Moneyfields survive two sinbins and a controversial penalty to claim Wessex League Premier point at AFC Portchester

Moneyfields survived two sin bins and a controversial penalty decision against them to claim a Wessex Premier League point at AFC Portchester tonight.

By Simon Carter
Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:07 pm
Lee Wort about to put Portchester ahead. Picture by Daniel Haswell
Lee Wort about to put Portchester ahead. Picture by Daniel Haswell

The Royals led at half-time after Lee Wort converted a penalty on the half-hour mark for an infringement only ref Ryan Woods had spotted.

There were no strong Portchester appeals, but there were strenuous Moneys protests – too strenuous for Woods, in fact, as defender Corey Heath was sinbinned for protesting at the decision.

Moneys levelled on 58 minutes through left wing-back Josh Hazell.

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Portchester celebrate Lee Wort's first half penalty. Picture by Martyn White

But the match hadn’t even restarted when Moneys captain Steve Hutchings became the second visiting player to be sinbinned for dissent.

Portchester played the last few minutes with only 10 men after sub Brad Lethbridge was shown a straight red card for a foul. The Gosport Borough loanee had only come on in the 71st minute.

Portchester entered the game as very much the in-form team among Portsmouth area clubs, with 10 wins and just two losses in 16 league games since a 5-3 defeat at Moneyfields on November 20.

Marley Ridge - one of eight ex-Moneys player in the home starting XI - warmed Callum McGeorge’s hands on five minutes with a shot that was beaten away.

Moneyfields goalscorer Josh Hazell with Portchester's Jake Raine. Picture: Martyn White

That was the only real chance at either end before Royals keeper Steve Mowthorpe saved from his former Moneys colleague Joe Briggs on 28 minutes. Dec Seiden and Hutchings were involved in the build-up before the keeper got down low to his right to push away a shot.

Two minutes later, and to the surprise of most people in the ground, Woods pointed to the spot and Wort kept his cool to convert his 37th goal of the season.

That puts him one clear of Brockenhurst’s Silvano Obeng among Wessex Premier players with most goals in league and cup action in 2021/22.

Heath was still in the dugout when Moneys went close to levelling on 39 minutes - Hutchings getting in a header from a free-kick that clipped the top of the crossbar.

McGeorge got down low to his right to push Wort’s low 30-yarder away for a corner before Hutchings had a great chance to level right on half-time. Put clear, he fired his shot over the crossbar.

Wort was involved in the first major action of the second half, robbing a defender and racing clear - only for his shot to be blocked.

Moneys went straight up the other end and levelled through Hazell, though celebrations were muted when Hutchings was sent to the sinbin for 10 minutes before Portchester had kicked off.

Moneys, however, proceeded to enjoy the better of those minutes with Dec Seiden shooting over the bar.

Portchester threatened again after Heath was caught in possession, but Felipe Barcelos’ low shot was well stopped by McGeorge.

Wort then wasted a great chance to restore his side’s lead when, after a bit of penalty area pinball, he fired a low shot against the base of a post.

Apart from Lethbridge’s red card, that was the last highlight of a game which, while always interesting, could never be described as entertaining. It was a bit too niggly for that, and frustrations were high at times on both sides - but particularly Moneyfields.

It ended up being what a lot of pundits would have expected - a typical Wessex League Premier Division derby. A draw was certainly a fair result, though Moneys will bemoan one of the softest penalties of this or any other season.

A good-sized crowd – in the high 400s – were tempted to the On-Site Stadium and it would be good to see some more PO postcode derbies played on a Friday next season under lights.

Portchester: Mowthorpe, Searle, Bailey, Da Costa, Pearce, Raine, Ridge, Giddings, Wort, Barcelos, Barker. Subs used: Aston, Hoare, Lethbridge.

Moneyfields: McGeorge, Chandler, Hazell, Evans, Cain, Heath, Pile, Glen, Seiden, Hutchings, Briggs. Subs used: Turnbull, Harris.