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Young Lions win opener

Pagham joint-manager Richie Hellen says his side is raring to kick-start their league campaign – even if the Lions will come up against some familiar faces.


The Nyetimber Lane side opened their campaign last weekend with a 4-0 win over fellow SCFL Premier side Arundel in the FA Cup extra-preliminary round.


That performance backed up an impressive pre-season for the Lions, who remained unbeaten throughout a challenging schedule.


Tomorrow sees attention turn to the league and the visit of Horsham YMCA (3pm), who will include former Pagham old boys Joe Shelley, Kieron Pamment and Liam Humphreys in their ranks.


Then, Wednesday will see them visit Littlehampton Town (7.30pm).


Speaking to the Post, Hellen, who is sharing the managerial reigns with Tom Simmonds, said: “It is a tough start [to the league campaign] but we’re full of confidence, raring to go and looking forward to putting our best foot forward.


“They [Horsham YMCA] will have three players with them who were with us last season so we do know a bit about them. But we’ll just focus on what we’re doing.”


An early Scott Murfin strike put the Lions in control against the Mullets. The win was sealed in the second half thanks to Josh Irish (2) and a late goal from sub David Crouch.


The victory earned Pagham £1,500 in prize money and a home tie against Isthmian Division One side Sittingbourne on August 19.


Hellen described the match as a “good team performance”.


He added: “We were pleased with how it went – it was a good win, we got a clean sheet and earned some money for the club.


“The biggest thing through the off season was keeping our squad together. With the exception of Liam, we have managed to sign every one of last season’s team.


“What is really pleasing, though, is the success we’re having in bringing the under-21s through.


“Of the team that played on Saturday seven of last year’s under-21s squad were in there. If you take Scott out, then the next oldest player is 24 so that’s encouraging for us.”

Posted in Sport.