Leaders Moneyfields preparing to give youth a chance in Hampshire Premier League
Moneyfields are aiming to give youth a chance over the remaining months of the Hampshire Premier League season.
So far a relatively experienced spine of players have helped the club occupy top spot in the Senior Division table.
But last weekend’s Hampshire Trophy exit at divisional rivals Stockbridge is expected to herald the start of a younger era.
Reserve boss Lee Mould handed starts to two members of the club’s under-18 side, left wing-back Alex Pullin and striker Ollie Minty-Clarke. Another, Dehran Mclay-Hodge, came off the bench in the second half of the 4-2 defeat.
All three will again be involved in Wednesday’s home league game against Colden Common, as will two other players from Malcolm Close’s under-18s - Bassy Stott and Adam Amos.
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‘It’s what a reserve side should be about,’ explained Mould. ‘We should be looking to take the cream of the youth team and integrate them into men’s football.
‘This is their last season of youth football so we want to blood some of them this season rather than chuck them all in straight away next season.
‘I don’t think we’ll win the league this season, but that was never the intention anyway.’
Mould said of the Stockbridge loss: ‘It was a funny game.
‘The better side won on the day, but they didn’t cut us open - we caused our own problems.
‘It was 1-1 at half-time after we’d shot ourselves in the foot time and time again.’
Moneys keeper Sam Richards saved a first half penalty, but Stockbridge still progressed with Liam Kyle and Toby Toman grabbing consolations.
Moneyfields hammered Colden Common 6-1 away in the league in August, but can expect a far tougher task on Wednesday.
Common have won their last nine league and cup games, scoring 44 goals in the process.
Chris Pye is their top scorer with 13 strikes, with Aaron Blaxall (8) and David Paskins (7) the next highest.
Blaxall netted twice in a 3-1 win against Hayling at the weekend with another ex-Alresford player, striker Craig Harding, also in Common’s starting XI. Harding was among the leading scorers in the Wessex Premier in 2019/20 before moving to AFC Portchester.