IT MAY have been a game to forget for Moneyfields manager Miles Rutherford but his team were too good for Hayling at Dover Road.
Goals from Steve Hutchings, Warren Hunt and Adrian Brockway earned the home side a 3-1 comeback victory after Alex Easton netted for Hayling.
It keeps the Copnor outfit on course for a top-three finish in the Wessex League premier division.
In the eyes of Rutherford, though, it was far from a vintage display.
He said: ‘We never seem to produce what we should when we play Hayling and this time was no different.
‘I’m not going to say we deserved to win.
‘For most of the match we struggled to put three or four passes together and kept giving the ball away.
‘When we sit down during the summer and talk about how our season went, this match is one of just a couple we will choose to forget about.’
The Humbugs were missing many of their senior men for the trip.
Injury, suspension and unavailability hit hard, forcing manager Steve Poulton to turn to youth.
They all repaid the faith their boss showed in them, often matching the experience of a strong Moneys side.
Hayling even took the lead on 15 minutes.
Ami Rosario’s corner was played back across goal by Luke Dempsey and up popped Easton to fire Hayling ahead.
Had Easton made more of an golden opportunity to make it two moments later, then Rutherford’s men would have really been under the cosh.
But as it was a fine save from keeper Dave Hook crucially kept the score down to one and Hayling paid a heavy price.
Moneys surged down the other end and Hutchings struck the leveller from the spot after Morgan Marshall had upended the impressive Stuart Green in the area.
After the break, Moneys finally started to pass the ball rather than punting long hits down the middle of the field.
Bobby Scott’s swirling corner struck the Hayling crossbar before Hutchings and Jake Slater created an opening for Hunt to make it 2-1.
Then on 85 minutes, Hunt and Hutchings created an opportunity for Brockway to knee home the third goal at the far post.
Hayling boss Steve Poulton was upbeat about his young team’s showing.
He said: ‘It’s never easy coming to play Moneyfields, although I really thought my team did very well – given their inexperience. Naturally the result was a disappointment.
‘We are chasing points to finish in mid-table and for over an hour we were in with a chance of a point.
‘On the positive side of things it did give me a view of players who will eventually come through and become regulars in my squad, so perhaps next season when we come to Moneyfields the result may go in our favour.’