Pagham forced open the second-half floodgates for a 4-0 Southern Combination premier win against struggling East Preston.
An injury to East Preston keeper Ben Purkis early in the first half could have meant a hat-ful of goals for Mark Bennett’s men. As it turned out, Purkis put in a tremendous performance despite being almost a passenger for most of the second half.
The Lions could have gone 1-0 up inside three minutes, only for the offside flag to rob Terrell Lewis of the opener. Purkis pulled off a superb save to deny Lewis a few minutes later.
Twenty minutes in, the impressive Pete Beadle went down with an injury to his nose. He carried on after treatment.
Save after save from Purkis kept the Lions at bay, with Lewis and Beadle among those frustrated.
The half hour mark saw East Preston defender Louis Coulson catch a ball full in the face, with the physio able to patch him up.
Pagham started the second period much the stronger. Ryan Cox’s low shot was saved by Purkis before a ridiculous back-pass in the East Preston area gave the Lions a great chance of scoring. In the end the ball was hacked away off the line.
The Lions went long-ball on 52 minutes as a punt from James Binfield eventually found Cox, who headed over the bar.
Beadle repeated the feat a few minutes later as the home side’s class began to tell.
A booking for East Preston’s Louis Pittock on 65 failed to dampen the away side’s enthusiasm but it was Beadle who finally found the net for Pagham on 68 minutes. Bundling his way through the East Preston defence, he struck home a fine goal.
With Rob Wimble replacing Neil Murfin shortly afterwards, it looked like the Lions could smell blood.
Wimble had been on for two minutes before he headed just over the bar. Cox made no mistake on 77 minutes as a shot on the turn gave Purkis no chance.
Number three for the Lions wasn’t long in coming. With Purkis stranded, Wimble headed home. A shot from the visitors’ Kristian Harding was easily dealt with by Binfield.
Late on, Pagham scored their fourth. Rob Brown found space to net to round off a resounding win.
PAGHAM: Binfield, A Brown, Wollers, Hawker, Swain, Rowlatt, Beadle, N Murfin (Wimble 68), R Brown, Lewis, Cox. Subs not used: Martin, Van Driel, Warren, Neighbour.
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