Demolition Derby! Five star Lions roar past Lillywhites.
It was a true Boxing Day Massacre at Oaklands Park on Tuesday morning as Pagham took their local rivals apart, the only real surprise being that they only scored five!
On a pitch that was excellent down one side and a complete glue-pot down the other, it was the Lions who started the game on the front foot and could have led as early as the third minute when Chi keeper Anthony Ender managed to push a low shot from Callum Overton around the post. But it didn’t take long for the visitors to get their noses in front, when a long punt from keeper James Binfield bounced over the top of the Lillywhites defence allowing Dan Simmons to run onto the ball and guide it over the goalie for a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later and Binfield made another fine contribution for the Lions when he saved a fierce 25-yard drive by Chi forward Scott Jones. A period of Chichester pressure followed without creating any real chances and with Pagham producing little on the break, the game went into a bit of a lull for a while.
It burst back into life on the half-hour mark when Dan Simmonds grabbed his and his side’s second goal, from a lovely lay-off by strike-partner Callum Overton. And it was almost three soon after as Ender just got his fingers to a shot from Lloyd Rowlatt.
With Terrell Lewis now on the pitch, replacing James Thurgar, following an injury, it was still Pagham that looked the more likely side to score as shots rained in on the Chi goal from all angles. Pagham must have been happy to go in two up at the break, but will no doubt, have rued all the missed chances.
The home side made two changes at the break in an attempt to improve things for them and initially it looked as if it was working, as Chichester took the game to Pagham. The Lions defence stood resolute however and as in the first half all Chi’s possession led to no real chances, with a strangely quiet Scott Murfin getting no service up front for the Lillywhites.
Once again, it was Pagham that dragged some life back into the game and from a not unlikely source, when that man Dan Simmonds completed his hat-trick, sliding the ball under Ender following a lovely run and lay-off by Overton once again.
Unbelievably, it was Simmonds' fourth-hat-trick for Pagham since his arrival in October and it took away any steam left in the home side’s tank. The second half then fell in line with the first as Pagham used the Chichester defence as a shooting gallery, firing in shots from all over.
This time though they came to fruition as Callum Overton got the goal his performance deserved when he took Dan Simmonds’ pass in his stride, turned passed two defenders and smashed the ball home from the edge of the box in the 82nd minute.
And there was still time for youngster Jack Parkinson, on for an exhausted Lloyd Rowlatt, to open his senior team account as he cleverly collected a pass from Overton, his third assist of the afternoon, turned away from his marker and tapped the ball in for 5-0 in the final minute.
Pagham; James Binfield, Shay Wiggans, Ryan Cox, Joe Booker, Daryl Wollers, Jamie Horncastle, James Thurgar (Terrell Lewis), Andy Chick (George Bingham), Dan Simmonds, Lloyd Rowlatt (Jack Parkinson), Callum Overton: Subs not used: Johan van Driel & Sam Rolph
Match report by Paul Davidson.
Photo by Roger Smith.