Inspired substitution gives 10 man Pagham deserved FA Cup win at Sittingbourne.
In a game that burst into life in the 69th minute, when substitute Terrell Lewis was cruelly robbed of a cracking goal by some very poor officiating, Pagham still came out on top 1-0 when Lewis himself crashed home the winner in the 82nd.
It was all Sittingbourne for the first few minutes with Pagham goalie James Binfield making an excellent early save. Pagham’s first shot in the 4th minute went wide from Callum Overton but it was mostly back to the wall stuff for the away side.
Twice in a minute the Brikkies, such is Sittingbourne’s mysterious nickname, could have scored but the first was well cleared by Joe Booker then Bola Dowadu blasted well over for the hosts from close in. Still the home side came at Pagham and even hit the bar, before they blasted another chance well over.
After a quick Pagham break Scott Murfin had a shot pushed around the post by home ‘keeper Daren Hawkes, before Andy Chick imitated his hosts by smashing a fierce shot over the bar. Sittingbourne immediately went up the other end and Kane Rowland looked certain to score for the home side but once again hit his shot over. Just before half time James Binfield saved at the feet of two Sittingbourne forwards to keep it level at the break.
Pagham came out fighting for the second half and a series of long throws set up a couple of half chances that they could not quite convert and despite the Brikkies still creating chances of their own, the match was definitely swinging in Pagham’s favour.
Binfield did have to make another great save as he pushed a curling shot past the post before the most controversial moment of the night.
In the 69th minute Callum Overton made a sparkling run down the left before cutting the ball across the goal for sub Terrell Lewis, who had come on for George Cody, to blast the ball past the helpless goalie and into the net.
Or did he?
Terrell certainly thought he did. The players thought he did. The coaching team thought he did. The Pagham supporters behind the goal and even the Sittingbourne keeper thought he did. But despite the evidence of a bent stanchion inside the net, the linesman and therefore the referee didn’t and disallowed it. The players went berserk and Jake Hawker got booked for complaining too much, but at the end of the arguments it was still 0-0.
Retribution was not too long in coming though and with just eight minutes remaining a similar move down the left was literally smashed into the roof of the net from around six yards out by a fired up Terrell Lewis, who else? Pagham celebrated like they had won the cup itself, but then had to hang on for the last eight minutes and five minutes added time, At times the Lions penalty box resembled the Alamo, but for all their efforts Sittingbourne didn’t really look kike scoring. The only sad part for Pagham was the sending off of Hawker
with a few minutes left for a second bookable offence, but the ten men held out and it’s on to Carshalton Athletic to try for another bit of giant killing!
Pagham Team: James Binfield, Jake Hawker, Daryl Wollers, Ryan Davidson, Joe Booker, Jamie Horncastle, Lloyd Rowlatt, Andy Chick, Callum Overton, Scott Murfin (George Bingham (85), George Cody (Terrell Lewis 64m). Subs not used: Johan van Driel, David, Crouch, Josh Irish.