Steve Hutchings signs off his Dover Road career with a goal as Moneyfields reach another Portsmouth Senior Cup final

Steve Hutchings signed off his Dover Road career with a goal as Moneyfields avoided a banana skin tie to reach another Portsmouth Senior Cup final.

By Simon Carter
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 10:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 10:23 pm
Steve Hutchings, right, scored his final goal on the Dover Road grass as Moneyfields reached another Portsmouth Senior Cup final. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Steve Hutchings, right, scored his final goal on the Dover Road grass as Moneyfields reached another Portsmouth Senior Cup final. Picture: Allan Hutchings

The prolific striker netted his 25th league and cup goal of the season in a 4-0 semi-final win over two divisions lower Locks Heath tonight.

It was Hutchings’ final appearance on the grass at a ground where he has terrorised visiting defences for over a decade.

Moneys only have one more home game before the builders move in - against Amesbury in the Wessex League this weekend.

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Hutchings is unavailable for that match, with boss Glenn Turnbull asking him to play against Locks before going on holiday rather than missing the cup tie.

When Hutchings next runs out for Moneys in a home game at the Copnor site, it will be on the 4G pitch at the brand new John Jenkins Stadium next season.

Locks were the third Hampshire Premier League Senior Division club to provide PSC opposition for the holders at Dover Road this season.

After previous wins against Clanfield (5-1) and Hayling (7-1), Locks were always likely to provide tougher opposition.

And so it proved; though Moneys won 4-0, there was still only one goal in it prior to the 74th minute.

Locks were certainly not overawed by the occasion, but in truth they struggled to create many clear openings. On another day, the margin of victory could have been greater.

Joe Briggs twice went close early on - his second effort hitting the base of a post - before he opened the scoring on 24 minutes.

It was a highly sloppy goal for Locks to concede. Hutchings tried an audacious 45-yard lob from out near the left-side touchline which forced visiting keeper Joe Hunt to backpedal.

Though Hunt scooped the ball away, he failed to hold onto it. And, following a mix-up between him and left-back Simon Stone, Briggs was able to roll the ball into an empty net.

It should have been 2-0 shortly after the half-hour mark. A poor Hunt clearance hit one of his own defenders and fell nicely for Dec Seiden, but with the keeper out of position Seiden’s low shot from 30 yards also hit the woodwork.

Locks had won the game’s opening corner - Moneys keeper Callum McGeorge forced to turn a bouncing Chay Dugan shot over his own bar.

But the visitors didn’t create much after that, with Ryan Bath coming closest - the HPL’s 29-goal leading marksman looping a header from a Stone cross just over the bar.

Hunt was again by far the busier of the keepers in the second half, as Locks struggled to get out of their own half.

He flung himself low to his right to palm away a Seiden shot destined for the corner, then went the other way to keep out a low Jordan Pile efforr.

In between, Hutchings was put through by a fine Josh Hazell pass only to screw a shot badly wide.

Seiden settled any Moneys nerves on 74 minutes, after Locks had failed to clear a corner, and the hosts added two more in the final 10 minutes.

First, Hutchings turned his marker superbly before netting with a left-foot shot. Then sub Josh Bailey completed the scoring from close range.

Moneys remained on the attack and with the last kick of the contest sub Will Porter’s low shot was kept out by Hunt’s low dive.

So, Moneys – who kept a clean sheet for the first time in 24 league and cup games - advance to a Westleigh Park final on April 6 aiming to win the PSC for a third successive season.

They will play the winners of this Saturday’s Privett Park tie between Gosport Borough and three divisions lower Petersfield Town.

Locks, meanwhile, are back in action on Thursday, away to Moneys’ Wessex League Premier rivals Alresford in the Southampton Senior Cup.

Moneyfields: McGeorge, Evans, Hazell, Heath, Cain, Turnbull, Briggs, Pile, Glen, Seiden, Hutchings. Subs used: Bailey, Porter, Boyd-Kerr.

Locks Heath: Hunt, Smallbones, S Stone, Kent, Dunkley, B Stone, Dugan, Hawley, A Clarke, Bath, Johnson. Subs used: Steele, Watts.