Pagham see off Sidley for sixth-place finish

Action from Pagham's victory over Sidley  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Action from Pagham's victory over Sidley Picture by Kate Shemilt
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PAGHAM completed their season and a league double over Sidley with a resounding 3-0 win at a windswept Nyetimber Lane to finish sixth in division one of the Sussex League.

Twice in the first few minutes Joe Briggs looked to add to his tally but was denied by Josh Willis in Sidley’s goal.

Scott Murfin shot over and Sidley’s Cruickshank had to hack the ball off the line. Murfin then struck a shot against the bar in a breathless opening to the tussle.

As the Lions pressed forward, only the heroics of Willis kept it goalless.

Joe Booker saw a golden chance drift wide while a shot from the returning James Temple was scrambled off Sidley’s line.

On 26 minutes keeper Willis went down in his own area. After lengthy treatment, he was able to continue.

But the relief for Sidley wasn’t to last long as Pagham took the lead, Scott Murfin with his 24th league goal after great approach work by Joe Briggs.

Murfin followed that with a spectacular shot on the turn which almost beat Willis.

The Lions could have gone 2-0 up as Briggs was bought down, many thought inside the area. The referee gave a free-kick just outside the area but Willis palmed it away.

Two minutes into the second half, Temple struck wide of the post, as did Jake Hawker. Next Dan Sackman shot over the bar.

Sidley started to push forward with Steve Morris unlucky to be caught offside when through.

Sidley’s Luke Hole left the field for the visitors as John Lambert rang the changes and Lions boss John Price followed suit, replacing Scott Murfin with Howard Neighbour.

Goal number two came just after the hour, with a run and chip from Briggs completely evading Willis.

Lewis Hyde killed the game off three minutes later with a goal in a goalmouth scramble.

Sidley sub Chris Gould tried his luck from long range but the ball sailed over Pagham keeper James Binfield and the bar.

Neighbour went close for the Lions, as did Chris Gould for Sidley.

Sidley could have scored a consolation – a corner was swung in but Hawker kept it out.A last-minute header from Neighbour went over to end a hard season for the Lions.

PAGHAM: Binfield, Hyde, Sackman, Pearce, Booker, Hawker, Briggs, N Murfin, Temple, S Murfin, Bingham. Subs: Neighbour, Anderton, Horne, Buckland, Williams.

JON ROSE