JON TUCKER secured a victory on his return to Crabtree Park on Tuesday.
Tucker, who guided Wick & Barnham to promotion last season after a third place finish, left to take charge at Pagham over the summer.
The two sides met in the second round of Southern Combination League fixtures and it was Tucker who secured all three points on his return.
For John Suter, the man who replaced Tucker, it was a second successive home reverse, after a 3-0 defeat to Broadbridge Heath on Saturday.
Suter was pleased with his side’s response after going three goals down early on and said: “It was always going to be tough after going three goals down in 13 minutes.
“They scored from three set-pieces and we should have defended a lot better. But we can take some positives from the game.
“We created chances and, on another day, may well have come back. The side is a work in progress and, hopefully, we can gradually progress as the season goes on.”
The game was effectively all over inside 15 minutes as Dan Simmonds netted a brace and Joe Gromett also struck.
Lions went ahead after just 40 seconds when Dan Kempson’s free kick was headed home by Gromett.
It was 2-0 just three minutes later when Lloyd Rowlatt picked out Simmonds from a corner and the frontman headed into the roof of the net.
A frantic first 13 minutes was complete when Simmonds thundered home a 25-yard free kick to make it three.
Wick’s first real opportunity came on 30 minutes when Dan Cox’s crossfield pass was knocked into Ben Anderton’s path by Karl Westbrook. However, Anderton saw his strike from just outside the area stopped by Jamie Binfield.
Simmonds almost completed his hat-trick three minutes later but George Hotson blocked his shot on the line after Aaron Jeal had spilled a cross.
Wick were much-improved in the second period and Suter would have been pleased with their showing.
On 61 minutes, Westbrook was sent racing through on goal but Binfield denied the forward as he went to round him. Westbrook made up for that miss just three minutes later as he was sent clear once again but this time chipped over the on-rushing keeper.
Pagham were nearly in for a nervy final five minutes but Binfield superbly tipped Westbrook’s strike wide of goal as it ended 3-1.
WICK & BARNHAM: Jeal; Wootton, Hotson, MacIver, Cox; Matthews, Carter, Smith, Menzies, Anderton; Westbrook. Subs: Hayes (Anderton), Bateman, Ebbling, Bennett.
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