Young Lions fall to East Preston in Semi Final.
By Tony Shea
Jack Millard and Paul Selby's young side were punished for a slow start against a strong East Preston team last night and crashed out the cup at the semi final stage.
East Preston named a strong side including a few first team regulars and immediately began on the front foot. Luke Terry having to be at his best on a few occasions early on.
East Preston scored their first of the night moments after one of these stops however, a smart finish inside the box.
Pagham were finding it hard to keep the ball for any significant periods and were punished mid-way through the half once more, the EP forward was able to gain the ball chasing down what seemed a lost cause and slotted home with ease.
It has to be said that Pagham could count themselves lucky the scoreline wasn't worse heading in to half time.
The second half began and the young Lions seemed a different side from the outset, putting EP under pressure and making use of the ball when they had it.
A few shots from distance began to reign in on the East Preston goal but nothing quite clear cut.
Then completely against the run of play, East Preston broke and made it three. A ball into the box found their centre forward and he made no mistake from 6 yards out.
Just minutes later, Jake Stanley tucked the ball away to make the scoreline 3-1 after some good work from Parkinson.
Pagham made changes and kept up the pressure all half. Chances fell to Parkinson, Rogerson and Ashmore but the opposition goalkeeper was equal to their attempts.
A much improved second half performance for the young Lions was unfortunately let down by the slow start and upon the referee's full time whistle, Pagham could be proud of their efforts and never quit attitude but unfortunately exited the cup.
With the league and other U21 cup still up for grabs, the young side have plenty to play for still and we hope to see them bounce back next time out!