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“No friendly festive cheer here” – Pagham are all fired up for Boxing Day derby clash

Boxing Day is set to be a feisty festive affair as Pagham travel to neighbours Chichester City with more than local pride at stake.

 

The Lions go into the match at Oaklands Park (11am) having stumbled of late, winning only one of their past five games in the SCFL Premier.

 

The latest – a 3-2 home loss against Eastbourne United on Saturday – has seen Mark Bennett’s side slip to fifth, 14 points behind runaway leaders Shoreham.

 

Chi meanwhile are flourishing, with last weekend’s 3-2 win at Eastbourne Town lifting them above Pagham into third and extending an unbeaten league record which stretches back to the start of September.

 

Pagham chairman Tony Shea told the Post: “It will be very, very close. There’s a lot of rivalry between the two of us, it’s the local derby that we always look forward to and it will be an interesting day.

 

“They are a decent side – anyone getting to last 32 of the FA vase is doing something right but we need to go there and pick the points

 

“We can’t let Shoreham get too far ahead They are not dropping any points at the moment but I do think they will at some stage of the season.”

 

In SCFL Division One, Selsey will have to wait until December 27 to kick off their festive campaign, making the short trip to East Preston (3pm).

 

The Blues have lost once in the past six but will face a tough test against an East Preston side that sits four places above them in fifth.

 

They go into the match off a 2-2 home draw with Steyning Town.

 

Howard Low and Tom Groom struck in the first half to put the Blues in a good positon. But two second half goals, including one with just three minutes to play, saw the match end in a draw.

 

Division Two sees another local derby, with leaders Bosham making the short trip to play Sidlesham at the Recreation Ground (11am).

 

The Robins are unbeaten this season, winning 14 of their 15 games so far – the latest a 2-0 win against Rustington.

 

But five points behind them in second are a rampant Sidlesham side, who go into the match off a fine 2-1 win in the Intermediate Cup last 16 against East Preston under 21s.

 

Daren Pearce’s side know a win over their rivals will close the gap and put pressure on them into the second half of the season.

Posted in Football, Sport.