Lions maul the Magpies!
By Tony Shea
Out in the woods on Tuesday evening, the Lions roared at their fiercest, destroying the Magpies Nest and upsetting more than a few squirrels as well!
Things started well for Pagham, who were getting most of the ball, but they were shocked when Loxwood took a surprise 12th minute lead, following an error, through Matthew Hards. Pagham kept pushing forward and were almost rewarded in the 25th minute when George Gaskin hit the outside of the post with a 25-yard free-kick.
The equaliser was not long in coming though, as Gaskin stroked a fine goal under Loxwood keeper Sam Smith following a 40-yard run. The chances kept coming Pagham’s way, but the ball would just not cross the goal-line. Both Callum Overton and Ryan Cox went close, before the Loxwood 'Keeper somehow kept out an effort from Howard Neighbour. Overton finally squeezed the ball home from a tight angle via a defender and the keeper in the 43rd minute to send the Lions in at half-time 2-1 to the good.
Three minutes into the second period and Overton was crudely brought down on the edge of the area, the decision being a free-kick and a sending off for Magpies sub Andy Gritt. Pagham were aggrieved that it wasn’t given as a penalty, but all that was forgotten as Gaskin stepped up and delivered a delicious free-kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net for 3-1.
Overton was on fire now and after having one goal disallowed for a dubious off-side, then had a rasping 20-yard drive well saved by keeper Smith. Not to be left out, Gaskin hit the post for the second time with a shot over the keeper, before Overton got the goal his efforts deserved, when a terrific through ball from Howard Neighbour was taken past two defenders by Overton and buried into the corner of the goal from the edge of the box in the 68th minute.
Saturday’s hero Lindon Miller now entered the fray as a substitute for Johan Van Driel and was soon right in the centre of things as Pagham started to run riot. In the 87th minute, it was Miller with the goal of the game, taking an excellent pass from Overton and finishing with some aplomb to make it 5-1.
But still Loxwood’s pain went on. Overton completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute, getting on the end of a Ryan Cox cross at the near post and still had time to claim his fourth two minutes into added-on time, nodding a Scott Murfin corner in from under the bar. And that was it. The referee blew the final whistle and just like that the Lions were top of the league!
Pagham’s team was: James Binfield, Shay Wiggans, Ryan Cox, Ryan Davidson, Daryl Wollers, Ryan Horncastle (George Bingham), Andy Chick, Howard Neighbour, George Gaskin (Scott Murfin), Johan Van Driel (Lindon Miller).