Overton leads charge as Pagham hammer Hassocks

They're 15 games unbeaten, and the Lions showed why against a Hassocks side determined to defend from the off.

With the visitors’ rearguard well marshalled by Jordan Badger, Pagham still started brightly with Callum Overton scoring the first of his three goals on 12 minutes.

Callum Overton on his way to a hat-trick / Picture by Roger Smith

Callum Overton on his way to a hat-trick / Picture by Roger Smith

A sublime Scott Murfin cross was collected and Robins’ keeper Josh Green was beaten as the ball whistled past him into the net.

A few minutes later it could have been 2-0, the ball flashing across Hassocks goal from a corner. Jack Rowe-Hurst and George Gaskin had chances but the Robins looked to have parked the proverbial bus in their efforts not to lose.

Frantic clearances from Dan Jacques and Harvey Enticknapp cleared the visitors’ lines as the Lions looked to increase their lead. A great move involving Charlie Williamson, Murfin and Gaskin saw the ball sent just over Hassocks’ bar.

A rare chance for the Robins saw Harry Mills put the ball behind from a Badger free-kick. Matthew Ford motored into Pagham’s area, but the Hassocks man saw his chance hustled away.

Just after the half-hour, a Pagham free-kick rocketed into Hassocks’ area, and before he could get to the ball, Gaskin appeared to be pulled down. Despite protests, the referee waved away pleas for a spot kick.

An enforced change for Hassocks came as Joseph Bull, injured earlier in the match, had to go off to be replaced by Jake Lindsay. There was more penalty pain for Pagham when Murfin went down in Hassocks’ area, only for the spot-kick to again be denied by the officials.

A superb block from Badger cut out a Williamson cross as the Lions looked for a second goal. But it came on 42 minutes as a ball in from Daryl Wollers was tucked away by Gaskin.

Worse was to come for Hassocks just before half-time as Overton headed home his second, and Pagham’s third, to leave the Lions well in command come the break.

The visitors began the second half better than the first, Liam Benson being thwarted by James Binfield a minute in. Ford headed narrowly wide as the visitors began to attack.

A booking for Ryan Cox preceded a Hassocks free-kick before Pagham made use of Hassocks’ poor finishing by taking the game back to the Robins and Rowe-Hurst’s shot forced Green into a fingertip save for a corner.

The hour mark bought a fine shot from Overton, Green pushing the ball away for a corner. A goal-line clearance straight after kept the score at 3-0, but soon Overton completed a fine hat-trick with a solo run and shot that Green could do nothing about.

A triple substitution for Pagham saw Johan Van Driel, skipper Jamie Horncastle and hat-trick hero Overton replaced by youngsters Harry Prisk, Joe Ashmore and Charlie Selby.

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Gaskin shot just over from a Cox cross before Binfield cleared well under Hassocks pressure. On 78 minutes Harry Mills headed across his own goal, with Pagham unable to capitalise.

Hassocks got the first of their two goals on 83 minutes as the Lions’ rearguard opened to let in Jake Lindsay to shoot home.

A minute later, Pagham got their fifth, Gaskin having the last touch to get his second. Another superb save from Binfield on 85 denied Lindsay a second goal, while at the other end Green saved well from a Rowe-Hurst chance.

A couple of minutes into time added on, Badger ran through a crowed Lions area to slot home to make it 5-2. Pagham sit nicely in fourth place in the SCFL premier-division table.

Pagham: Binfield, Williamson, Cox, Van Driel (Ashmore 71), Wollers, Horncastle (Selby 71), Chick, Gaskin, Murfin, Overton (Prisk 71). Sub not used: Hendrick.

Hassocks: Green, Mills, Badger, Jacques, Broomfield, Bull, Enticknapp, Ford, Benson, Johnson, Littlejohn. Subs: Lindsay, Baden, Galbraith-Gibbons, Wickwar