22-man brawl, four sent off as Pagham’s draw with Three Bridges is marred by violence

Pagham Simmonds

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Goals from Overton and Simmonds weren’t enough as 10-man Pagham drew 2-2 with eight-man Three Bridges in this heated SCFL Premier Division encounter.

In a game that saw this many red cards, most referees in the league would be tempted to abandon the game, says Pagham manager, Tom Simmonds.

He added: “I thought he did do a good job to be honest, there was a few people running on from here there and everywhere and getting involved, but I thought he done well to calm the situation down and get the game finished”

Simmonds wasn’t happy with how the second half went. He said: “We’ve gone into half time, said a few things what we wanted to do and the first five minutes of the second half it all falls apart.

“A set-piece and a couple of individual mistakes maybe and then the sending-offs happen, and we were just unable to break them down after that. Overall, I was a bit disappointed to be honest.”

Pagham got off to a great start, going ahead after just 90 seconds. Simmonds chased a long ball upfield and did enough to force the keeper into a poor clearance that fell to Overton, who launched the ball up and over the keeper and into the net from 40 yards out.

Callum Overton in action against Worthing United

Simmonds had a chance to make it two shortly after when Overton was fouled as he rounded the keeper, and the referee pointed to the spot.

Simmonds, who is currently the second top goal scorer in the league, mis-hit his penalty and dragged it wide of the mark.

Lions keeper, James Binfield, did well to keep a clean sheet in the first half as the hosts managed a few chances before the break, but the shot-stopper was equal to them.

Just before halftime, James Thurgar went on a good run down the left and delivered a good pass to Simmonds who was waiting just inside the box, and he slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Overton Goal

Overton scoring against Horsham

After the restart, the home side got themselves back into the game with a brilliant shot from 25 yards out that sailed past Binfield. The equaliser came on 51 minutes when their skipper headed home from a set-piece.

Moments later, Three Bridges could have turned the game around and taken the lead, but their effort across the face of goal was denied by the post.

Then, right before the hour mark, a nasty challenge from Simmonds caused chaos between the players and coaches, with some observers reporting a 22-man brawl.

The huge fight culminated in three Three Bridges players and Simmonds receiving their marching orders.

Several substitutions were made but Pagham were unable to capitalise on their advantage and the teams received a share of the spoils.

Pagham: James Binfield, Shamus Wiggans, Daryl Wollers, Ryan Davidson, Joe Booker (Jack Parkinson), George Bingham (Johan van Driel), James Thurgar, Andy Chick (Terrell Lewis), Dan Simmonds, Lloyd Rowlatt and Callum Overton. Subs not used, Tom Jefkins and Jamie Horncastle.

The Nyetimber Lane outfit are back in league action this Saturday when they make the away trip to Arundel.

Main picture shows Simmonds in action against East Preston

Pictures: Roger Smith | Additional reporting: Paul Davidson

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