Bemerton end Moneys’ hopes of Cotes Cup glory

Moneyfields boss Miles Rutherford
Moneyfields boss Miles Rutherford
Ben Wright waits on the referee to award one of his goals. Picture: Vernon Nash (180380-107)

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Moneyfields saw their hopes of Russell Cotes Cup glory cruelly dashed by Bemerton Heath Harlequins last night.

Manager Miles Rutherford saw his side crash out at the quarter-final stage after a 2-1 defeat to their Wessex League premier division rivals.

Without injured skipper Shaun Kerridge (back strain), Moneyfields opened up the Bemerton defence from the opening whistle.

Conor Bailey cut a path through, and although his low cross was partially cleared, it fell into the path of George Gregory, who blazed widely over an empty net.

The miss proved costly as the hosts broke quickly to the other end, and as the Moneys defence dithered, Jack Slade set himself up to blast home the opening goal from distance.

Moneyfields responded, however, in the best possible way to grab an equaliser.

Gregory, making up for his earlier gaffe, clipped the ball in at the near post after Warren Hunt and Bailey created the opportunity for him.

The goal lifted Moneyfields and Dean Blake and Bailey began creating chances, with their pace a constant threat.

But both Hunt and Gregory failed to make the most of these opportunities.

As the pressure intensified, Blake set up Hunt, who crashed his shot against the crossbar.

The ball then fell to Rackley but he fired into the side netting as the first-half ended 1-1.

Moneyfields started the second half as they finished the first – in total control.

Sadly, all of their dominance counted for nothing as Bemerton, in a rare venture forward, snatched the lead as Mike Pratt raced in at the far post to head home.

Even though behind, and facing a quarter-final exit, Rutherford’s side still looked capable of getting back into the match, with several fine moves.

But, in the final analysis, goals win football matches and Bemerton can look forward to a semi-final clash against either Gosport Borough or Winchester.