Lions out-dance the Lancers!
With the Lions missing their top two forwards this was never going to be a goal fest, and in the end, it was a single goal from undoubted man-of-the-match Lloyd Rowlatt that gave his side the points.
It was Rowlatt who was involved in the first action of the game when his deft touch put Andy Chick through the middle, but he could only shoot straight at the keeper after 4 minutes. Seven minutes later George Bingham hit a sharp shot inches past the post as Pagham took all the early initiative. In the 31st minute Bingham repeated the move by belting another longshot from about the same place, about the same distance past the same post.
A minute later and a Terrell Lewis cross into the six-yard box was nudged dangerously past his own post by a Lancing defender. Pagham were playing some lovely football now on the artificial pitch and soon after, skipper Ryan Davidson headed a corner just over the bar.
Just after George Bingham had been booked for dissent in the 36th minute, Rowlatt had a free-kick saved by Lancers keeper D’Cruz, who smothered the rebound before Lewis could reach it. Just when it looked that the teams would go off level at half time, Pagham struck. Andy Chick knocked a free-kick wide to Johan Van Driel, whose low fast cross was flicked in at the near post by Rowlatt in the 45th minute, to give the Lions a 1-0 half time lead.
Five minutes into the second period and James Thurgar brought the save of the game from D’Cruz, as he managed to push Thurgar’s long shot onto the bar and over. It was D’Cruz again in the 54th minute thwarting a Terrell Lewis shot, set up by Jack Parkinson and James Thurgar.
A minute later Bingham tried his luck from distance again with exactly the same result as the first two. Jack Parkinson and Bingham were then replaced by Joe Kilhams and Jamie Horncastle to rest some tired legs, and Rowlatt was booked for dissent.
Lancing pressed forward for the last few minutes but were unable to force Pagham keeper James Binfield into a save, even after Davidson had been booked on the edge of the box, giving Lancing a last gasp chance of an equaliser. The Lions played out the added-on time comfortably to take the three points home.
Pagham’s Team was: James Binfield, Shamus Wiggans, Johan Van Driel, Ryan Davidson, Joe Booker, George Bingham (Jamie Horncastle), James Thurgar, Andy Chick, Jack Parkinson (Joe Kilhams), Lloyd Rowlatt and Terrell Lewis (Daryl Wollers). Sub not used, Tom Jefkins.
By Paul Davidson. Photo by Roger Smith.