Guthrie's superb debuthelps Moneys press on
Dave Carter hailed debut-making teen James Guthrie after Moneyfields maintained their six-point lead at the top of the Wessex League premier division with a 4-0 win at Verwood Town.
The Dover Road outfit produced a convincing performance against their rock-bottom hosts.
Striker Steve Hutchings netted his second successive brace as the Copnor club coasted home.
Carter praised the way his players adapted to a difficult playing surface – and singled out 18-year-old Guthrie, who used to play for the Dorset side.
‘The pitch was poor and it wasn’t easy to get the ball down and play,’ said the Moneyfields boss.
‘We controlled the game from start to finish, though.
‘James was outstanding – setting up two of our goals, while he was unlucky not to score himself.’
Moneyfields opened the scoring when a Guthrie effort ricocheted off the inside of the post into the path of Hutchings, who had the simple task of heading in the rebound.
Goals from Jake Raine and Nathan Paxton extended their lead.
After the break, Guthrie was fouled in the area and Hutchings made no mistake with his spot-kick.
With the game won, Moneys then took their foot off the pedal. Goals from Nathan Kirby and Miles Everett earned AFC Portchester a deserved 2-1 win over Bashley at the Blanchard Wells Stadium.
Royals boss Graham Rix insisted the final scoreline flattered the New Forest visitors.
‘We played some decent stuff and, in all honesty, could have scored six or seven,’ said Rix.
‘Their young keeper was man of the match and kept them in the game.
‘It is an important win because we need to keep up the momentum.
‘We know we are playing catch up after our poor start to the season.’
Horndean were left ruing missed chances as they lost 3-1 to Portland United at Five Heads Park.
Boss Michael Birmingham was again frustrated by his team’s failure to be ruthless in the final third.
‘We should have been three goals up before Portland scored their first,’ he said.
‘For 25 minutes they didn’t get out of their own half.
‘After we fell behind we huffed and puffed without getting anywhere.
‘There was little we could do about the goal they scored after half-time.
‘Our goalkeeper Tom Price had little chance with a worldy half-volley that flew down the slope and into the top corner from the halfway line.
‘Then they hit us on the break as we were chasing the game.’
Jack Maloney converted a last-minute consolation from the spot.
Fareham Town continued their slide down the table as they slumped to a sixth successive defeat.
The Reds lost 3-2 to Bournemouth Poppies at Cams Alders.
Matt Andrews and Simon Woods scored Town’s goals.