Horsham YMCA end Pagham’s FA Vase dreams at second attempt

Ryan Cox in action for Pagham in the first Vase game against Horsham YMCA  Picture by Louise Adams
Ryan Cox in action for Pagham in the first Vase game against Horsham YMCA Picture by Louise Adams

A Martin Smith goal knocked Pagham out of the FA Vase as they lost their replay at Horsham YMCA.

He struck in the 52nd minute to end the Lions’ dreams of a glory run for another year.

In the first game of the two-part first-round tussle at Nyetimber Lane on Saturday, YMCA took the lead in the sixth minute through a long-range shot, which was given despite the Pagham bench and most of the crowd having seen a clear push by a Horsham player in the build-up. The referee waved away the vocal appeals from Pagham boss John Price.

A minute later Ash Harper capitalised on a defensive error to equalise.

The referee became the centre of attention with a succession of decisions which mystified everyone - none more so than when Pagham appeared to have scored a second on 21 minutes and a very poor offside decision robbed Howard Neighbour of his 12th of the season.

Just after the half-hour a powerful header from Jake Hawker screamed past Simon Lockwood in the YMCA goal.

James Temple was just wide with a shot from a sublime Joe Briggs cross. Dan Sullivan tried the same at the other end, while the best chance of the rest of the half fell to Pagham’s Max Thoms - but he shot wide.

In the second period YMCA levelled through Liam Hunter. A run and shot eluded Andy Smallpeice in Pagham’s goal and parity was restored.

Harper went close from a Paul Jones pass while Joe Briggs shot just over. Neighbour saw yellow for a challenge that most thought harmless.

Temple’s header on 63 minutes was ruled offside. It wasn’t Temple’s day - he also headed wide from Daren Pearce set-up.

Paul Jones came to the rescue for Pagham with ten minutes of normal time left as Matt Smith raced in on goal. Jones was booked on 83 minutes for unclear reasons while Smith got away with a series of lunges and pushes on his opponents.

The 90 minutes ended with a dangerous Joe Briggs cross that was headed away.

A minute into extra time, Temple’s run fed Callum Cutler, who narrowly missed the target. For YMCA, Mat Gardner forced Smallpiece into a good save.

Jake Hawker went down under a challenge, necessitating a long period of treatment, and he was replaced by Luke Kilner.

Three minutes into the second period of extra time, what appeared an error by Smallpeice resulted in the visitors scoring what they thought was the winner.

On came their subs, management and fans to celebrate a victory - but the goal was ruled out. The referee had blown for a foul seconds before the goal was scored.

Smallpeice was called over by the referee and was shown a red card for the third time this season.

Off came Neighbour as James Binfield took over in goal.

Dan Sullivan shot well over from a free-kick and Binfield proved his worth with an incredible save to deny Smith, while Temple’s chance went wide.

Pagham’s Keith Martin seeing yellow was booked as the sides came off with a replay to look forward to.

PAGHAM: Smallpiece, Hawker (Kilner 100), Cox, Pearce, Jones, Martin, Briggs, Thoms, Temple, Neighbour (Binfield 108), Harper (Cutler 72). Subs: Booker, Williams.