FA Cup: Relief for Saunders as 10-man Rams edge through

Petersfield's Mike Dixon, left. Picture: Neil Marshall
Petersfield's Mike Dixon, left. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Ten-man Petersfield Town produced a gutsy performance to knock Moneyfields out of the FA Cup 2-1 at Dover Road.

The Rams were forced to play a man short for 70 minutes after debut-making Howard Neighbour was sent off.

Ryan Woodford had given the visitors an early lead but the Wessex League premier division hosts levelled through Tom McInnes at the start of the second half.

The Rams, however, dug in and progressed with a 75th-minute winner from Mike Dixon.

Visiting manager Ian Saunders was proud of the effort put in by his team.

‘Everyone was amazed when our player was shown the red card,’ he said.

‘It was one of those where their player put his head down for the ball and our player went for it with his boot.

‘We had made the perfect start but the sending off shifted the pattern of the game.

‘Moneyfields put us under a lot of pressure but in the end we dug in and deserved to go through.’

After the Copnor club drew level, they were expected to go on and make the most of their numerical advantage.

Moneyfields boss Miles Rutherford was massively disappointed they didn’t.

‘We won’t get a better chance of progressing but we failed to perform against 10 men,’ he said.

‘The game was there to be won and we didn’t take it.

‘We lacked a bit of belief and failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

‘That is disappointing because we should have gone through into the next round.’

Petersfield will now host Southern League premier division Weymouth in the next round. The Rams return to league action today with a visit from Uxbridge to Love Lane in Southern League division one central (3pm).

AFC Portchester stormed into the next round with a 3-1 win over Southern League AFC Totton at Wicor Rec.

Jason Parish, Alex Baldacchino and Miles Everett booked them a trip to Western League Bristol Manor Farm.

In the Wessex League premier division, a Zac Gill brace and Bradey Norton goal earned Fareham Town an excellent 3-1 win at Whitchurch United.