Pagham's post-Paine era starts with defeat at Horley
Pagham's first game after the resignation of Bob Paine ended in defeat at Horley - after starting so well.
Pagham announced less than 48 hours before the game Paine had resigned with immediate effect.
A statement said: "The club would like to express our sincere thanks to Bob for all his efforts this season, but no other comments will be issued at this time."
It's their third managerial loss in a few months. Joint boss Richie Hellen left towards the end of last season, leaving Tom Simmonds in sole charge. But he departed in the close and was replaced by Paine, whose resignation leaves the Lions looking for another new man at the first team helm.
At Horley, having gone a goal up in just 90 seconds and looking well in control of the game, one disastrous minute in which Horley scored two goals, and could have had a third, put the Lions on the back foot, from which they never recovered.
It all started so well for the away side with an excellent ball through the Horley defence from Jack Barnes setting Joe Clarke free on the right hand side and he slapped his shot into the bottom corner of the net to give Pagham a 1-0 lead inside two minutes. On 20 minutes, Barnes could have doubled the lead, but his 20-yard shot skidded along the very wet pitch and into the Horley keeper’s hands.
As the rain got heavier the Lions hopes started to go down the drain in the 31st minute. Firstly, a defensive mistake down the left let the Horley winger deliver a good cross for Mario Quaassaca to slide in at the near post to equalise. Thirty seconds later and keeper Tom Crook was forced into an excellent save to deny the hosts a second.
Unfortunately, just 30 seconds after that, a free-kick was swung into the Pagham penalty area and Quaassaca rose high to nod the ball home for a 2-1 lead. The rest of the half was played out in driving rain, but no more chances were created at either end.
Jake Heryet replaced Tom Chalaye at the interval and for the first few minutes of the second half there was little to pick between the two sides, with Lindon Miller having possibly the best chance, but his shot was well saved by Horley keeper George Hyde.
Then, to make matters worse for the Lions, the referee awarded a contested penalty for a trip in the box in the 56th minute which Lewis Taylor slotted home for 3-1. Two minutes later and Miller had what proved to be Pagham’s last chance, but his close-in shot was cleared off the line.
With Horley now almost completely dominant, Crook was in action again, making two very good saves, but the game was all wrapped up after 68 minutes, when a cross from the right caught the Lions defence in a pickle and Tony Halsey tapped home for 4-1. Seamus Tilley replaced Miller, but it made no difference as Pagham slid to another heavy defeat.
Pagham: Crook, Hallett, da Costa, Clark, Jelley, Geoghegan, Chalaye (Heryet), Barnes, C Tilley, Clarke, Miller (S Tilley). Subs not used: Beaney, Slaughter, Smith.