Pagham beat leaders Uckfield to make it four from four

The Uckers came into the Lions Den as league leaders but left in third place after a pretty comprehensive win by Pagham.

Sunday, 18th October 2020, 8:00 am
Pagham v AFC Uckfield action / Picture: Roger Smith

They couldn’t really complain about the score as it could have been considerably worse with some sharper finishing by the home side.

As early as the third minute Grant Radmore had a chance to put Pagham in front, but he hit his 20-yard effort straight at keeper Tibble. Jared Rance could also have opened the scoring in the 14th minute but once again Tibble saved with his feet.

It was Sam Connolly’s chance next up as he watched his 20-yard drive drift wide, then Jack Williamson’s powerful header was pushed over the bar by the Uckfield keeper. Then, just when it looked like being a goalless half, Tibble showed himself to be fallible as he caught a 40-yard lob from Sam Connolly and with the ball in his hands, gently fell backwards over the goal-line.

Pagham celebrate a goal v AFC Uckfield / Picture: Roger Smith

It was still almost all Pagham early in the second half and on 52 minutes Joe Clarke could only watch his chip drift over the bar after Tibble had lost possession just outside his own box.

On the hour mark the Lions grabbed their second with a penalty after an Uckers defender stupidly brought down Joe Bennett in the box as the ball was just drifting out of play. Rance stepped up and laced the ball low and hard into the net for 2-0.

It wasn’t all one-sided now though as Uckfield had their best spell of the match, forcing Conor Kelly into an excellent low save that had zipped through a crowded penalty area.

Kelly was again called into action a few minutes later before the game ended after Tom Atkinson shot just wide from a corner and Joe Clarke, unusually for him, skewed a decent chance passed the post. An excellent win for Pagham, pushing them two places up the league table to sixth.

Pagham v AFC Uckfield action / Picture: Roger Smith

Pagham boss Kerry Hardwell was delighted with his team, saying: "Another great performance from the lads... I would say it was the most complete performance so far this season.

"We were excellent last week in the FA Vase especially in the first half but got complacent in the second; however today the boys were really at the races from the first minute until the last against a top side.

"We should have really been more comfortable at half-time but deserved the bit of luck we got with our first goal and the second half we controlled the half with Connor Kelly not really having to much to do so was pleasing when we got the second goal and put the game to bed.

"That’s four wins on the bounce with three of them having clean sheets. We face another tough test Tuesday when we travel to Lancing and will no doubt have to raise our game again to get points."

Pagham v AFC Uckfield action / Picture: Roger Smith

Pagham: Conor Kelly, Tom Atkinson, Jack Barnes, Ben Clark-Eden, Jack Williamson, Joe Clarke, Jared Rance (Ash Hawkes), Ollie Hambleton (George Bingham), Grant Radmore, Sam Connolly & Joe Bennett (Jake Heryet). Subs not used: Ryan Hallett & Conor Geoghegan.