter smashed the ball against the crossbar, but that was the closest they came to a goal.
CITY: Ender, Williams, Edwards, Fowlie, Hegarty, Gilbert, Groom, F Smih, Gromett, Silvester, Woolf. Subs: Boniface, Forry.
Hailsham 1 Pagham 4
Pagham’s win at Chichester took them to fourth spot and was their second on the road over the holiday weekend.
On Saturday, Gary Block’s men breezed to a 4-1 win at Hailsham.
First-half goals by Jake Hawker, Josh Clack and Scott Murfin put them 3-0 up after 37 minutes and a Hailsham goal from Drew Greenall just before the interval did little to disrupt their dominance.
Michael Asare restored the three-goal advantage with 19 minutes left.
Pagham are back in FA Cup action this weekend, heading to Canterbury City for a preliminary-round tie on Sunday.