League and cup wins add up to Pagham's perfect week
It's been a good week for Pagham FC, with wins in the SCFL premier and the RUR Charity Cup.
Here are the reports – and don’t miss the Observer, out now, for all the local football reports, pictures, results, fixtures and tables.
Eastbourne Town 0 Pagham 2
The Lions had a fruitful journey to East Sussex as a Dan Simmonds double earned the points.
Simmonds sent a shot goalward in the third minute, only to see the ball slide across the six-yard box and away to safety. Three minutes later, he burst through the Yellows’ defence to go one-on-one with the keeper only to be denied when Greg Nessling in the home side’s goal dived at his feet to push the ball away from danger.
In the 20th minute Andy Chick was thwarted by Nessling as he grabbed his excellent chip. Five minutes before half-time Town finally got into the game and Lions keeper Kieran Magee had to be at his best to punch away a deflected header.
On 43 minutes, Simmonds once again burst through the defence and when keeper Nessling slipped over trying to make a save, Simmonds easily went around him to roll the ball into the empty net.
There was time for Pagham to have another strike at goal before the interval as Simmonds drove the ball over the bar after Lloyd Rowlatt had been fouled outside the box.
The second half started with a scare for the Lions when a defensive mix-up left Eastbourne dangerman Liam Baitup with a great chance, but he could only hit the side netting. This led to the home side dominating for the first time in the game and on a rare break, Simmonds took a tumble that needed the attention of the physio.
Pagham slowly turned the game around and Joe Kilhams had a shot from long distance that had the Town keeper scrambling to save, then that man Simmonds, once again clean through, forced a great save from Nessling.
In the 61st minute Simmonds received the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the penalty area, turned two defenders and put his shot over the flailing goalie to open a 2-0 lead for the Lions.
He should have completed his hat-trick soon after when he controlled a great ball over the top from Ryan Davidson but once again hit his shot straight at keeper Nessling.
Still Pagham in general and Simmonds in particular kept charging forward. First his lob slid wide of the post, then George Bingham hit a 25-yard drive over the bar. Chances came and went for Pagham, but they couldn’t force another one home.
Eastbourne had just one more chance on 75 minutes when Baitup hit the bar with a chip when it looked far easier to score. Simmonds had one final chance to complete his hat-trick but shot straight at the keeper after being set up by Rowlatt.
Daryl Wollers had a header from a corner hacked off the line before the final whistle ended one of the best Pagham performances of the season.
Pagham: Magee, Wiggans, Cox, Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle, Rowlatt (Ashmore), Bingham, Simmonds, Kilhams (Cody), Chick. Subs not used: van Driel, Crouch, Ansa-McIntyre.
Pagham 3 Uckfield 2
RUR Cup R3
The Lions were given a Hallowe’en scare as the visitors came from three down to threaten an upset.
With Dan Simmonds in a lone role up front for the home side, he scored twice within two minutes to give them an early lead.
Goal number one came from a build-up that ended with Uckfield keeper Dann given no chance from close range. A flying cross from Andy Chick provided Simmonds’ second, with a third from Joe Kilhams on 16 minutes meaning the game looked over.
It wasn’t until close to the half-hour mark that the visitors had a chance, the ball scrambled off Pagham’s line. A shot from Sam Cooper went well over Pagham’s bar before a penalty to Uckfield bought them back into it.
With Matt Black upended in the area, Cooper tucked away the spot-kick.
After the break, Dean Stewart-Hunter went on a mazy run towards the Lions’ area but Pagham’s defence was equal to the threat.
A Lloyd Rowlatt free-kick was spilt with the goal at Pagham’s mercy. Uckfield were unlucky on 52 minutes as an opportunistic shot flying agonisingly across goal.
Kilhams shot over before Joe Ashmore, having already suffered a bloodied nose, was accidentally poleaxed by Lions keeper Magee.
George Cody replaced him.
With just over 20 minutes to go, a dubious penalty was awarded to Uckfield. Cooper missed the penalty, but Dean Stewart-Hunter capitalised on a goalmouth melee to score.
Nerves set in and Andy Chick was lucky to escape a booking as he took out Hickman-Smith, while Simmonds did see yellow.
A superb fingertip save from Magee kept the Lions ahead and saw them through.
Pagham: Magee, N Murfin, Cox, Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle, Rowlatt, Ashmore (Cody 62), Simmonds, Kilhams (S Murfin 79), Chick. Subs: Booker, Van Driel.