Season’s first week is perfect for Pagham
Jon Tucker’s tenure as Pagham manager has started with back-to-back wins to put them second in the first week’s Southern Combination premier-division table.
Here are the reports from their opening two games – and don’t miss all the local football action from the opening weekend in the Observer, out on Thursday.
Pagham 5 AFC Uckfield Town 2
Southern Combination premier
Newly-promoted Uckfield Town were no match for a Lions side attacking from start to finish who were 2-0 up inside 12 minutes.
Wood was first to threaten for the visitors as James Binfield had to be at his best in the first minute to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
Three minutes later Pagham showed Uckfield how things should be done. An inswinging corner was flicked on by Rob Wimble and Dan Martin was on hand to strike home a fine goal.
Jake Hawker, newly returned to first-team action after injury, denied Wood, while Firman in Uckfield’s goal was kept busy with Martin and Lloyd Rowlatt both foiled after fine shots.
Joe Gromett opened his Pagham account for the season on 12 minutes as the impressive Wimble created an opening that Gromett hit home to double the lead.
Greenall had a shot at Binfield on 19 minutes but made sure on 22 minutes as his right-sided strike bulged the Lions’ net.
The goal of the game came on the half-hour, Martin showing pace, poise and power to smack home a long-range shot that Firman could do nothing about.
An understanding was building between Terrell Lewis and Wimble and the latter supplied some great balls in for Lewis, none more so than on 35 minutes, with the keeper almost wrongfooted.
Six minutes before the break, Ryan Cox’s superb recovery tackle kept the Lions’ two-goal cushion intact. As the half entered time added on, Uckfield scored a second, Dallaway narrowing the Lions’ advantage.
Lewis struck the fourth on 49 minutes, Wimble again providing the ammunition for Lewis to fire home.
Uckfield skipper Andrews was looking useful, marshalling the back four against a Pagham onslaught. The hour mark saw Martin and Gromett replaced by Dan Kempson and George Cody for Pagham.
Cody mustered a chance for Lewis, the strike going just wide, while at the other end Binfield did well to block a shot which ended up being cleared for a corner.
A disjointed period of play saw free-kicks come to the fore, with neither side able to add further goals. Lewis left the field to applause on 79 minutes, Dan Simmonds coming on to replace him.
In the 82nd minute, Simmonds was brought down in the area and converted the penalty himself.
The Lions ended the match third in the division after a convincing debut for the new manager and his players.
PAGHAM: Binfield, Hawker, R Cox, Davidson, Playle-Howard, Noble, Lewis (Simmonds 79), Martin (Kempson 61), Wimble, Rowlatt, Gromett (G Cody 61).
Wick & Barnham 1 Pagham 3
Southern Combination premier
JON TUCKER secured a victory on his return return to Crabtree Park on Tuesday.
Tucker, who guided Wick and Barnham to promotion last season after a third place finish in division one, left the to join Pagham over the summer.
The two sides met in the second round of Southern Combination fixtures and it was Tucker who claimed the win on his return.
For John Suter, the man who replaced former Wick boss Tucker, it was a second straight defeat on home soil after losing 3-0 to Broadbridge Heath on Saturday.
The game was effectively all over inside 15 minutes as Dan Simmonds netted a double and Joe Gromett bagged a solitary goal.
The Lions went ahead after just 40 seconds as Dan Kempson’s free-kick was headed home by Gromett.
It was two just three minutes later when Lloyd Rowlatt picked out Simmonds from a corner and the frontman headed into the roof of the net.
A frantic first 13 minutes was complete when Simmonds thundered home a 25-yard free to make it three.
Wick’s first real opportunity came on 30 minutes as Dan Cox’s crossfield was knocked into Ben Anderton’s path by Karl Westbrook.
However, Anderton saw his strike from just outside the area stopped by Jamie Binfield.
Simmonds thought he had completed his hat-trick after Aaron Jeal spilled a cross straight into his path.
The former Littlehampton man side-footed towards goal only to see his shot blocked on the line by George Hotson.
Wick were much-improved in the second period and manger John Suter would have been pleased with their showing.
On 61 minutes, Westbrook was sent racing through on goal but Binfield denied the forward as he went to round him.
Westbrook made up for that miss just three minutes later as he was sent clear once again but this time chipped over the on rushing goalkeeper.
Pagham were nearly in for a nervy final five minutes but Binfield superbly tipped Westbrook’s strike wide of goal as it ended 3-1 to the visiting side.
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