Pagham roared to life as a less-than-impressive Ryman League Burgess Hill were taken apart 4-1 at Nyetimber Lane. With Carl Stabler away watching future opponents, he would have been pleased with how the team performed in his absence.
Burgess Hill were also missing their manager and by the end of the game, Hillians’ fans may have been wondering if the whole team had disappeared for 90 minutes.
Dan Simmonds’ opener for Pagham in the fifth minute was just desserts for skilful play in the area.
The lead lasted all of four minutes as Burgess Hill hit back with a free header which James Binfield was helpless to stop.
The young Pagham keeper pulled off a stunning double save to deny the away side. The visitors then dominated for a spell, with the ball struck against the bar from long-range after a quarter of an hour.
Ross Woolf was playing a blinder for Pagham, and twice he could have regained the lead for the Lions.
Alex Ward shot narrowly wide before a Burgess Hill strike just off target brought the half to a close.
Burgess Hill were quickest out of the traps, having two shots go wide and high then hitting the post.
A scuffed shot from a Hillians’ corner saw the ball go harmlessly wide before Pagham scored their second. Matt Wood’s strike gave the keeper no chance as Pagham began to turn the screw on an increasingly ordinary-looking Burgess Hill side.
His reward was to be taken off for a rest, along with Ben Buckland and Tom Broadbent.
With 20 minutes left Pagham scored their third, Simmonds getting his second as he took advantage of a superb ball in from Woolf.
Burgess Hill hit the bar again and had a shot cleared off the line, but still Pagham were the better side.
Scott Murfin raced through on goal, forcing a fingertip save from the keeper. Phil Turner saw a low shot go wide before Murfin scored a tremendous solo goal to finish off Burgess Hill. There was just time for Anders Wyatt to shoot over before the whistle ended a superb Lions display.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Booker, Hinshelwood, Pearce, Ward, Woolf, Wood, Broadbent, Simmonds, Buckland, Robinson, S Murfin, Turner, Tribe, Wyatt, Devine.