Lions close in on leaders with win over Selsey

In-form Scott Murfin was on target again for Pagham against Selsey    Picture by Roger Smith

In-form Scott Murfin was on target again for Pagham against Selsey Picture by Roger Smith

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Pagham made it six points out of six from the Christmas fixtures – and moved within a point of leaders Dorking – as struggling Selsey came off second best at Nyetimber Lane.

A derby at Chichester City awaits next Saturday as Gary Block’s Lions try to make it to the summit.

Pagham attacked from the off and a booking for for the Blues’ Stuart Morey on seven minutes was to prove pivotal.

Selsey looked dangerous each time James Parsons got the ball, and he was unlucky to come up against a solid Pagham back line, with Ryan Morey’s top-drawer tackle on Parsons stopping the visitors taking a shock lead.

The first goal came from the penalty spot. Stuart Morey took out Rob Brown in the penalty area, picking up a second yellow card for his trouble, and with the visitors down to ten men, Scott Murfin stepped up to smash home the spot-kick.

Selsey were still in the game, a shot from Elliott Courtman grazing the crossbar. It was hearts in mouths time as James Binfield’s goal kick went straight to Selsey’s Mark Thompson but Binfield did amazingly well to recover, and the Lions kept their lead.

Selsey keeper Kieran Gilber was earning his corn as he kept Pagham from scoring again. It was the Blues who next found the net, Toby Lempriere making the most of a defensive mix-up to strike a fine right-sided goal.

Five minutes later, a superb cross form Dale Hayes was headed home by Rob Wimble to restore the Pagham lead.

Two minutes after that, it was 3-1. Ryan Morey provided the ammunition for Andy Brown to score his second in two games.

A dubious free-kick awarded to Pagham could have put the Lions 4-1 up, but an offside flag saw justice served as the goal was disallowed. The rain came down, and the game became bogged down in free-kicks and niggling stoppages. The half-time whistle went with Selsey not out of it, despite being two goals in arrears.

Pagham began the second half with a ‘shoot on site’ gameplan and Hayes shot into the side netting.

Selsey sub James Binyon tested Binfield, but he caught the ball with ease. Both Rob Wimble and Ruben French grazed Selsey’s bar with shots, the Blues’ back-line under constant pressure now.

Possibly with half an eye on the Chichester game, Block made a double substitution just after the hour mark as both Andy and Rob Brown left the pitch to be replaced by Dan Martin and Luca-Coleman Carr.

With the pace of the game allowing for time on the ball, there were chances for either side, although GIlber was still the busier of the two keepers.

Lempriere could have got a second for Selsey as he shot just wide, while Wimble was unlucky not to add to his season’s tally.

A mis-timed tackle on Ryan Morey earned Binyon a booking in a fixture normally renowned for keeping the referee busy.

Wimble’s free-kick went wide of the mark, while Coleman-Carr also failed to trouble Gilber. The last word went to Wimble, whose shot which whistled narrowly past the post.

PAGHAM: Binfield, Hayes, French, Bradshaw, Davidson, N Murfin, A Brown (Martin 66), R Brown (Coleman-Carr 66), Wimble, S Murfin (Rowlatt 75), Morey. Subs: Dormer, Richer

SELSEY: Gilber, Correll, Thompson, Morey, Williams, Courtman, Lempriere, Rough, Almeida, M Thompson, Parsons. Subs: Clavell, Binyon, Turner.

JON ROSE