Another Steve Hutchings double as Moneyfields hand US Portsmouth a third Wessex Premier League derby defeat in eight days
Steve Hutchings grabbed his fourth brace in six games as Moneyfields’ large ex-US Portsmouth contingent handed their former club a third Wessex Premier derby defeat in eight days.
On a night of non-stop rain at Dover Road, Moneys survived some anxious moments to eventually run out comfortable 4-1 winners against a US side who have now shipped 31 goals in their last eight league and cup games.
Hutchings took his career Moneys goal total to 239 with a pair of headers as his side jumped above US into the top ten.
So, three points for home boss Glenn Turnbull and nine of his players who swapped US for Moneys back in the summer. But the scoreline didn’t tell the whole story of an end-to-end encounter which provided good entertainment for those brave enough to attend on a truly filthy night weather-wise.
After Dec Seiden had fired Moneys into a 14th minute lead, Brodie Spencer levelled in first half injury time. And that ensured the visitors deservedly entered the interval on level terms.
The first ever league meeting between the two Portsea Island clubs swung on two key moments after the break.
First, Spencer was handed a great chance in the 51st minute to put US ahead. Set up by Blu Boam, he only had keeper Tom Price to beat but lashed a close range left-footed effort against the underside of the bar.
It was a huge let-off for Moneys, and a slice of luck enabled them to retake the lead 12 minutes later.
Right wing-back Chad Cornwell’s cross-cum-shot was going wide of the far post but Frankie Paige, on only his second start of the season, slid in to divert it past debutant keeper Owen Craig.
Craig, formerly a Moneys player, has been appearing for Locks Heath in the Hampshire Premier League this season and is the fourth keeper US have used in league and cup action this term.
From that moment on, there was only going to be one winner. USP had run out of steam in recent derby losses to Baffins (0-3) and Fareham (1-6) and Moneys certainly looked the fitter side here too.
On 73 minutes, sub Matt McGlinchey delivered an inviting cross which Hutchings guided past Craig - ‘the King of Dover Road’ making it look a lot easier than it was.
Ten minutes later, another cross from the right flank - this time from James Franklyn - saw Hutchings head powerfully back across Craig and into the bottom corner.
It was his fourth brace since returning from an ankle injury, following two league goals at Christchurch and doubles in Vase wins against Totton & Eling and Portchester.
Turnbull had made two changes from the starting XI which had dumped AFC Portchester out of the FA Vase at the weekend. Seiden came in for Bradey Norton with Jordan Pile replacing McGlinchey.
Hutchings, Rob Evans and Cornwell were the only members of the starting XI not to have played for USP last season. Four members of the away starting XI - Tom Jeffes, Paige, John Cass and Cam Quirke - had played under Turnbull last season.
Moneys were quick out of the blocks, with Hutchings’ shot turned away by Craig for a corner in the first minute.
Boam and Franklyn had seen shots blocked by the time Moneys took the lead, Hutchings using his head to set up Seiden for a low shot which Craig would have been disappointed not to keep out. It was the striker’s first goal since the opening day win against Cowes in early August.
USP could have been level five minutes later. Joe Johnson beat Birmingham for pace on the right and crossed low for Spencer, who should have hit the target but instead scuffed his effort wide.
Craig threw himself to his right to turn aside a Tom Cain free-kick before USP were forced into a change, Quirke going off injured on 36 minutes to be replaced by Obi Saidy.
Seiden had a great chance to double the lead, but with only Craig to beat shot wide from the edge of the area.
It was no more than the visitors deserved when Spencer equalised with virtually the last kick of the half, Price getting a hand to his shot but unable to keep it out.
The second half began with Franklyn seeing a shot blocked and then another cleared off the line after Hutchings’ effort had been blocked.
It is now nine games since Franklyn scored, the longest goal drought in his time under Turnbull’s management.
After scoring four times in his opening three games, he now seemingly cannot buy one.
Forthcoming league games against rock bottom Hythe & Dibden and lowly Bournemouth Poppies present good chances to get back on the goal trail.
USP also have Poppies and Hythe to play in their next three league games, either side of a home clash with high-flying Horndean next Tuesday.
Moneyfields: Price, Cornwell, Turnbull (Hazell, 72), Evans, Birmingham, Cain, Pile, Glen (McGlinchey, 60), Seiden (Norton, 72), Hutchings, Franklyn.
USP: Craig, Paige (Riches, 72), Scammell, Jeffes, Saunders, Cass, Johnson, Quirke (Saidy, 36), Boam, Smart, Spencer (Ndlovu, 63).