9 man Pagham draw with Uckfield.
By Tony Shea
Pagham drew for the first time this season in the league, but with some cost to the team, ending the match with 9 men, and losing a 2-0 lead.
Things didn't start well, as with James Binfield injured, Jordan Matthews was listed as donning the gloves. A pre-match injury meant that Neil Murfin carried on where he left off on Tuesday, as guardian of the goal. He was called into action early on, but was assured as he caught the ball from an incoming shot. At the other end Mat Dann was made to look desperate on the quarter hour, spilling the ball which was hacked away to safety. Three minutes later and it could easily have been 1-0. A Lions free-kick was winged in by Chick, with Darryl Wollers forcing a good safe from Dann. Scott Murfin was oh-so-unlucky on 23 minutes, when many watching thought he was unfairly adjudged offside. The first booking came as George Bingham was cautioned for a tackle on player-manager Anthony Storey. A last gasp header from Dean Stewart-Hunter denied the Lions another goalden opportunity. Another booking followed, Uckfield's Victor Borade ending up in Referee Mr Harris' book. It was to prove quite a busy afternoon for the man in black. Screams for a Pagham penalty on 38 minutes were rightly denied as a superb tackle by Craig Norman took the ball away from Callum Overton. As the match moved into time added on, Pagham kept pressing, and were rewarded with a penalty. 'Keeper Dann bought Overton down in the area, Mr Harris pointed to the spot, and Scott Murfin sent the ball flying into the roof of the net.
No changes at half time, but a booking for Overton on 48 minutes was just a sign of things to come. Uckfield's goal was peppered with shots, and goal number two was possibly the easiest Lions' skipper James Horncastle will ever score. A chip in from Andy Chick left the Uckfield defence bamboozled, and a huge gap beyond the 'keeper. Seeing this chasm, Horncastle nonchalantly tucked away the ball to double the Lions lead. A slick one-two between Scott Murfin & Callum Overton just after the hour didn't quite come off, but it was a few minutes later that Overton was sent off. A second yellow, for a niggly tackle left Mr Harris no option, having just previously warned Overton about his conduct. Worse was to come on 72 minutes, as a late tackle saw Ryan Cox given a straight red to leave the Lions 2 goals up, but two men down. The superiority in numbers saw Uckfield up the ante, with Hassan Ibraham trying his luck twice in quick sucession. The first troubled the seagulls behind the goal, the second whistled well wide of the mark. Pagham then contrived to score Uckfield's first, a goalmouth scramble ending with the ball in the net, a less than happy Neil Murfin cursing his luck. With just over five minutes left, Pagham chose to make changes. Off went Andy Chick & Scott Murfin, with Terrell Lewis & David Crouch entering the combat zone. Uckfield sub Matt Holland pinged a shot across goal, before a free-kick for the visitors was hacked away as burly Bailo Camara was shaping to shoot. Jsut when the Lions looked to hung on for all three points, a ball from Norman to Camara found its way to Shaun Loft, who hit home a winner which deserved to be so. The final whistle blew on a point gained for the visitors, and Pagham looking to Tuesday's visit to Crawley Down Gatwick the next round of the Peter Bentley Cup.
Pagham; N.Murfin, S.Wiggans, R.Cox, J.Booker, D.Wollers, J.Horncastle, G.Bingham, A.Chick(D.Crouch 84), C.Overton, S.Murfin(T.Lewis 84), G.Cody;R.Davidson, J.Parkinson, L.Terry
Uckfield Town;M.Dann, M.Barbosa, C.Norman, V.Borade, R.Welch, A.Storey, H.Ibraham, D.Stewart-Hunter, M.McClean, S.Loft, B.Camara; M.Black, M.Holland, H.Funnell