Josh Hazell celebrates Moneyfields debut with winner in Hampshire Premier League Senior Division derby at Paulsgrove

Josh Hazell celebrated his Moneyfields debut with the winner as Paulsgrove slumped to their first home Hampshire Premier League defeat since January 2020.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 9:30 pm
Kieran Clark gives Moneyfields the lead at Paulsgrove. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The left-back last week became the latest in a long list of former US Portsmouth players to swap the Victory Stadium for Dover Road.

Handed his first appearance for Lee Mould’s reserves in Moneys’ first-ever HPL Senior Division match, Hazell’s 64th minute diving header settled a game never lacking in commitment but short on many clear cut chances at either end.

Hazell – who a few months ago was playing in an FA Vase semi-final – was one of two men with vast Wessex League experience in Moneys’ starting XI, along with striker Mig Dark, while midfielder Danny Burroughs has appeared in the Southern League.

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Paulsgrove's Preston Tee (yellow) and Moneyfields' Danny Burroughs (8). Picture: Chris Moorhouse

They were up against a Grove side minus three of last season’s most influential performers.

Strikers Zak Willett, who has joined Horndean, and Danny Lane were missing from the team sheet alongside midfield playmaker Shane Cornish. But boss Wayne Grant did include three of Cornish’s former Baffins colleagues in new signings Mike Mallory, George Roy and Chaz Gardner.

Though Hazell was Moneys’ most high profile wing-back, it was the youngster on the right side - Chad Cornwell - who saw most of the ball in the opening 45 minutes at Marsden Road.

Cornwell found himself with lots of space on numerous occasions, but always opted to cross - with minimal end results - rather than try a shot himself.

Paulsgrove skipper Aaron Fennemore, right. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Cornwell was such a constant threat to the hosts that ref Mike Paintin booked both Preston Tee and captain Aaron Fennemore for first half fouls on him.

Grove could have taken a 21st minute lead when Moneys keeper Sam Richards was caught in possession by Jake Daniels, but recovered to stop the shot, while at the other end Burroughs’ scooped pass was met with a Dark volley that was straight at Tommie Stanley.

It was no real surprise when Moneys opened the scoring on 37 minutes - Grove failing to clear a corner and, in a goalmouth scramble, skipper Kieran Clark netting with an overhead kick from all of three yards.

Grove are never likely to lie down and roll over for anyone, certainly not against fellow PO postcode opposition, and they started the second half in determined mood.

Moneyfields striker Mig Dark fires in a shot. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The equaliser arrived on 58 minutes when Clark missed his clearance and Gardner was allowed time to calmly finish across Richards and into the corner. Moneys boss Lee Mould, though, was furious that a lack of talk between midfielders Burroughs and sub Ronnie Clark had conceded possession cheaply.

Parity didn’t last long, however, and Moneys were back in front six minutes later. Again, Cornwell sent in a right-wing cross but this time Hazell was there on the edge of the six-yard box to head in.

There were very few half-chances, let alone clear chances, after that at either end with Paintin kept busy by booking Kieran Clark, Hazell and Grove’s Joe Dorsett.

Overall, this was a competitive encounter which never flowed due to the amount of free-kicks conceded.

Paulsgrove's Aaron Fennemore gives chase to Moneyfields' Chad Cornwell. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Pre-match, Mould was keen to see how his youngsters - such as Cornwell and Toby Toman - coped with Grove’s physical presence. They didn’t look overawed in any way, and Cornwell’s pace will cause many teams problems at HPL top flight level.

Moneys had gone 24 HPL Division 1 games unbeaten in the previous two pandemic-scarred seasons playing 4-4-2 under Paul O’Rielly.

With Mould playing the same 3-5-2 system favoured by Moneys first team boss Glenn Turnbull, his side had a physical presence of their own in the trio of centre halves, Clark, Stan Hopkins and Owen Haly.

Gardner and Daniels didn’t make it an easy evening for them, but overall Grove struggled to create as much as they were used to last season.

Grove: T Stanley, Dorsett, Revy (Cheung, 70), Butcher, Mallory, R Stanley (Moore, 14, Lewis, 46), Fennemore, Roy, Daniels, Gardner, Tee.

Moneyfields Reserves: Richards, Cornwell, Hazell, K Clark, Haly, Hopkins, Elliott (R Clark, 56), Burroughs, D Penfold, Toman (Cooper, 88), Dark (Dowell, 74).