Pagham and Peacehaven drew on an afternoon dominated by the weather.
The Lions knew a win would move them closer to the top as they got off to a bright start after an impeccably observed minute's silence to remember the war fallen.
With the Lions scoring 12 in three games before this, including the 4-1 FA Vase victory against ‘Haven the previous week, it was no surprise when they took an early lead. An inswinging corner was headed home by Daryl Wollers after only a couple of minutes.
That advantage lasted only ten minutes, though, Tyler Scrafton striking through a crowd of players into Pagham’s net. It could have been 2-1 to the visitors a couple of minutes later but Curtis Ford shot over when clean through.
Peacehaven were being well dealt with by a strong Pagham defence, James Binfield being kept busy. At the other end ‘Haven keeper Alieu Secka had to deal with Callum Overton and Howard Neighbour’s sorties into his area.
Mike Lloyd’s cross only just stayed out for Peacehaven on 23 minutes. Matt Cheesman thought he was through to score a few minutes later, but the superb Ryan Davidson snuffed out the threat with a timely tackle.
On the half hour Wollers appeared to make contact with ‘Haven’s Jake Legrange in the area. The ‘Haven player fell, and the visitors’ fans and managment screamed for a penalty. The referee saw it differently and waved play on.
Pagham were under pressure but it didn’t stop George Gaskin shooting just wide for the Lions. Binfield was again the hero at the other end, saving the Lions from going behind. Jack Rowe-Hurst was a menace for the Lions, and just on the stroke of half-time his shot deserved better than ending in Secka’s arms.
Pagham replaced Harry Hendrick with Jamie Horncastle at half-time to shake things up a bit. With the rain worsening by the minute, Pagham came out determined to score another goal. Rowe-Hurst headed over, Gaskin had a shot scrambled away and Pagham were forcing corner after corner.
When the visitors attacked, Lloyd did his best to break the netting behind the Pagham goal. In an accidental clash with Overton, and Secka, Tyler Scrafton went down near the hour mark for treatment, the ‘Haven goalscorer looking stricken. After a long delay he was able to carry on.
On came Scott Murfin for the Lions, Rowe-Hurst going off. The heavens opened, and in the torrential rain Peacheaven pushed on, with a shot from Ford escorted out of harm’s way by Binfield.
Murfin raced towards goal, only for the ball to be cleared. A looping shot from Davidson was tipped over by Secka. The ball was hurried toward the Pagham area, and a classy clearance from Binfield stopped the ‘Haven from scoring. A shot pinged off Pagham’s post a few minutes later.
Overton initiated a period of pressure for the Lions, and was unlucky to be caught offside. Andy Chick had a scoring chance from a free-kick, as a frantic last quarter hour in the rain had the Lions with the upper hand.
There was just time for Gaskin to race through on goal but a wave of an offside flag and the whistle ended an even game.
Pagham: Binfield, Hendrick (Horncastle 45), Cox, R Davidson, Wollers, Van Driel, Chick, Neighbour, Gaskin, Overton, Rowe-Hurst (Murfin 62). Subs: A Davidson, Brazil, Selby.
Peacehaven; Secka, Wiltshire, Burton, Cheesman, Elliott, Massen, Legrange, Brocklebank, Ford, Scrafton, Lloyd. Subs: Bant, Richmond, Croydon, Mynhardt, Baker