Littlehampton Football Club defeated division-higher Pagham 3-1 in the second round of the John O’Hara Cup on Wednesday (November 14).
The Golds started slowly and found themselves behind after just a minute as Pagham caught the home side napping and Joe Briggs fired home from the edge of the area.
In the 11th minute, the home side equalised when Mitchell Hand’s free kick found the back of net.
Briggs almost punished Littlehampton again when he was allowed space to shoot from distance, however Jon Hendrick was up to the challenge.
Hendrick was alert once more in the 24th minute to deny Ryan Cox’s clever free kick.
The Golds began to get into their stride and took the lead after Pagham switched off, which allowed Gaskin to slot home past Pagham stopper James Binfield for his 21st goal of the season.
Jamie Atterwell could have increased Golds’ lead, when a clever passing move allowed Lee Garnham to release him, however he fired wide.
Littlehampton had a penalty shout in the 32nd minute when Alex Kew drove into the box and appeared to be brought down by Binfield but play was waved on.
Gaskin’s pressure then created a chance for the home side when Binfield failed to clear a pass-back which allowed Gaskin a shot at goal, however he was denied and Atterwell’s follow-up hit the woodwork.
Ash Harper then should have drawn Pagham level when he had a free header from two yards out after great work from Joe Briggs, but he missed the target.
Pagham began to pressurise Littlehampton’s defence, but failed to really threaten Hendrick’s goal.
Garnham could have eased the pressure in the 69th minute when Gaskin and Michael Hendrick linked up well to find him but he fired wide.
Garnham was in the action once more after a clever quick passing move, this time Binfield was on hand to palm his shot wide.
Mitchell Hand was unlucky not to get his second of the game when his powerful free kick was kept out by the crossbar, before the woodwork kept out Garnham’s low drive.
Littlehampton did eventually get a deserved third goal when Jamie Thompson drilled a stunning 25-yard effort into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
Golds keeper Hendrick made an excellent save from a Briggs’ long-range effort before Jake Holmes fired wide, while Thompson could have grabbed another at the other end but lobbed just over.
Littlehampton manager Mark Bennett said: “I thought they started brightly but then we gradually took control of the game and I’m really pleased with the second-half performance.”
Littlehampton will now face Southwick in the third round.
LITTLEHAMPTON: J.Hendrick; Wiggins, McKay, Bates, M.Hand; Thompson, Garnham, Atterwell, Kew, M.Hendrick; Gaskin. Subs: D.Hand, Taylor (M.Hendrick, Wiggins 79), Manning, Bibb, Bennett.