Pagham’s inconsistent season continued as Erith’s Dockers unloaded more misery on the Lions, beating them 4-0 in the FA Vase.
The home side, struggling in the league themselves, smashed the Lions’ Vase dreams, scoring four without reply.
Pagham skipper Neil Murfin was restored to on-field duties and gave a debut to 18-year-old Ethan Belwood in goal.
The early pace was set by Erith’s Danny Gannon, making the Lions’ defence work hard. Ryan Davidson, Daryl Wollers and Joe Booker were looking strong at the back for Pagham.
Erith’s forwards seemed to forget the need to keep the ball on the ground in windy conditions as shots from Stedman Callender, Leithan Brimah and Gannon went anywhere but in.
Just after the quarter hour a shot from Gannon rebounded off Belwood but Callendar’s wayward shooting stopped the home side from scoring.
Belwood was called into action again shortly afterwards as a defensive back-header had to be parried.
The Lions were now finding their feet, Lloyd Rowlatt holding together the midfield. Terrell Lewis was having a rare off-day, a shot just after the half hour typifying his afternoon as it went wide.
Goal No1 for the home side came on 37 minutes, Dockers’ leading scorer Gannon shooting through a crowd of players beyond Belwood. Three minutes into the second half came goal number two. Adem Ramadan collected a ball from the right and his shot whistled into the net.
A few minutes later Pagham conceded a third through Erith captain Jim Day’s shot from outside the box.
A superb parry by Belwood denied Osman Ali-Proni before a flurry of substitutions saw Pagham take off Scott and Neil Murfin and Andy Chick, bringing on Jamie Horncastle, Alex Ansa and George Cody.
Strikes from Johan Van Driel and Cody missed the mark, Van Driel also picking up a booking. The Lions’ afternoon got worse as a strike from Ramadan left Belwood without a prayer as the ball rocketed into an empty net.
Pagham kept battling and George Cody was unlucky on 80 minutes as a super shot was deflected away from harm.
Belwood was called into action at the other end, saving a shot from the left, before Erith sub Andres Tobon sent a chance over.
Van Driel went closer at the other end, with Cody also forcing a save from Erith keeper Adam Malloy.
A last minute booking for Alex Ansa completed a thoroughly-dispiriting afternoon.
Pagham: Belwood, N Murfin (Ansa 60), Wollers, Davidson, Booker, Chick (Horncastle 60), Rowlatt, Bingham, Lewis, S Murfin (Cody 60), Van Driel. Subs not used: Ashmore, Rafferty.
East Preston 1 Pagham 1
Pagham gave their best performance for a couple of weeks at the Lashmar on Tuesday night, but didn’t quite do enough to take all three points.
The first effort saw Andy Chick hit a long-range shot just over following a cross by Ryan Cox. Debutant Lions keeper Kieran Magee had to make a smart low save before EP’s Matt Searle headed a good chance over.
Returning striker Dan Simmonds tried his luck with a 25-yard chip that the keeper just managed to flip over the bar.
Lloyd Rowlatt was pushed over from behind in the box and Simmonds stepped up to bury the penalty in the 19th minute.
Pagham almost increased their lead r when Cox fed Simmonds, but his shot was tipped over by EP keeper Cook. A free-kick for a foul on Alex Ansa-McIntyre almost doubled the lead but Daryl Wollers’ header was straight into the keeper’s hands.
Ansa-McIntyre almost got on the end of a long through ball from Rowlatt, but just failed to connect.
Ryan Davidson had to hack the ball off his own line following a fine run by East Preston’s Luke Brodie.
Simmonds had another shot well saved by keeper Cook just before the break.
A dubious free-kick awarded to East Preston a minute into the second period led to Lions keeper Magee making a superb save, before Wollers was booked for a poor challenge on 50 minutes.
East Preston were on top but Rowlatt hit a shot that troubled the keeper.
Magee had to make another good save before George Bingham was probably lucky to only see yellow for a foul on the halfway line.
Simmonds flashed a lovely shot a yard wide before Hayden Hunter burst through the defence to bury his shot past Magee to level the scores in the 63rd minute.
George Bingham hit a shot just past the post on 70 minutes before Terrell Lewis came on. With Chick and Rowlatt dominating the midfield it seemed like it would not be long before the Lions would grab a winner.
On came Joe Ashmore and Joe Booker as Pagham kept pushing, but another Dan Simmonds chip just didn’t have enough on it.
EP’s Lucas Franzen-Jones missed probably the best chance when he hit a shot from less than ten yards past the post on 85 minutes.
Simmonds watched his cross-shot slide past the post as the game entered added-on time.
Pagham: Magee, Bingham, van Driel, Davidson, Wollers, Horncastle (Booker), Ansa-McIntyre (Lewis), Chick (Ashmore), Simmonds, Rowlatt, Cox.