‘Massive underdogs’ Moneyfields seeking hat-trick of Portsmouth Senior Cup final wins against two tiers higher Gosport Borough

Moneyfields boss Glenn Turnbull knows his side are ‘massive underdogs’ to complete a hat-trick of Portsmouth Senior Cup wins.

By Simon Carter
Monday, 25th April 2022, 7:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 11:55 am

Moneys thrashed Paulsgrove 7-1 in the 2018/19 final and, following a pandemic-enforced display, kept their hold on the trophy when they beat Baffins on penalties in the 2019/20 final in May 2021.

Now they take on two tiers higher Gosport Borough at Baffins’ PMC Stadium on Wednesday (7.45pm) in this season’s showpiece event.

With Fratton Park unavailable, the final was originally due to take place on April 6 at Westleigh Park - only to be postponed due to PDFA staffing issues.

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Moneyfields celebrate winning the delayed 2019/20 Portsmouth Senior Cup final after a penalty shoot out win against Baffins Milton Rovers in May 2021. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Neither club were unduly concerned about the delay, and at least now the final is being held on Portsea Island.

Moneys haven’t played since wrapping up their Wessex Premier campaign on April 16 with a 2-0 loss at Stoneham. Gosport, though, have played twice since then, ending their Southern League season with a 2-1 win at Yate last Saturday.

‘If Gosport go full strength, we will be massive underdogs,’ said Turnbull. ‘As a collective, we don’t mind that. We have no problems being underdogs.’

At US Portsmouth, Turnbull enjoyed huge success in cup ties against higher tier opponents. But never did any of his sides beat a team from two divisions higher in the pyramid.

‘We know they will be strong, they will be physical. We will have to be resolute from the off.

‘It’s the old cliche … we will need to play at our best and they will need to have an off day to make it a level playing field.’

Whatever the result, Turnbull is satisfied with his first season back at Moneys.

‘We had a board meeting the other day and they seemed relatively happy. I was told we’d exceeded expectations, which was good.

‘To finish in the top 10 (Moneys finished ninth), to get to one cup final, another semi-final (the Russell Cotes Cup) and with your two most influential players (Steve Hutchings and James Franklyn) out for 40 per cent of the season … that’s acceptable. I’m happy with that.

‘We were beating (Wessex champions) Hamworthy (in the league), we drew 5-5 at (third-placed) Shaftesbury in the cup and beat them away in the league.

‘The only team who duffed us up were Horndean twice. They gave us a lesson at their place (0-3 defeat) and smashed us for 88 minutes at home before we scored twice (2-2 draw).

‘If we can tighten up at the back (next season), I think we’ll be ok.’

Franklyn and Elliott Turnbull miss the cup final through injury, while Jack Chandler - impressive at right wing back in recent weeks - and striker Evan Harris are cup tied.

Moneys will be aiming for their fourth PSC victory, having first won the silverware by beating Baffins in 2013.

Gosport have won it the most since the tournament was first held in 1987/88. Borough have lifted the silverware six times, including four in a row between 2003/04 and 2006/07 inclusive.

Like Moneys, Hayling, Horndean and Hawks have both won the trophy three times.

Hawks - with current Gosport boss Shaun Gale as the assistant to Lee Bradbury - triumphed in 2015, 2017 and 2018.