Lions through to 1st Qualifying Round of FA Cup!
By Tony Shea
Pagham cruised their way into the 1st Qualifying Round of the F. A Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win at the Trafalgar Ground of Newhaven F.C. on Saturday Aug 25th.
Although the game was not made virtually safe until the 63rd minute, when Callum Overton scored the second goal, the Lions looked comfortable enough from the 15th minute onwards, when George Gaskin scored an early candidate for ‘Goal of the Season’ (his second of the week!), to put his side 1-0 up.
The opening goal was, in fact, the first shot of the game from either side and was an absolute belter. Overton won the ball on the right and cleverly fed Johan Van Driel inside. Van Driel’s chip across the pitch to Gaskin was just as good and Gaskin took the ball in his stride, beat one man and smashed a shot from just outside the box over two more defenders and watched as it curled inside the far post. He enjoyed that, and so did the travelling Pagham fans!
Pagham goalie James Binfield had to be on his toes pretty soon after, saving a long shot from the Docker’s serial goalscorer Lee Robinson fairly comfortably. It was Robinson’s only half-chance of the game, as he was superbly marshalled by Ryan Davidson and Daryl Wollers all afternoon. The only other worthwhile shot of the entire half was a 35-yard blast from Lion’s midfielder Howard Neighbour that flew just over the bar. And that was half-time, lots of effort but hardly any goal attempts from either side.
The second half started with Newhaven’s only period of pressure in the game and led to their one real chance. Breaking down the right, the Dockers whizzed in a good cross that evaded no less than three of their forwards as it sped away to safety. It was George Gaskin that picked the ball up on the right-wing, level with the edge of the penalty area and he went on a rampaging run across the pitch for fully 70 yards, before feeding Overton who won a corner. Unfortunately, the corner came to nothing, but it was 2-0 soon after when Callum Overton was on hand to nod the ball in at the near post from an excellent Jamie Horncastle cross.
Lindon Miller, who had led the line superbly all afternoon, picking up just a booking for his trouble, was replaced by George Bingham and Howard Neighbour, who had also run himself into the ground was replaced by Scott Murfin. Overton almost made it 3-0 with 15 minutes to go but could not quite stretch himself enough to reach a driven ball across the area which was eventually smothered by Docker’s ‘keeper Jake Buss.
Once again Overton was in the penalty area causing problems, but his ball along the by-line could not find a Pagham boot and flew clear and away to safety. With Newhaven now desperate, they threw everything short of the kitchen sink at the Lion’s defence, forcing Binfield into two fine saves to keep them out. But the Docker’s whirlwind soon blew itself out and, with James Thurgar coming on in injury time for George Gaskin, Pagham played out the last few minutes in some comfort.
Pagham’s team was: James Binfield, Shay Wiggans, Ryan Cox, Ryan Davidson, Daryl Wollers, Jamie Horncastle, Johan Van Driel, Howard Neighbour (Scott Murfin), George Gaskin (James Thurgar), Callum Overton, Lindon Miller (George Bingham).