Pagham Reserves left floundering by Mullets.
The Lions reserve side were caught out on Saturday by a rampant Arundel team that recovered from a battering in the first half to more or less score at will in the second on their way to a 6-2 away win.
It was almost all Pagham in the first period and the home side really should have been 3 or even 4 up at the break. The Lions went in front on 5 minutes after the Mullets keeper pushed a hard shot from Dave Crouch round the post, but Crouch got his own back when he headed the ensuing corner from Joey Jones into the net. Arundel almost equalised in their first attack and it need a sharp low save from Luke Terry to keep them out.
After a rare period of Arundel pressure, it was the away side that snatched an equaliser when ### nodded home a corner at the far post. After that it was all Pagham for a while, but they just couldn’t take the chances that came their way. Charlie Selby headed a Ceri Marsh free-kick over the bar before Joe Matthews nodded an excellent cross from Joey Jones wide of the post.
Next it was David Crouch’s turn as he had his header from a corner cleared off the line before Jack Parkinson was bundled over in the box chasing the rebound. Everybody in the ground seemed to see the penalty, except referee Sahin Mehmet Akin who waited a few seconds before waving play-on. Arundel did get the ball in the net again just before the interval, but fortunately for the home side, it was ruled out for offside.
The second half started as the first had ended, but this time it was Pagham that had the goal disallowed when Joey Jones slid home at the far post. On 52 minutes Arundel took their first lead of the game when Luke Richards smashed a 35-yard free-kick onto the near-side post and in. Pagham looked to get back on level terms as Jack Parkinson broke through the Mullets defence but slid his shot just wide of the far post, before Dave Crouch tied it at 2-2 in the 67th minute when he crashed home a Ceri Marsh free-kick that had been knocked back across the box.
And that was as good as it got for the Lions. Firstly, Craig Rennie slid home at the far post after a ball across the area was not cleared and then, less than 10 minutes later it was 2-4 as sub George Bird ran the length of the pitch to round Terry and score. Three minutes after that it was five when Craig Rennie had another long run through a static defence and scored from close in. Pagham wasted their last chance to score when Parkinson’s 25-yard blast crashed onto the post with the keeper stranded.
Arundel wrapped it up on 87 minutes, when Luke Richards chased a ball that looked like it was going out of play, only to get his foot to it and score from an outrageous angle.
Pagham’s Reserve side was: Luke Terry, Ollie Chick, Harry Keane (Matt Hambledon), Ceri Marsh, Charlie Selby, Mike Gilchrist, Alex Ansa-McIntyre (Krzytof Parafiez), Joe Matthews, Jack Parkinson, David Crouch and Joe Jones. Subs not used: Monty Morgan, Tommy Sanctuary and Kerry Hardwell.
MATCH REPORT BY PAUL DAVIDSON