Pagham and Chichester City have both had fine starts to their SCFL premier-division campaigns - and both continued their winning ways in their latest outings.
Mark Bennett’s Lions put seven past struggling Hailsham while Miles Rutherford’s City won 2-1 at AFC Uckfield.
They now sit second and fifth respectively in the table.
Read the reports below, and don’t miss the Observer series - out on Thursday morning - for football news from these two clubs plus Bognor, Midhurst, Selsey, Bosham, Sidlesham, Lavant, East Dean, Netimber Pirates, Chi City Ladies and various local youth teams.
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Pagham 7 Hailsham 0
With Hailsham having already conceded 51 in the league, and the Lions scoring for fun at the moment, this result was never really in doubt.
Couple that with the Lions’ tremendous midweek fightback in their cup win at Shoreham and a home win seemed a very good bet. Nevertheless, Pagham had to contend with a Hailsham side who had a never-say-die attitude. Their efforts were in vain as the gulf in class showed with the score less than the Lions deserved.
Goal number one came in the third minute, Kieron Pamment collecting a pass and scoring with ease beyond Sheldon Levett in the Stringers’ goal.
Levett keptthe Lions at bay for a while as the home side did everything but score. Callum Overton hit the bar, Jordan Clark headed narrowly wide and Pamment was foiled by Levett when through.
The second goal on 20 minutes was almost as easy as the first, Scott Murfin stroking home. Shortly afterwards, the Lions again hit the bar through Pamment.
Murfin supplied a superb pass to Clark near the half hour, only for Clark to strike the woodwork. Joe Shelley made sure on the half-hour, heading home a ball parried by Levett.
The visitors’ luck was summed up a few minutes later as Connor Townsend, shaping up to score, managed to trip over his own feet as the ball trickled to safety.
Ross Markham shot well over for Hailsham from a corner before Shelley scored his second and Pagham’s fourth. Chances were coming thick and fast as the end of the half approached.
The second half began with the visitors on the front foot as they searched for at least a consolation. Many thought they were denied a penalty on 49 minutes as a player was felled. The referee conferred with his assistant and a free-kick was awarded just on the edge of the area.
Hailsham sub Rodrigues went on a mazy run but lost the ball at the crucial moment, just before Pamment had the ball in the net again for the Lions. An offside flag robbed him of his second goal, but it was soon 5-0.
A Pagham corner found its way to Shelley and he headed home to complete his hat-trick.
Off went Ruben French as Ryan Morey came on to increase Pagham’s attacking potential.
The Lions were becoming shot-happy and Murfin’s 63rd-minute strike troubled the pigeons behind the goal more than Levett. Hailsham’s Charlie Shoag picked up the only booking for dissent on 65 minutes.
The Lions made it six on 68 minutes, Murfin bundling the ball home.
The Stringers almost tied up a goal when a corner was frantically scrambled away by Pagham.
Murfin and Pamment were replaced by Josh Irish and Ben Mepham and there was no let-up for Hailsham’s beleagured defence.
Stringers boss Dave Shearing was keeping the crowd entertained with his comments cajoling his players.
Markham looked certain to score as he hared into the area but the chance went begging. Overton capped another eye-catching performance for the Lions with a goal on 83 minutes.
Capitalising on some great Lions approach work, he stroked home a low shot to make it 7-0.
Mepham struck the bar before a final chance fell to Overton, who was blocked by Andy Saunders.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans, Warren, French (Morey 61), Wollers, Kempson, Shelley, Clark, Pamment (Irish 71), S Murfin (Mepham 71), Overton. Subs not used: Bingham, Swain.
Hailsham: Levett, Saunders, Findon, Lewis, Parsons, Markham, Townsend, Jonson, Townsend, Shoag, Goldsmith. Subs: Rodrigues, Cousins, Lewis.
AFC Uckfield 1 Chichester City 2
Josh Clack’s excellent season continued with a double that downed AFC Uckfield.
Clack struck midway through the first half and doubled his and City’s tally in the first minute of the second period.
Connor French’s 88th-minute goal for the hosts was too late to affect the result and Miles Rutherford’s team moved three points clear in fifth place with the win.
They now have two home games to come - City host Haywards Heath in the league on Saturday and entertain Eastbourne Town in round two of the Sussex Senior Cup next Tuesday.
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