Lions and City heading for upbeat end to season
Pagham's visit to Shoreham was a game of two halves on a very soggy pitch that passed an inspection before kick-off. But Pagham's half was a strong one and they ran out 3-2 winners.
A changed Pagham side made heavy work of a very determined Shoreham, though.
The visitors had chances to break the deadlock before Davis West punished slack passing to fire the home side ahead in the 11th minute.
Pagham pressed again, and created the better chances, David Crouch forcing a save from Hutchins in the Shoreham goal.
More sloppy play from an out-of-sorts Pagham led to Harry Heath adding a second with Shoreham’s second shot of the game in the 23rd minute.
It could have got worse for Pagham but for some last-ditch defending and a good James Binfield save.
Sticky conditions meant Pagham couldn’t find any rhythm in their passing and were relieved to hear the half-time whistle. But such is the spirit that bosses Mark Bennett and Richie Hellen have installed into the side, Pagham came out a different side in the second half.
Terrell Lewis and Ryan Cox were working hard down the wings, with full-backs Andy Brown and Jordan Warren pushing forward more in support, and skipper Dan Swain a big presence in midfield along with Neil Murfin.
Pagham started winning the second balls and on 58 minutes came the breakthrough that was threatening. Lewis scored another important goal, his fifth goal in five.
This seemed to fire Pagham and they went three at the back and pushed for the equaliser. After numerous corners it came in the 64th minute, Cox ghosting in to hit a first-time effort into the net.
This seemed to rattle the home side, who picked up a few bookings for dissent. It was all Pagham and the passes started to flow.
In the 74th minute, the constant running of Scott Murfin paid off and he blasted the winner.
Pagham continued to press but were relieved to hear the final whistle.
One defeat in 16 games has lifted them to fifth in the table with a chance to finish third if results go their way - including their final game at home to newly-crowned Horsham.
Pagham: Binfield, A Brown, Bradshaw, Boniface, Warren, Swain, N Murfin, Lewis, Cox, S Murfin, Crouch. Subs: T Simmonds, Thurgar, Davidson.
Chichester City 4 Newhaven 0
Southern Combination premier
In-form City kept up their hopes of finishing as high as fourth in the premier division by dismantling third-placed Newhaven at Oaklands Park.
Miles Rutherford’s team have won five in a row since their 1-0 Easter Monday loss at Pagham, scoring 24 goals in the process.
The goals were shared around as Chi took the game to the Dockers from the off.
Kieran Hartley got the breakthrough midway through the first half and although City were the better side after that, they had to wait for the all-important second goal.
That came from Jimmy Wild on 70 minutes and seemed to break Newhaven’s resolve.
Frazer Smith added City’s third three minutes later and Jake Goulding rounded off the scoring nine minutes from time.
It was some measure of revenge for City’s RUR Cup final defeat to Newhaven in March.
Chichester play their final game this Saturday at Horsham YMCA.
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