MONEYFIELDS edged a 2-1 Wessex League premier division win over Horndean at Five Heads Park.
And Dave Carter’s battered and bruised nine-man Deans outfit were unfortunate to troop off the pitch with nothing to show for their efforts.
Substitute Nathan Paxton missed out on an equaliser deep in injury-time as his superb effort struck the crossbar.
By then Horndean were down to ten-men, following the dismissal of keeper Simon Howard for bringing down Moneys’ striker Jamie Hore in full flight.
It was a decision that the majority around the ground thought harsh, though not Dorset referee Ben Cobb.
He had already flashed his yellow card to several players from each side – the majority for dissent of one kind or another.
And moments after Paxton’s blistering drive shook the frame of the goal, Horndean skipper Tom Chapman allowed his mouth to go into overdrive.
Having already been booked, he was handed his marching orders, joining Howard in the dressing room as the referee took exception and produced a red card.
With nine men left to battle on, Horndean finally realised it wasn’t to be their day, although they did at least cause Moneyfields a few more anxious moments before the final whistle.
The hosts had done particularly well early in the match and only a last-ditch challenge by Moneyfields’ Russell Rackley denied Louis Bell a good chance of finding the back of the net, from deep inside the penalty area.
But on 32 minutes, and after more pressure, Torr Spicer jinked clear along the line and his pinpoint cross was met by Bell who headed the ball back across goal and into the far corner to put his side ahead.
However, the lead lasted barely 60 seconds before Moneyfields drew level – Steve Hutchings racing through to beat Howard from close range.
Almost before Horndean had regained their composure, Hutchings stepped up to belt home a penalty – the referee having decided that Dan Gauntlett’s powerful goal-bound drive was handled in the area.
Early in the second half and before seeing red, Howard could only watch and hope that Hutchings’ outrageous effort from distance would miss the target.
And it did, leaving Horndean the best part of 25 minutes to pull themselves level and take at least a share of the points.
But in the final analysis, Moneyfields still had enough about them to hold on and take the points, to the delight of manager Miles Rutherford.
‘We knew it would be a tough place to come as Horndean are a capable side and likely to cause an upset against anyone in the Wessex League,’ said Rutherford.
‘Fortunately, our experience helped us in many ways and I thought we deserved to win the match, even though we didn’t have things our own way at times.
‘For me Hutchings made the difference. Given the chance, he is lethal in front of goal and after a lean spell, is back to his best.
‘But at the end of the day, the team display paved the way for him to earn us the victory with his couple of goals.’
Carter said: ‘I honestly believe we deserved something and had the shot from Paxton been an inch lower, the lads would have celebrated a well earned point.
‘Arguably, although we ended up with eight bookings and two red cards, it wasn’t a dirty game by any means.
‘It was a local derby after all and it follows that both sides want to win it.
‘Even though we were beaten, I saw things from my side that give me plenty of satisfaction and renewed hope for the rest of the season.’