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Come and roar Lions on urges manager Hardwell after crucial triumph

Kerry Hardwell has sounded a rallying cry to Pagham supporters ahead of tomorrow’s big game against high-flying Peacehaven and Telscombe.

 

The Lions earned their third win in four games on Tuesday night when they beat Loxwood 2-0 in their basement battle to climb three places up the Southern Combination League premier division.

 

Victory left their opponents firmly rooted to the foot of the table.

 

The home win banished memories of an agonising last-minute defeat at Langney Wanderers last Saturday.

 

And boss Hardwell is now focused on putting more daylight between his side and the relegation places.

 

A delighted Hardwell said: “After losing at Langney Wanderers in the last 30 seconds in a game we deserved something from, I asked for a massive reaction against Loxwood.

 

“The boys were fantastic. They rode out the storm for the first ten minutes and after that we controlled the game and deserved the win.

 

“More pleasing for me was back-to-back home clean sheets.

 

“In the last four games we’ve collected nine points, which is a great boost for the club.

 

“Saturday will be a tough game against a strong Peacehaven so my message to the Pagham locals is get down and support these boys.”

 

Kieron Howard headed home a curling Lukas Franzen-Jones corner at the near post for Lions’ opener against Loxwood in the 16th minute.

 

Callum Chalmers made it 2-0 in the 31st minute when he raced on to a long through ball to slide it under the advancing keeper.

 

Pagham fell to a goal in the fourth minute of added on time at Langney on Saturday – exactly the same as 12 months ago at the same venue.

 

The Lions were on the back foot from the start and only Langney’s wayward shooting and excellent goalkeeping display from Tom Crook prevented the hosts from going in front.

 

Franzen-Jones managed to hit a post with the goal gaping but that was the closest the Lions went to scoring.

 

The hosts missed two glorious chances while the Lions had their one and only real chance of the half in the 72nd minute, when Franzen-Jones slid the ball a fraction past the far post from a Toby Funnell pass.

 

Disaster struck in the 94th minute for Pagham when Ali Rainford’s pinpoint cross was headed home at the far post by the unmarked Shane Saunders.

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