Steve Hutchings moves ever close to stunning Moneyfields goal milestone with hat-trick in Wessex League win at Alresford

Steve Hutchings moved ever close to a stunning goals milestone as Moneyfields collected a Wessex League victory at Alresford last night.

By Simon Carter
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 10:01 am
Steve Hutchings (middle) celebrates his opening goal at Alresford last night. Picture: Dave Bodymore.
Steve Hutchings (middle) celebrates his opening goal at Alresford last night. Picture: Dave Bodymore.

Playing his first game since November 20 due to work commitments, the talismanic striker took his seasonal tally to 16 goals with a hat-trick in a 4-2 Premier Division win.

Having celebrated his 31st birthday the previous day, Hutchings opened the scoring in the first minute at Arlebury Park.

Hutchings struck again on 12 minutes - heading in a Rob Evans cross - before James Franklyn joined Hutchings on 15 goals by making it 3-0 just after the half-hour mark.

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Alresford were then reduced to 10 men when a striker was red carded for retaliation, lashing out at defender Tom Cain.

Hutchings went ahead in the seasonal goalscoring stakes 10 minutes into the second half before Alresford grabbed two consolations, denying keeper Callum McGeorge a clean sheet on his first Wessex appearance.

Hutchings is now just two goals short of reaching 250 in his amazing Moneys career which began in 2010.

‘We started really, really well,’ said boss Glenn Turnbull. ‘I asked for a fast start and got it.

‘Hutch’s second goal was a proper centre forward’s header - it was Fraser Quirke and Neil Scammell-esque!

‘I took off Franko (Franklyn) and Hutch in the second half and that was like a trigger to their (Alresford) lads - ‘they think they’ve won it’ - and we almost switched off, annoyingly conceding two goals.’

The first came when Cain gave away a penalty for a ‘rash’ challenge and the second came when Evans misread a long ball, which bounced off his leg and set up an Alresford player to run through one on one with McGeorge.

The keeper was handed his Wessex League debut with Tom Price rested after conceding five goals at Shaftesbury in the Wessex League Cup last weekend.

‘Tom’s still the No 1 keeper, I’ve told him that,’ said Turnbull. ‘He just needs to hit the reset button, build his confidence up.’

Turnbull had been keen to welcome back midfielder Matt McGlinchey, but the result of a PCR test - the player had been in Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1 title decider on Sunday - hadn’t returned in time.

Striker Tyler Moret, midfielder Danny Burroughs and young Sam Drew were given minutes as second half subs as Moneys moved up just one place to 12th. They trail sixth-placed Bashley by nine points but have three games in hand.

Before last night, only one club across the 14 step 5 divisions of the English non-league pyramid - Beckenham Town - had played fewer league games than Moneyfields’ 15.

Moneys now host AFC Stoneham this Saturday, with the Purples protecting the only unbeaten away record in the top flight of the Wessex.