Holders Moneyfields set up Portsmouth Senior Cup final with Baffins Milton Rovers after seeing off Fareham Town in delayed semi-final
Holders Moneyfields moved into the Portsmouth Senior Cup final courtesy of a 3-1 victory over division-lower Wessex League Premier Division side Fareham Town at Dover Road.
Steve Hutchings struck twice from the penalty spot while Kaleem Haitham – dual-signed from Chichester City - also netted to wrap up Moneys' victory in the delayed 2019-20 season semi-final.
Fareham's Gary Austin had briefly pulled the score back to 2-1 in first half stoppage-time before Hutchings' second penalty restored Moneyfields two-goal advantage prior to the interval.
Moneys, with interim managers Louis Bell and Louis Savage in charge, can now look forward to a Fratton Park final against Baffins Milton Rovers as they bid to retain the Portsmouth Senior Cup.
The hosts were awarded a penalty after 13 minutes when Curt Robbins pulled down Haitham in the area. Prolific striker Hutchings stepped up, sent Dan Kempson the wrong way and fired Moneyfields in front.
Despite a number of Moneys players following former boss Dave Carter to AFC Portchester, a mixed XI of first teamers, reserves and players dual-signed from Chichester City started well, going 2-0 ahead just past the half-hour mark.
This time Hutchings turned provide, cleverly slotting Haitham in behind and sent a shot past Kempson.
Fareham gave themselves a much-needed lifeline a minute into first half stoppage-time when Simon Woods pulled back for Austin to fire home - despite the efforts of Ed Sanders to clear on the line.
However, Moneys restored their two-goal advantage before the break. Hutchings went through on goal – with the Fareham adamant he was offside – and was brought down as he attempted to round Kempson with a second penalty awarded. The star striker dusted himself down and beat the Reds goalkeeper – even though he dived the right way.
Fareham were much-improved after the restart but lacked a finish as holders Moneyfields secured a spot in the Portsmouth Senior Cup final.
MONEYFIELDS: Mowthorpe; Giddings, Da Costa, Pashley, Bailey, Hoare, Burroughs, Sanders, Haitham, Briggs, Hutchings. Subs: Penfold (Pashley), Mumford (Hutchings), Close (Haitham).
FAREHAM TOWN: Kempson; Wilcox, Callaway, Jones, Settle, Robbins, Messenbird, Cooper, Woods, C.Benfield, Austin. Subs: J.Benfield (Austin), Davis (Robbins), Slade (Woods).