Moneyfields start beginning of the end of time at long-standing Dover Road home in its current form with PO postcode derby clash against Fareham Town

Moneyfields begin an extended farewell to their Dover Road home in its current form when they host PO postcode rivals Fareham Town in the Wessex League Premier Division on Saturday.

By Lewis Mason
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 4:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th February 2022, 4:31 pm

Moneys' meeting with the Reds starts a run of five successive fixtures on home turf before they have to temporarily vacate the venue to allow major redevelopment work to take place.

But after the home league meeting against Amesbury on March 12 they will play all fixtures away from their ground - including a 'home' fixture against Shaftesbury next month at nearby US Portsmouth's Victory Stadium - up until moving into the newly developed John Jenkins Stadium on the site of Dover Road later this year.

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'King of Dover Road' Steve Hutchings could make a return from injury to face Fareham Town Picture: Keith Woodland (181221-478)

Yet despite what could be an emotional time in the next few weeks for those long associated to the club, assistant manager Fraser Quirke believes it's an 'exciting' period to be part of Moneyfields.

And Quirke, who will once again take charge against Fareham with boss Glenn Turnbull still serving a three-game FA stadium ban, is hoping they can end their time at the 'old' Dover Road with some positive results – starting against Fareham.

‘It’s not tinged with sadness (final games at current Dover Road). It’s probably more excitement I think, it’s just part of the process, we’ll finish playing on the grass and the next time we play there it’ll be this all singing, all dancing amazing facility right at the heart of Portsea Island, with the hope that it’s the envy of all football clubs for miles around.

‘Let’s finish the time off at Dover Road with a little bit of success, really. You know what, Saturday is a great place to start.’

Fittingly, Moneys' long-serving striker Steve Hutchings - known by many as the ‘King of Dover Road’ across the area - could be fit enough to return to the squad after his recent absence with a meniscus injury, Quirke confirmed.

For Fareham, boss Pete Stiles is just looking forward to his side getting a run-out again. After last weekend's Hamble postponement because of Storm Eunice and a free week prior to that, the Reds are readying themselves for a first competitive fixture in 24 days when they travel to Moneyfields – since a 5-0 home humbling against AFC Stoneham.

Stiles said: ‘Moneyfields have been playing games, they played Saturday and Tuesday, have they got injuries and people who are struggling? Are you better off having played games or better off having rested for a few weeks? I don’t know.

‘We want a game, really, after not having a game then having the Hamble one called off, it’s a few weeks now. We’ve gone from Saturday-Tuesdays to nothing for three weeks - it’s quite a lot.’