Pagham leave Magpies full of sorrow in Peter Bentley Cup win
It was sorrow for the Magpies & joy for the Lions as the Peter Bentley Cup holders safely negotiated a tough tie at the Recreation Ground.
With Richie Hellen & Tom Simmonds looking to repeat the 4-1 league thrashing dished out Loxwood a few weeks ago, they went with prolific Callum Overton as a lone striker, Scott Murfin's powder kept dry as he took a place on the bench.
On a sunny September afternoon it was the Magpies who started the brightest, Tiago Andrade collecting a cross from Ollie Moore only for the shot to fly over the bar.
Loxwood defender Joe Holvey was next to try his luck, a blistering run only curtailed as Dary Wollers hacked the ball away.
Free-kicks abounded as the referee kept control in what was a competitive game. Joe Kilhams went down after a heavy challenge but application of the magic sponge got him back on his feet. Loxwood's Michael Wood was also in need of treatment, down for a considerable time before he scrambled to his feet and carried on.
Horncastle headed wide for the Lions after a Chick free-kick, and Overton gave Magpies' keeper Sam Smith work to do with a shot on 27 minutes.
Free-kicks became the best chance of scoring for either side as the game became end-to-end although not necessarily in a good way. A booking for Loxwood's Ollie Moore on 38 livened things up as tempers were raised, with Wood's run and shot forcing James Binfield out of his goal to make a superb stop.
A Pagham free-kick into time added on as Lloyd Rowlatt was bought down missed the target and ended the first half.
No changes at the break, with the Lions sticking to their game-plan.
Ex-Lion Jordan Warren forced an opening three minutes in, a mazy run through midfield ending with another missed chance by the home side.
Kilhams went closer for Lions shortly after, a rasping shot pinging back off the post. A trio of corners for the Lions within a minute also failed to get a goal, although Joe Kilhams pass to Andy Chick saw the ball rifled across Smith's goal.
A shot from Terrell Lewis, borne of frustration more than anything went wide of the mark just after the hour.
Another Lions free-kick went awry whilst at the other end Loxwood had to contend with the brilliance of James Binfield as they also couldn't score. Their main threat was coming from Andrade, the big number 9 hustling and bustling in front of goal, but his efforts were in vain.
Corners and shots over the bar came and went for both sides, and on the stroke of full-time Andrade almost made sure of the win with a strike that pinged onto the bar, and into the safe hands of Binfield.
90 minutes of effort and slog ended with the spectre of extra time and penalties looming.
Four minutes into extra time & Overton became the second booking of the game.
Terrell Lewis seemed a man on a mission, twice giving Smith shots to deal with, but the first fifteen ended with neither side able to get that vital winner.
A change for the Lions at the extra-time break, David Crouch replacing Joe Kilhams. Slotting into an unfamiliar wing role, striker Crouch was looking to slide into the goal area un-noticed at strike home that elusive winner.
A superb Neil Murfin ball in was hurriedly cleared for a Lions corner, which came to nothing. Five minutes of extra time left, and the Lions had the perfect chance to win the game. A well-placed free-kick arrowed toward goal only for Smith to punch the ball away.
Scott Murfin finally got his chance with three minutes left, Terrell Lewis leaving the field. Just time for a final shot from Andrade, well held by BInfield, before the spot-kick lottery began.
Pagham skipper Jamie Horncastle opened the proceedings, making sure from the spot, Ollie Moore did less, missing his target. Callum Overton showed him how it was done. Joel Colbran beat James Binfield from 6 yards, but Lloyd Rowlatt's penalty wasn't so assured. Up stepped Loxwoods Michael Wood, and his strike went beyond Binfield. David Crouch went up for Pagham, making sure with a fine strike. The pivotal miss came from Magpies' skipper Byron Napper who hit the bar. Up stepped Scott Murfin, knowing a perfect penalty would win the game. That it duly did, triggering jubilation after a long afternoon from the Pagham fans.
Loxwood;S.Smith, J.Holvey, J.Warren, E.French, J.Colbran, R.Swaine, M.Wood, B.Napper, T.Andrade, O.Moore, H.Bachelor;A.Todd, H.LLoyd, D.Neathey, S.Coxon, B.Mi-Burrow
Pagham; J.Binfield, N.Murfin, J.Van Driel, R.Davidson, D.Wollers, J.Horncastle, L.Rowlatt, A.Chick, C.Overton, J.Kilhams(D.Crouch 105),T.Lewis (S.Murfin 117);J.Hawker, G.Bingham J.Parkinson