Pagham 2, Hassocks 0: Robins fall to high-flying Pagham
Nyetimber Lane saw the embodiment of that well worn footballing clichÃ© a game of two halves as Hassocks fell to defeat against high-flying Pagham.
The Robins were easily the better side in the first half as they looked to add another top six scalp to their recently expanded collection. But they had nothing to show for their attacking endeavours as the sides retreated to the changing rooms at the break and that was punished in the second 45 as Johan Vandriel and Josh Irish goals gave Pagham a 2-0 win.Pagham looked to be in genuine title contention until recently until a number of key players departed the club with Joe Shelley and Keiron Pamment the stand out names heading to leaders Shoreham. Indeed their performance at the Beacon back in November still remains the best of an opponent Hassocks have faced so far. That all looked a distant memory however as the Robins created chance after chance in an action packed first half.James Binfield in the Pagham goal was forced into three saves in the opening 15 minutes from Phil Gault, Liam Benson and a quite brilliant tip over at full stretch from a Harry Mills header.Binfield next foiled James Westlake who then blasted wastefully over when excellently placed.There were further chances for Gault and Benson who are really starting to impress as a partnership while James Broadbent's only real piece of work came when denying that proverbial thorn in Hassocks side down the years, Scott Murfin. Ten minutes after the restart and Broadbent was collecting the ball out of the back of his net as Vandriel's free kick rocketed into the bottom corner of the Hassocks goal.While Hassocks continued to graft to earn a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions that ultimately came to nothing, Pagham's Callum Overton was prevented from doubling the lead by a friendly post.Bradley Bant, Michael Death and Jack Wilkins all entered the fray as Hassocks looked to utilise their bench with a similar success as it had provided in the previous weeks win over Eastbourne Town but they were unable to make much headway. In fact it was a Pagham substitute who ensued the three points went to the Lions, Terrell Lewis managing to lure Broadbent out of his goal before crossing to Irish who gleefully headed home into the empty net in the final minute of the contest.Hassocks: Broadbent; Tighe, Marsh, Barnes, Akehurst; J Westlake, Mills, L Westlake, Rowe-Hurst; Benson, Gault.Subs: Death, Wilkins, Bant (used), Badger, B John (unused)