Pagham stroll to three points in Eastbourne
An excellent Pagham performance saw The Lions take the spoils at The Saffrons.
The first action of the game involved Pagham striker Dan Simmonds who sent a shot goalward in the 3rd minute, only to see the ball slide across the six-yard box and away to safety. With Pagham well in control, it was Dan Simmonds again three minutes later, this time bursting through the Yellow’s defence to go one-on-one with the keeper only to be denied when Nessing in the home side’s goal dived at his feet to push the ball away from danger.
In the 20th minute it was Andy Chick’s turn to try to open the scoring only to be thwarted by Nessing as he grabbed Chick’s excellent chip. Five minutes before half time Town finally got into the game and Lions keeper Kieran Magee had to be at his best to punch away a deflected header.
The ball was soon played back up the other end and, on 43 minutes, Dan Simmonds once again burst through the defence and when keeper Nessing slipped over trying to make a save Simmonds easily went around him to roll the ball into the empty net. Still there was time for Pagham to have another strike at goal as Simmonds, who else, drove the ball over the bar after Lloyd Rowlatt had been fouled outside the box.
The second half started with a scare for the Lions when a defensive mix-up left Eastbourne dangerman Liam Baitup with a great chance, but he could only hit the side netting. This led to the home side dominating for the first time in the game and on a rare break Dan Simmonds took a tumble that needed the attention of the physio.
Pagham slowly turned the game around and Joe Kilhams had a shot from distance that had the Town keeper scrambling to save, then, that man Simmonds, once again clean through, forced a great save from Nessing to keep his side in the game.
But not for long though, as in the 61st minute Simmonds received the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the penalty area, turned two defenders and buried his shot over the flailing goalie to open a 2-0 lead for the Lions. And he should have completed his hat-trick soon after, when he controlled a great ball over the top from Ryan Davidson but once again hit his shot straight at keeper Nessing.
And still Pagham in general and Simmonds in particular kept charging forward. First a lob from Simmonds slid wide of the post, then George Bingham hit a 25-yard drive over the bar. Chances came and went for Pagham, but they just couldn’t force another one home that their total domination of the game deserved.
Eastbourne had just one more chance to get into the game on 75 minutes when Baitup hit the bar with a chip when it looked far easier to score. Simmonds had one final chance to complete his hat-trick when for the umpteenth time he shot straight at the keeper after being set up by Lloyd Rowlatt and Daryl Wollers had a header from a corner hacked off the line but that was it. The referee blew the whistle soon after to put an end to Eastbourne’s misery after what was most definitely one of the best Pagham performances of the season.
Pagham’s team was: Kieran Magee, Shamus Wiggans, Ryan Cox, Ryan Davidson, Daryl Wollers, Jamie Horncastle, Lloyd Rowlatt (Joe Ashmore), George Bingham, Dan Simmonds, Joe Kilhams (George Cody) and Andy Chick. Subs not used: Johan van Driel, David Crouch and Ales Ansa-McIntyre.