ROB WIMBLE’S free-kick three minutes from time ensured Pagham took a point against rivals Littlehampton on Saturday.
The Golds opened a two goal lead inside 13 minutes, before taking a 3-1 advantage into the interval in the County League Division 1 contest.
However, Dan Martin and Wimble struck in the closing stages to snatch a draw for the Lions.
The draw means Pagham remain five points behind Littlehampton in third having played a game more, while the Lions now trail leaders Dorking Wanderers by seven points with one game in hand after they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Shoreham.
Pagham boss Gary Block felt his side needed to take all three points in the contest to close the gap on Littlehampton.
He said: “It was a game that we really wanted and needed to win. If we had won it then we would have been just two points behind them.
“I said to my assistant on the bench when we got it back to three apiece that we really needed the win but a point is better than nothing.
“I felt in the first half we were not good enough and the players were made aware at the break.
“But we dug deep in the second period and fought back to sneak a point.
“The substitions helped us a lot as the game went on.
“I was particularly impressed with Lloyd Rowlatt’s performance and he swung the game in our favour.
“We’ve got a few players returning for us now which will only help us in the run in.
“That comeback should, hopefully, give the lads confidence now looking ahead to what is left of the season.”
George Landais bagged his 20th goal of the campaign on 11 minutes as he latched onto Joe Shelley’s cross and, despite, seeing his first shot saved by James Binfield, he netted with his second attempt.
It was two just two minutes later when George Gaskin’s shot was blocked into Kieron Pamment’s path and his left foot drive deflected in off Tom Broadbent’s boot.
Pagham got themselves back into the contest on 21 minutes as Ruben French fired his free kick into the top corner of the net.
Dan Swain restored Golds’ two goal advantage six minutes later, though, with a fine 20 yard free kick.
Littlehampton should have ensured all three points nine minutes after the break as Gary Peters through ball sent Landais racing through but Binfield pulled off a fine stop to tip the ball round the post.
Martin then pulled a goal back for the home side with 14 minutes remaining with a smart turn and finish from the edge of the area.
The Lions drew level with just three minutes from time as Wimble’s free kick evaded everyone in the area before finding the bottom corner.
PAGHAM: Binfield; Hunt, Broadbent, Davidson, French; O’Connor, Brown, Martin, Van Driel; Murfin, Wimble. Subs: Rowlett (Van Driel), Neighbour (Murfin), Kew (O’Connor), Bradshaw, Brown.
Crawley Down Gatwick 0
Sussex League Division 1
PAGHAM closed the gap on County League Division 1 leaders Dorking Wanderers to just four points after their victory at Crawley Down Gatwick on Tuesday.
Ruben French fired the visitors in front with his second goal in as many matches on 20 minutes.
It was two seven minutes before the interval as Lloyd Rowlatt netted.
A comprehensive success was then rounded off nine minutes from time when Howard Neighbour made it 3-0.
Pagham travel to Broadbridge Heath in the league on Saturday.
East Preston 0 Selsey 0
Sussex League Division 1
SELSEY secured just their fourth point of the season following their goalless draw at East preston on Saturday.
Selsey had lost 25 of their 28 County League Division 1 games heading into the match and had conceded 125 times in the league this season for a goal difference of minus-99.
East Preston had scored at least two goals in six of their previous seven matches but Selsey defended resolutely to keep them out and East Preston.
Selsey host Crawley Down Gatwick on Saturday.