Moneyfields win clash of Senior Division’s top two in Hampshire Premier League Cup tie v Denmead which finishes early due to player injury
Moneyfields Reserves won the clash of the Senior Division’s top two in an entertaining Hampshire Premier League Cup tie at Dover Road.
The two clubs have both made a flying start to life in the top flight after winning promotion following impressive performances in the two pandemic-shortened seasons.
While most pundits would have expected Moneys to do well in the higher league, Denmead’s performances have probably come as a surprise - not least to themselves.
Though both teams had regulars missing tonight, they still produced a cup tie that flowed from end to end virtually throughout and was a credit to Hampshire Premier League football.
Denmead were on top after bagging an equaliser shortly into the second half, but two quick goals gave Lee Mould’s side a 3-1 victory.
Due to an injury to Denmead keeper Chris Clark, referee Gary Cash abandoned the tie with seven minutes remaining, though the result stands.
Clark came off worse in a 50-50 challenge with Moneys left wing-back Brandon Rogers, who himself required treatment before getting up.
Within minutes of the abandonment, Clark was able to hobble back to the dressing rooms helped by two Denmead officials.
Mig Dark had Moneys’ best chances in the first half hour, twice firing wide and then seeing a shot finger-tipped away for a corner by Clark.
At the other end, Denmead striker Kieron Hammond had a great chance after Jake Knight had given the ball away, but shot wide from inside the 18-yard box.
Moneys went ahead on 34 minutes when Denmead were penalised for a foul in their penalty area and Brandon Elliott struck his penalty low to Clark’s right.
Clark remained the busier of the keepers, coming off his line to force Dark to shoot across him and wide of the far post before diving full length to push a Knight free-kick away for a corner.
Dark had another good chance on 51 minutes, collecting a Knight through ball but Clark saving with his legs for another flag-kick.
Denmead levelled on 54 minutes - and needed a slice of luck to do so. The ball rebounded kindly off a home defender midway in the Moneys half for Hammond to sprint on into the 18-yard box, have time to compose himself, and rifle a low shot past Ash Farrell.
Hammond was inches away from a spectacular second minutes later. It seemed an ambitious attempt when he stepped up to take a 35-yard free-kick, but his fierce shot smashed against the crossbar.
At this point, the momentum appeared with Denmead. Could Moneys, having seen their 32-game unbeaten HPL run ended at Locks Heath last Saturday, be about to suffer another defeat?
Mould responded by introducing midfielders Toby Toman and Ronnie Clark, and it was somewhat against the run of play that his side restored their lead on 69 minutes.
There was no doubting the quality of Toman’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, however, that nestled in the top corner of the net.
Four minutes later, Rogers’ left-wing cross was poked home at the far post by Fred Penfold, who the previous evening had netted the winning goal for Moneyfields’ first team in a Wessex League Cup penalty shoot-out at Blackfield & Langley.
Less than 60 seconds later, Penfold almost scored again - sliding in but just failing to get on the end of a Dark cross.
But those two goals had killed the tie off and Denmead – so short of numbers they had to play striker Callum Trevaskis at centre half alongside skipper Brad Simmonds - never really threatened a second goal.
Still, they can be proud of their efforts and the part they played in what was, for any neutrals watching, a competitive, enjoyable encounter.
It was easy to see why they have made such a fine start to 2021/22. Next month they face Fareham Town in the Portsmouth Senior Cup and will no doubt give the Wessex Leaguers a tough 90 minutes.
Moneyfields: Farrell, Dowel, Rogers, K Clark, Sillence, Hopkins, Knight, Molyneaux (R Clark), F Penfold (D Penfold), Dark (Fairweather), Elliott (Toman).
Denmead: Clark, Arend, Dixon, Trevaskis, Simmonds, Harrison, Chandler (Brewer), Hammond, Milne, C Crook.