Scott on spot to save Lions

Scott Murfin was Pagham's penalty hero  Picture by Roger Smith
Scott Murfin was Pagham's penalty hero Picture by Roger Smith

Scott Murfin’s second-half penalty gave Pagham a point after they had conceded an early goal at home to Crowborough in their Sussex League division-one clash.

Just how early was a surprise to those watching as Chris Ransome struck home with well under a minute on the clock.

The Lions immediately struck back, Josh Clack twice testing Nicholas Collick in the Crows’ goal. Pagham kept the pressure up, but with Michael Ademiluyi a constant threat for the visitors, Lions’ Ryan Davidson did very well to keep him at bay.

The Pagham youngster had a superb game at the back, with him and James Binfield in great form.

Ransome again chanced his luck only for Binfield to pull off a fingertip save. The referee was causing consternation on both benches, none more so than when Jason Barton ‘got away’ with a scything tackle from behind on Michael Frangou.

The resultant free-kick fell to Scott Murfin, who was in two minds in front of goal and the chance went begging.

This seemed to spur on the Lions and Collick was kept busy.

The second half opened with a free-kick for the Lions, which gave Frangou an opening - but he couldn’t convert. He almost made amends a few minutes later when a cross-goal ball was just out reach.

There was controversy in the 52nd minute as Murfin went down in the area under a challenge from Barton. Following his first-half misdemeanour, many thought he’d be shown a red card. Yellow it was though and Pagham had to make do with a penalty which Murfin tucked away.

Ademiluyi had a chance on 56 minutes, but Davidson showed great composure to deny the marauding striker. Murfin and Frangou combined well just after the hour, but the ball went just wide.

Crowborough tested Binfield and Michael Death ghosted through to shoot just off-target for the visitors. Then Binfield had to save low down from Ademiluyi.

Another controversial booking on 74 minute saw Ruben French shown yellow for the Lions.

More robust challenges saw Murfin and Brad Derry cut down for Pagham, but the Lions couldn’t make use of the opportunities.

Crowborough keeper Collick pulled off a string of superb saves as the home side went on the hunt for a winner, while Pagham’s Davidson was booked.

Pagham: Binfield, Hawker, French, Pearce, Booker, Davidson, Clack, O’Connor, Frangou, Murfin, Derry. Subs: Bunker, Irish, Newman, Edicker.

JON ROSE