Poor Pagham start with 4-0 loss - manager admits: It was terrible

Pagham got off to a very disappointing start to the SCFL season, going down 4-0 to Little Common. And to be fair, without several simply magnificent saves by keeper Conor Kelly it would have been much, much worse.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:26 pm
Pagham defend against Little Common / Picture: Roger Smith

For the first quarter of an hour the Lions looked the better side and missed two or three quite presentable chances. But Common always looked dangerous on the break and made that pay in the 24th minute by taking the lead from a disputed penalty that ended Jack Barnes' day early, dismissed for intentional hand-ball. Pagham had another couple of half-chances but at half-time Common looked well worth their lead.

Disaster struck just three minutes into the second period, when Sam Bunn drove home from inside the box. It was then purely a contest of the away side vs Kelly, and Kelly somehow kept them out until two minutes from time when some atrocious defending allowed three Common players free on goal resulting in a tap-in for 3-0. Two minutes later and some more disastrous defending allowed Sam Brown a similar opportunity which he took with alacrity.

Lions manager Kerry Hardwell said: "It was a terrible start to the season for us - playing 60 minutes with 10 men obviously didn’t help our cause but In reality the scoreline could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the outstanding performance of Connor Kelly in goal.

Pagham on the front foot against Little Common / Picture: Roger Smith

"We started brightly and could have found ourselves a goal up with chances from Dan Simmonds and George Bingham early on but after the sending off of Jack Barnes we really did struggle across the park which has really summed up our pre season as well on and off the pitch.

"I don’t think we were ready going into the first game after only playing fuour games due to teams pulling out and the majority of the squad having to self isolate during pre season, so the fitness levels and sharpness are certainly not where we were last season.

"The good thing about the SCFL is you don’t have much time to dwell on a result and we now move on to Tuesday night away at Broadbridge Heath and hopefully kick start our season."

Pagham: Connor Kelly, Ryan Hallett, Jack Barnes (red card), George Bingham (Sam Connolly), Dylan Jelley (Connor Geoghegan), Jack Williamson, Ryan Morey, Ross Edwards, Dan Simmonds (Jamie Carroll), Ollie Hambleton, Jack Langford. Subs not used: Callum Chalmers & Grant Radmore.

Pagham and Little Common get stuck in / Picture: Roger Smith