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Derby Day Draw After Cup Final Drama

4 months ago By Ian Worden

Pagham 1-1 Chichester City

Jimmy Wild, seen here in cup final action, (Picture: Tommy McMillan)

It was honours even as local rivals Chichester and Pagham met for the second time in the space of four days.

On Wednesday night City thumped the Lions 4-0 in the RUR Cup final and Miles Rutherford's side got off to a dream start in this last league game of the season when Wild headed them in front after barely three minutes.

The Chi forward, who struck twice in the final at Lancing, the home of the Sussex FA, rose to head an Ellis Martin free-kick past Pagham keeper James Binfield.

Rutherford was forced to make changes to the line-up that started mid-week and Ryan Peake, playing in an uncustomary midfield role, put himself about in the opening exchanges. A nice pass from Peake fell to Scott Murfin a minute after Wild's goal but the former Pagham player's shot was just off-target.

Scott Rafferty and Callum Overton went close for the hosts. Rafferty firing high and wide after a cross from the left picked him out before Overton carved up Chi's back four running on to a long ball, only to blaze over.

On 10 minutes Ant Ender, in possibly his last game at the club, did well to get behind a fierce drive from Lloyd Rowlatt. Rowlatt next fed a pass into Overton's path that Ben Pashley managed to intercept.

Harry Williams then overlapped down the right but his shot was dealt with easily enough by Binfield.

And in a spell of end to end stuff Johan Van Driel went close after good work in the build-up from Overton.

Ender was next called on to steer away a cross before Ryan Cox turned a strong header goalwards. Van Driel then flicked a lob narrowly over the bar, latching on to a long punt upfield.

With Pagham searching for an equaliser Ender had to keep his wits about him and reacted sharply to turn Overton's drive round for a corner on 26 minutes. This was whipped in and the Chi shot-stopper managed to gather the ball at the second attempt.

Chi countered and a super pass from Lorenzo Dolcetti found Wild who lifted a shot just over. The Italian might have done better moments later but skewed his effort.

Pagham pressed. Cox and Van Driel tried their luck from distance and a chance went begging after a mix up between Rafferty and Rowlatt. And on the stroke of half-time James Thurgar couldn't get a connection on a high ball when it came down.

HT 0-1

Murfin had a penalty shout waved away just after the re-start before Pagham cranked things up for fifteen minutes or so.

Overton tested Ender after nice skill from Rowlatt and Thurgar got a shot away on the turn that wasn't far off.

Wild jinked past a Pagham player or two but couldn't muster enough power to trouble Binfield with his shot before Dan Hegarty met a Martin free-kick with a firm header.

The set-piece specialist then had an opportunity when a mistake from Binfield set him up some twenty yards out. Martin cracked it but Binfield recovered well with a nice stop.

Hegarty and Murfin next linked up, although Murfin's cross was inches away from his teammate who had made up good ground to get into the box.

Pagham levelled things from the spot on 70 minutes. It was a soft one to be fair and there didn't seem much wrong with Hegarty's challenge. Mr O'Reilly had other ideas and Overton stepped up and swept his penalty kick coolly into the bottom left hand corner for the Nyetimber Lane outfit's 100th league goal of the 2017-18 campaign.

Parity might not have lasted long. Wild broke free and looked certain to score a consecutive double but shot straight at Binfield.

Chances came and went for Shay Wiggans and Overton in the last ten minutes before Wild for the visitors headed a pinpoint Murfin cross narrowly wide.

After alternate heavy defeats in the previous two encounters between the clubs, a draw seemed a fair result in a derby with less on it perhaps. The home side were guaranteed a third place finish whatever the outcome. A win for Chi would have pushed them up to fifth – they settle for sixth and have a cup winning season to reflect on with memories of that historic run in the FA Vase.

Chichester – Ender, Williams (Ayling), Lee, Pashley, French, Peake, Martin, Hegarty, Murfin, Wild, Dolcetti

Pagham – Binfield, Wiggans, Cox, Bingham, Wollers, Horncastle (Chick), Thurgar, Rafferty (Selby), Van Driel (Gannon), Rowlatt, Overton.

Updated 17:56 - 6 May 2018 by Ian Worden

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