Pagham’s gallant run in the Sussex Senior Cup was ended by Brighton and Hove Albion’s under-23 side - but the Lions made the Seagulls fight all the way for a place in the last eight.
New signings Harry Cardwell and Jordan Davies were among their scorers while James Tilley got two and Max Sanders the other goal.
Dylan Barnett, wgo has spent a couple of loan spells with Bognor, was also in the Brighton team on a chilly but well-attended night at Nyetimber Lane.
Lloyd Rowlatt and Kieron Pamment were on target in the second half for Pagham, making it 3-1 and 4-2 respectively, but it’s Brighton’s youngsters who go through to a quarter-final clash with Crowborough.
Mark Bennett’s men did make a game of it, particularly in the second half.
As early as the second minute, Rowlatt tested Billy Collings in Albion’s goal with a deflected shot. Jordan Davies for the visitors forced a superb save from Pagham’s James Binfield a few minutes later.
Cardwell messed up an easy chance while Barnett was looking useful at left wing-back for the visitors, time and time again allowed time and space to raid Pagham’s defence.
Saunders contrived to shoot wide for Albion, which triggered a period of play that saw Albion go close. Binfield denied Cardwell before sublime skills from Davies saw him hit the post. Without Binfield, the Lions could by now be three down.
Ryan Cox went close for the Lions, forcing the Albion defence to concede a corner, shortly before the visitors took an easy lead as Cardwell had time and space in the area to head past Binfield on 35 minutes.
The lead was doubled on 41 minutes when a second header, this time from Sanders went over Binfield and into the net.
Scott Murfin didn’t emerge for the Lions after the break, James Thurgar replacing him up front.
Goal number three came on 49 minutes from the penalty spot.Tilley slotted home to seemingly settle the tie for the visitors.
Pagham started to get back into the game as the visitors seemed to ease off a little.
On the hour Rowlatt scored the Lions’ opener with a cracking shot beyond Collins. Substitutions on 66 minutes saw Ryan Morey and Jordan Warren replacing George Bingham and Shay Wiggans for the Lions.
Callum Overton tested Albion’s resolve with a shot that Collins did well to deal with. It wasn’t long, though, before they scored a fourth.
A long shot rifled into the net to give the Seagulls a commanding lead as the last quarter-hour began.
Pagham got another back through Pamment, whose shot found its way home after a goalmouth scramble.
Liam Humphreys almost got a third with a shot just off target. The Lions had a free-kick and two corners and a third goal would have given the game’s ending a real edge.
With a minute of normal time remaining, Tilly made no mistake, scoring Albion’s fifth.
In time added on, Seagulls sub Tom Cadman forced a timely block from Binfield.
Pagham: Binfield, Wiggans (Warren 66), Cox, N Murfin, Davidson, Humphreys, Bingham (Morey 66), Rowlatt, Pamment, S Murfin (Thurgar 45), Overton. Subs: Cody, Crouch.
Brighton U23s: Collins, Davies (Forbes 66), Barnett, Collard, Hall, Barclay, Adjiboye (Cox 59), Sanders (Cadman 68), Cardwell, Tilly, Davies. Subs: McGill, Mandroux.
* Pagham are back in action this Saturday at home to Horsham YMCA.
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