Crawley Down Gatwick's first league defeat is Pagham's first league win

Crawley Down Gatwick were brought down to earth at Pagham in a game of three early goals.
Action in the Pagham - Crawley Down Gatwick game / Picture: Roger SmithAction in the Pagham - Crawley Down Gatwick game / Picture: Roger Smith
Action in the Pagham - Crawley Down Gatwick game / Picture: Roger Smith

After a fast start to the game, Crawley took the lead in the 7th minute when Sullivan headed home an excellent left-wing cross.

The Lions were soon into their stride, though, and top-scorer Joe Clarke scored a superb equaliser just two minutes later. Collecting a short pass in midfield, Clarke jinked passed several defenders and scored with ease beating the out-rushing keeper.

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Pagham kept the pressure on their opponents and took the lead in the 18th minute with a first Pagham goal for striker Grant Radmore. The Anvils appeared to give the ball away on the right side of the box and in trying to get the it back there were some Lions shouts for a penalty, but the ball squirmed across the penalty area and fell nicely to Radmore who flicked home.

David Crouch and Joe Bennett could both have increased the lead before half-time, but both were kept out by the CDG keeper.

Early in the second period Clarke appeared to have stretched the lead but his header was disallowed by an extremely late linesman’s flag for some mysterious offence.

The Lions continued to bombard the Crawley goal, but Radmore, Jack Barnes, Clarke (again), Dylan Jelley and Crouch were all thwarted by the excellent Anvils keeper. Two turned-down Pagham penalty appeals and an excellent low save by Lions keeper Conor Kelly later and the game was over.

Pagham move up to 5th - CDG down to ninth.

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Pagham boss Kerry Hardwell said: "I was delighted to get our first league win of the season at home in a game which we really deserved the points.

"After two draws in previous games we knew we must kick on at home as last season when we (the management) came to the club we were very hard to beat at home and frustrated a lot of teams when they came to Nyetimber Lane - and that’s we did again against an unbeaten Crawley Down Gatwick side.

"Although they didn’t really create much they had lots of the ball and we looked to counter attack when we could. The only really thing that was a negative from the game yesterday was that the game should have been out of sight at 70 minutes - the forward players at the club all need to get a ruthless side to them and punish teams when they get the opportunities provided for them.

"Defensively we were superb and our shape throughout was great. We must now hick on at Hassocks on Tuesday night."

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Pagham: Conor Kelly, Tom Atkinson, Jack Barnes, Joe Clarke, Dylan Jelley, Conor Geoghegan, Ollie Hambleton (George Bingham), Joe Bennett (Ash Hawkes), Sam Connolly, Grant Radmore (Jake Heryet), & David Crouch. Subs not used: Jamie Carroll & Ryan Hallett.

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