A late fightback preserved Moneyfields’ unbeaten start to the Wessex premier division season as they shared a 3-3 draw with neighbours Fareham.
Matt Parr’s Reds looked destined for derby honours at Dover Road but Moneys had other ideas and late strikes from substitute Pabs N’doye and Conor Bailey bagged them a point.
Friday night football attracted a larger-than-usual band of supporters who were treated to an absorbing Wessex League clash.
Better finishing by Moneyfields striker Jake Slater would surely have put his side in the driving seat early on. But despite playing a one-two with the impressive Adrian Brockway to put the hosts 1-0 up, he then wasted several chances in the opening 15 minutes.
Reds keeper Luke Douglas played a major part in denying Slater and Brockway before play finally broke to the other end, where Ashley Tattershall jinked free to strike a fine equaliser that silenced the home crowd.
Having ridden their luck, Matt Parr’s Fareham took the lead just seconds before the interval, thanks in main to the Moneyfields defence failing to deal with a cross in to their penalty area, where Tom Winzar was on hand to blast the loose ball into the net from close range.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts in the opening exchanges of the second half as Tattershall was chopped down heading for the Moneyfields penalty area.
Referee Luck May awarded Fareham a free-kick that Wayne Boud thundered into the corner of the net before keeper Dave Hook could react to the pace of the effort.
Hook then spared Moneyfields by flinging himself across goal to keep out a left-footed missile from Fareham substitute Rob Tambling.
Off the bench came tried-and-trusted striker N’doye, who quickly made himself busy to get on the end of a fine Brockway cross to head the ball across Douglas in to the far corner of the net.
Even then, Fareham still looked favourites to see out the remaining few minutes and take all three points – until Bailey wrecked their hopes with a jinking run and powerful finish from the edge of the area.
‘We let in three sloppy goals and that was a major disappointment,’ said Rutherford.
‘But to have come from 3-1 behind to take a point really showed me the character of my side.’
Parr said: ‘How we led 2-1 at the interval I shall never know but when Wayne Boud made it three, it looked as though we would win it.
‘Unfortunately for us, Moneyfields came back with a couple of late goals which on our part was disappointing but at the end of the day, a draw seemed the right result.’
Moneyfields: Hook, Evans, Bailey, Lee, Rackley, Morgan, Boyle, Gauntlett, Slater, Hutchings, Brockway. Substitutes: Wain, Page, N’doye, Scott.
Fareham Town: Douglas, Warren, Barnes-Andrews, Martin, Jones, Stock, Boud, Pittman, Tattershall, Winzar, Cuthbert. Substitutes: Kirby, Tambling, Chambers, Dark, Redman.