Defensive recruits won’t be top of Moneyfields’ summer recruitment list despite Wessex League ‘goals against’ record

Moneyfields possess the worst ‘goals against’ record of any club currently in the top nine of the Wessex League Premier Division.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 1:36 pm
Midfielder Matt McGlinchey, left, has been missed since leaving Moneyfields mid-season to work abroad.
Picture: Neil Marshall
Midfielder Matt McGlinchey, left, has been missed since leaving Moneyfields mid-season to work abroad. Picture: Neil Marshall

With two games to go - starting with Wednesday’s home clash with promoted Bashley at US Portsmouth’s Victory Stadium - Moneys have shipped 60 league goals.

But boss Glenn Turnbull insists that doesn’t mean he will be looking for a host of new defenders ahead of his second season in charge.

Eighth-placed Moneys have had no problems scoring league goals, netting 92 times - and that despite top scorers Steve Hutchings and James Franklyn missing large chunks of the campaign.

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But at the other end they have kept just seven clean sheets in 38 games, none of which have come against sides currently in the top nine.

In contrast, champions Hamworthy have kept 17 clean sheets. In their 38 games, the Hammers have only conceded more than one goal on just four occasions. Only once - in a 3-3 draw at Fareham - have they conceded more than twice.

Ahead of Bashley’s visit, Turnbull said: ‘I’m happy with what we’ve got in defence.

‘Barto (coach Paul Barton) is always saying ‘we need to find a centre half who’s two footed, strong in the air, who can bring it out of defence, is a good leader’. I tell him ‘I don’t think Virgil Van Dijk would sign for Moneyfields!’

‘We’ve found a decent keeper (Callum McGeorge). He’s really impressed me; it’s a relief, as keepers are hard to come by.

‘Tom Cain has been one of our best players, Rob Evans is Mr Consistent, Harry Birmingham is a good player, Corey Heath is a good defender.

‘In midfield, I don’t think we’ve replaced Matt McGlinchey properly. And up front, maybe we could do with a striker who offers us something a little bit different. We’ve got Evan Harris and Josh Bailey but they’re still kids.

‘On the left side, maybe we could do with bringing someone in to give Josh Hazell and Elliott (Turnbull) extra competition.’

Bashley will arrive on Portsea Island aiming to extend a stunning record that has seen them win 14 and draw three of their last 17 league games. They have kept 15 clean sheets, including the last four in a row.

As a result, they will return to the Southern League next season for the first time since 2015/16, when they finished bottom of Division 1 South & West after picking up just two points in 42 games.

Those miserable times have now no doubt been forgotten as Bashley clinched promotion with a 6-0 hammering of Hamble last Saturday, with Adam Grange netting four times.

Teenager Lyle Simpson - who made his Eastleigh debut in the FA Trophy against Notts County earlier this year - was also on target.

Ex-Pompey striker Matt Tubbs, who recently struck a hat-trick in a 5-0 rout of Fareham, came off the bench in the second half at Hamble.

The only points Bashley have dropped since losing 4-2 at Horndean in January were in draws against champions Hamworthy, AFC Stoneham and Baffins, where a late Lewis Ross goal rescued a 2-2 draw.

Moneyfields pull the curtain down on their league season at AFC Stoneham on Saturday.

Their final game of 2021/22, though, will be the Portsmouth & District FC Senior Cup final against Gosport Borough. Initially due to be played at Westleigh Park this week, it will now be played at Baffins Milton Rovers FC on Wednesday, April 27.