Lion Cubs blown off course by Horsham YMCA
By Tony Shea
On a cold and windy night at Nyetimber Lane that felt more like November than September, Pagham’s Under 21 team were beaten by a very good Horsham YMCA U21 side.
It was the away side that flew out the traps and they went 1-0 up inside the first minute when a defensive mix-up, not the last of the half it has to be said, led to Horsham tucking the ball in the net after a superb initial save from goalie Luke Terry. They almost added to their lead seven minutes later with Terry again coming to the rescue.
Pagham’s first shot came a few minutes later when a blockbuster drive by Jack Parkinson was kicked away by Horsham’s keeper.
Still Horsham kept coming at Pagham and at this stage it was only keeper Terry holding them at bay. And then, almost out of the blue, Pagham equalised. Jack Parkinson ran down a long ball out of defence, took it passed a couple of defenders and blasted home from the edge of the 6 yard box.
Pagham took heart and for a few minutes dominated the game as Scott Rafferty had a good longshot saved by the keeper, but it was soon business as usual as Rafferty then had to clear off his own line less than a minute later.
Three minutes into the second half Pagham took the lead as a long throw fell to Tom Gannon who turned passed one defender and buried his shot into the far corner of the net.
It was all Pagham and the Horsham keeper was busily employed and a 30 yard drive from Ceri Marsh pushed him to his limit.
With Horsham slowly getting back into the game Pagham conceded an equaliser on 52 minutes when, from a free-kick, one of their midfielders got up to head over Terry and into the roof of the net.
As the game swung from end to end it was Terry to the rescue once again making several good saves to keep the score level. At the other end Pagham midfielder Matt Hambleton hit a sensational drive onto the top of the bar from fully 40 yards and sub Joe Ashmore drove wide from 20 yards.
Pagham were to rue their missed chances when the visitors scored what was to prove the winner in the 75th minute. A long free-kick into the box was squeezed inside the far post to put the away side 3-2 up.
A succession of Pagham corners came to nothing and the referee blew the final whistle exactly on 90 minutes even though play had just been stopped for almost three minutes due to an injury to a Horsham player!
An excellent game of football probably won by the better side on the night, but certainly not by much.
Pagham line-up: Luke Terry, Scott Rafferty (Mitchell Kane), Ryan Spray, Matt Hambleton (Josh Simmonds), Charlie Selby, Mike Gilchrist, Ceri Marsh (Jake Stanley), Tom Gannon (Joe Ashmore), Jack Parkinson, Jake Stanley (Joe Jones), Danny Greenslade. Booked: Marsh, Stanley & Ashmore.