Lions blow away the Robins
In very windy conditions, with the remains of Storm Ophelia sweeping across the ground, Pagham Under 21’s came from behind to beat previously unbeaten league leaders Hassocks 3-2 at Nyetimber Lane on Monday evening.
Pagham forward Jack Parkinson had the first two chances of the game, the first well saved by Hassocks ‘keeper Green, the second agonizingly whacked against the post from the rebound. With the wind playing havoc with the game it was Lions goalie Luke Terry who was next called into action, diving to steal the ball from the feet of an inrushing Hassocks forward.
On 25 minutes the Lions were unlucky not to take the lead as a great run, passed two defenders, by Jack Parkinson ended with his ball across the box just evading Mike Rogerson, who, soon afterwards saw his longshot bounce to safety off the cross-bar.
But on 32 minutes it was the visitors who took the lead when Robin’s midfielder Matt Berridge hit a low shot that found the corner of the net despite Luke Terry’s best efforts.
Pagham had one last chance to equalise in the half when Ceri Marsh became the third Pagham player to hit the woodwork with a long speculative shot that got caught up in the wind.
Pagham started the second half on the front foot and it looked to be just a matter of time before they got back into the game. On 51 minutes a great ball in from Harry Keane was pushed to safety by the keeper, but the Lions would not be denied for long. In the very next minute a header was flicked across goal and smashed in at the far post by Michael Rogerson to draw the teams level.
A number of substitutions were made by Pagham before they took the lead on 66 minutes with a fortunate goal. A long free-kick from the left by Ceri Marsh, swirled across the area and evaded everyone at the far post to drop into the net.
Back came Hassocks and they made it 2-2 on 75 minutes when a long run by Kieran Rowe saw the ball tapped in at the far post by Connor Bradley. And the Robins could and probably should have gone back in front soon after when Rowe, put clean through, put his shot wide of the far post.
Hassock’s were made to pay for that miss when, in the 80th minute, Jack Parkinson planted a sublime header over Green from inside the penalty area to win the game for the home side.
In one final chance for Pagham, Joe Jones hit the post with a shot following a corner, but it really should have ended 3-3 as Hassock’s Kieran Rowe hit another great chance over the bar in the last minute of normal time. They did not get another chance as the Lions played the added time out comfortably to record an excellent win on a wild night.
BY PAUL DAVIDSON
Pagham’s Team was: Luke Terry, Scott Rafferty (James Cooke), Harry Keane (Ryan Spray), Joe Ashmore (Josh Simmonds), Charlie Selby (Capt), Mike Gilchrist (Jack Anderton), Joe Jones, Matt Hambleton, Jack Parkinson, Ceri Marsh, Mike Rogerson. Sub not used: Tommy Sanctuary.