Hutchings lauded as Moneys edge thriller

Steve Hutchings. Picture: Neil Marshall (171026-27)
Steve Hutchings. Picture: Neil Marshall (171026-27)
Gary Austin scored the opener for Moneyfields in their win. Picture: Keith Woodland

Bognor win after four second-half goals

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Moneyfields edged a five-goal thriller to beat Thame United 3-2 at the ASM Stadium.

And with the victory, the Dover Road outfit maintained their unbeaten start to life in the Southern League east division.

A stirring first-half performance earned Moneyfields a 3-1 lead at the break.

A minute after the interval the hosts reduced the deficit from the penalty spot, though.

Moneyfields were forced to produce a desperate rearguard action after they had Joe Briggs sent off.

But they held out for a fifth league win of the season.

Manager Dave Carter praised the mental strength and resilience of his Moneyfields troops.

‘I told the players it is how well we do away from home that will make or break our season,’ said the former Horndean boss.

‘They showed good resolve to get the win.

‘Steve Hutchings was fantastic for us.

‘And after we went down to 10 men he ran the line up front on his own.

‘It was backs to the wall at times in the end but we restricted them to one or two chances.’

The visitors started well and missed a number of opportunities before Ryan Pennery gave them a 12th-minute lead.

Conor Bailey crossed to the far post for Sam Pearce to head back and leave Pennery with a simple close-range tap-in.

It was the former Baffins Milton Rovers striker’s seventh goal in six games.

Thame levelled with a disputed 26th-minute penalty but the visitors took charge with two goals before the break.

Hutchings scored with a near-post header and six minutes before half-time Pearce smashed in a low 25-yard free-kick.

Thame got back into the game by scoring within a minute of the restart.

Carter was then unhappy when his team were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Briggs.

‘Their left-back had just completely wiped out Pennery but wasn’t even spoken to,’ added the boss.

‘Two minutes later, when Joe caught their lad late, he gets a straight red card.

‘After that we worked hard to keep our shape and make it difficult for them.’

Thame laid siege to the visitors’ goal but good saves from Matt Shortt and a goalline clearance kept them out.’

The win keeps Moneyfields in second place – behind leaders AFC Dunstable on goal difference alone.