Moneys battle long odds to get victory

Dougie Rowe nets the opening goal for Moneys from the penalty spot. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142292-616)
Dougie Rowe nets the opening goal for Moneys from the penalty spot. Picture: Allan Hutchings (142292-616)
Wes Fogden in action for the Hawks. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

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With several key players unavailable Moneyfields faced a difficult to start their Wessex League premier division campaign.

But they made light of the selection problems, digging in for a convincing 3-0 victory against visitors Alresford Town at Dover Road.

Dougie Rowe and Jamie Hore converted penalties to put Moneys in command.

And Conor Bailey scored the third to cap off the victory.

Moneys had Steve Hutchings, Russell Rackley and George Way suspended, while Jack Lee was unavailable.

Michael Brown was injured and Alfie Rutherford, son of manager Miles Rutherford, is not allowed to play until his 16th birthday – which he celebrates today.

Rutherford, however, is the first to admit his side were lucky to come up against opponents who had the heart ripped out of their side in the summer.

Almost the whole of Alresford’s successful team followed their departing managers to Winchester City.

That left the new management team with the enormous task of rebuilding a side based mainly on last season’s reserve team.

But Moneyfields still laboured for long spells before securing the three points with what looked like a comfortable winning margin.

‘It should have been a lot more convincing because we didn’t play that well,’ said Rutherford.

‘You have to feel for the Alresford side who have a big job on their hands to stay up this season after losing 14 players during the summer.

‘It was good for us to play them first game of the season because we have a few players out.

‘We laboured in the first half and if we had been up against a team with a bit more quality we could have found ourselves in a bit of trouble.’

The Copnor club could have been ahead after only 19 seconds when debut-making Rowe almost scored the quickest goal of the season.

Rowe nipped in ahead of the hesitant defence.

And his goalbound shot was only hooked off the goal-line at the last second by a defender.

It was one-way traffic with Alresford struggling to get out of their own half.

Eventually the pressure paid off in the 33rd minute, when an Alresford defender tripped Hore inside the penalty area.

Rowe made no mistake with his spot-kick and it should have been the signal for the floodgates to open.

But that wasn’t the case for the home side.

Instead they went off the boil and Alresford started to find their feet in the contest.

Rowe, however, was instrumental in ensuring a Moneyfields win.

He proved a real handful to the visiting defenders all afternoon.

On the hour mark, he was fouled by the goalkeeper, who was sent off and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time.

With Rowe off the field receiving attention, Hore slotted home.

That was game over and Bailey added a third goal late on with a long-range shot.

Rutherford believes Moneys will improve as players return.

He said: ‘We had a number of players missing and that bodes well for the next couple of weeks when they start coming back.’

Moneyfields: Hook, Raine, Stanley, Lacey (Benta, 45min), Chapman, Lowther (Savage, 70min), Hore, Morgan, Rowe, Gauntlett (Sciden, 70min), Bailey. Subs: Scott.

Referee: J Robinson.