Home comforts for ruthless Lions!
By Tony Shea
The Lions were handed a pre-Christmas gift as the Golds were left feeling as blue as their shirts at the final whistle.
The visitors rooted to the bottom of the table, and with the Lions one of the form sides in the division, Pagham were expected to win. Win comfortably they did, but not until a few scares from the visitors.
Goal number one came in the second minute, as Callum Overton smashed home a Lloyd Rowlatt cross.
Former Lion Dan Kempson went close from a free-kick before the Lions went on the rampage again. With only a shot from Ryan Bell to ring any sign of Littlehampton pressure, Pagham were looking the better side as the quarter hour approached.
Matt Noble's regal shot on 21 minutes was very well parried by Lions' keeper James Binfield.
The second goal a few seconds later had some controversy surrounding it. With the visiting fans insisting Callum Overton was offside, Dan Simmonds raced in to the area, was pole-axed by Golds' Jake Chaplin & referee Mr O'Reilly pointed to the spot. After booking Chaplin, the referee blew the whistle as Simmonds gained his revenge from 12 yards. Littlehampton 'keeper Mitchell Bromage could do nothing as the score was doubled.
The away side did exert a little pressure, Bell and Dean Stewart-hunter both going close. Dan Simmonds was finding the offside flag an unnecessary hindrance as time and time again he was caught in no-man's land.
At the other end Lucas Pattenden was in on goal before Joe Booker hacked the ball away.
The Lions' front three were having a wonderful Christmas time in front of goal, James Thurgar looking lively as he went close more than once. With the first half all but done, it was a surprise the Lions were only two goals to the good.
No changes at the break, but it didn't take Pagham long to score their third. Lloyd Rowlatt's shot rebounded to the feet of Overton and he easily beat Bromage.
Dan Simmonds wasn't so lucky a few minutes later, as Bromage this time found his 'keeping gloves and saved well.
Shay Wiggans' booking on 50 minutes for his tackle on Dean Stewart-Hunter was made worse by the Littlehampton player laying prone on the pitch for some time, and after treatment, the less than seasonal sight of him being stretchered off lent a sombre mood to the game. With Harry Heath coming on to replace him, the Golds were awarded a justifiable free-kick.
A shot struck by Ross McKay through a melee of players pinged in off the post beyond a help-less James Binfield.
The Lions 'keeper followed this up from the re-start with a superb save to keep the score in Pagham's favour. It became even more favourable just before the hour as James Thurgar thumped the ball home for Pagham's fourth.
Four became five not long afterward as Simmonds hit his second of the game. Much credit to Andy Chick whose defence splitting pass allowed Simmonds his chance.
Dan Kempson saw yellow as Mr O'Rielly got his book out again. On came Eli Amoo for the visitors, replacing Lucas Pattenden. He was on the pitch not a minute before a shot was denied by the brilliance of James Binfield.
Shay Wiggans found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on 77 minutes, a ball in the face bringing him down & necessitating treatment. He soldiered on for a few minutes before George Bingham replaced him.
Ross McKay could have got a second for Littlehampton with a right-sided shot. Another Littlehampton substitution in the dying minutes presaged another goal-scoring chance for the Golds. Ryan Bell's free-kick clanged off the bar.
Just time for one final shot from Golds' sub Harry Heath passed the post, and the whistle blew on another convincing Pagham victory.
Pagham; J.Binfield (S.Wiggans 80), R.Cox, J.Booker, D.Wollers, J.Horncastle (J.Killhams 69), L.Rowlatt(J.Van Driel 69), A.Chick, D.Simmonds, J.Thurgar, C.Overton: J.Ashmore, R.Davidson
Littlehampton; M.Bromage, Z.Sharp, R.Bell, J.Chaplin, R.McKay, M.Ball, D.Kempson, M.Noble, J.Cole (L.tijon-sparks 88), L.Pattenden (E.Amoo 66), D.Stewart-Hunter (H.Heath 52); O.Bankole, J.Askew
Match report by Jon Rose.