Peter Bentley Challenge Cup final: Pagham 1, Haywards Heath Town 0

Ten man Pagham won the Peter Bentley Challenge Cup after beating Haywards Heath Town 1-0 in the final at Hassocks today (Monday).

Monday, 1st May 2017, 3:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:14 pm
Peter Bentley Challenge Cup final

Callum Overton scored the only goal in a game full of incident. His goal came minutes after Heath had the ball in the back of the net but Melford Simpson's header was ruled out when referee Barrie Small had called up for qa free kick in the build-up when advantage should have been played.

And Pagham held on for 20 minutes after skipper Danile Swain was sent off for a second bookable offence.

It was a tight first five minutes before it came to life when Lloyd Rowatt's low drive was easily saved by Josh James in the Heath goal before, at the other end, Max Miller's great cross just eluded Melford Simpson and Trevor McCreadie.

On eight minutes, Heath had claims for a penalty when Karly Akehurst's powerful drive struck a defender's arm, but referee Barrie Small turned down the appeals.

And Mr Small had to turn down another penalty appeal on 16 minutes when Simpson appeared to be bundled over.

It was a physical affair and on 17 minutes Akehurst was the first to see yellow after a heavy challenge on Rowlatt.

Pagham were creating the better chances and on 19 minutes when Callum Overton found himself with plenty of space but his first time shot was again straight at James.

Heath started dominate midway through the cagey first half and they had their clearest chance on 27 minutes when another great ball from Weston found McCreadie, but the striker headed over.

Two minutes later and it was Weston who nearly scored with a wonderful free-kick, but James Binfield in the Pagham goal was equal to it and tipped over.

Pagham skipper Daniel Swain was next in the book after a challenge on Callum Saunders, before Ryan Cox also got his name in the book.

Heath looked most likely to score and on 38 minutes McCreadie received the ball in the box and turned well but Daryl Wollers denied him with a superbly timed tackle. This was followed with an off target powerful drive from Akehurst after good build-up play from Max Miller and the industrious George Hayward.

But as the half drew to a close it was Pagham who could have gone in ahead as Scott Murfin's free-kick was flicked on James Thurgar and Weston had to come to Heath's rescue with a desperate clearance.

Callum Saunders was presented with the first chance of the second half when he found himself clear on 47 minutes but his shot went across the face of goal. Miller then ran through and had McCreadie and Saunders as options but fired straight at Binfield.

Heath did get ball in back of net on 57 minutes when Simpson headed home from Miller's cross. But Mr Small had blown for a foul on Miller in the build-up. Advantage should have been played. But as these things happen in footbnall, Heath found themselves a goal behind just two minutes later.

Overton broke into the box and his shot was deflected and looped over James in the Heath goal. Just minutes earlier it should have been 1-0 to Heath but now they found themselves chasing the game.

And just after Overton had claims for a penalty turned down, Pagham found themselves down to 10 men when first Scott Murfin talked himself into a booking, then Swain appeared to do the same, but he had already been booked and Mr Small had no option but to send him off.

Pagham now had to battle with 10 men for the last 20 minutes. And battle they did as Mr Small was called into action again, this time turning down a penalty appeal after McCreadie was bundled over.

Overton then saw yellow for a foul on Miller. Heath beagn to get on top and with six minutes to go Simpson had the perfect opportunity to equalise. Miller broke down the left, cut back and sent the perfect ball over to Simpson, but he headed over with the goal at his mercy.

Pagham had their chances and Murfin could have sealed it when he latched on to Daly's half clearance but James pulled off a good save. There were 8 minutes of injury time and Heath threw everythign at it and Saunders should have scored when he turned in the box. But the Lions held on to claim the trophy.