Below-strength Moneys fail to equal club’s best-ever FA Cup run
A raft of unavailabilities contributed to Moneyfields failing to equal their club record FA Cup run.
Moneys boss Dave Carter was forced into a pre-match reshuffle for the second qualifying round visit of Isthmian South East Leaguers Whyteleafe.
He was without the injured Ryan Pennery, the suspended Connor Hoare and Connor Bailey and the unavailable Jamie Ford and Tyler Giddings.
As a result, he drafted in Dan Woodward and Sam Hookey, neither of whom had played any competitive football this season.
Captain Lewis Fennemore was declared fit after a calf problem, but Carter’s problems piled up as he lasted only 20 minutes before being replaced by Matt Brown.
With all that in mind, it was no surprise that Moneys were nowhere near their best and two fine strikes from Ronald Sobowale gave the visitors a deserved win.
Whyteleafe arrived in Portsmouth at the end of an emotional week which had started when the mother of Whyteleafe’s Antonio Walker-Bath, Angelica, collapsed prior to last Saturday’s league game.
It was immediately called off and she sadly later died in hospital. The club’s league match last Tuesday was also postponed as a mark of respect.
Sobowale opened the scoring shortly before half-time - curling a superb free-kick past a diving Jake Hallett.
Moneys had the wind advantage in the second half and almost levelled within two minutes - Pearce hitting the post from a corner.
Sobowale struck again on 55 minutes, his quick feet creating space to fire in an angled drive.
Moneys should have reduced the deficit shortly after when Brown fired over from close range.
‘When you play these sort of games you want your best side out, and we didn’t have anything like our best side,’ rued Carter.
‘We had four players who were new to the team. Dan Woodward and Sam Hookey hadn’t played any competitive football this season at all, and Dan hadn’t even trained.
‘We had to play a 17-year-old, Danny Burroughs, and after all that we lost our captain through injury on 20 minutes.
‘The game went as I thought it would - I thought it would be an uphill struggle for us.
‘It’s part and parcel of football. No doubt we will play teams this season when we are at full strength and they have players missing - that’s how it goes. It’s disappointing because it’s the FA Cup and we wanted to try and equal our best ever run.
‘Matt Brown had a great chance, I would have expected him to score that and if he had it’s game on again. He should have hit the target.
‘But they were a good side and probably deserved to win.’