Fareham hit with Moneyfields threesome

By Connor Steel

FAREHAM TOWN extended their winless run on Tuesday evening to nine matches in the Wessex League Premier, losing three-nil versus Portsmouth based Moneyfields as they were swept aside by three different scorers. But not for the first time this season the Creeksiders were dangerous for long periods and more clinical finishing would have signalled a different result, only to be hit by very good finishing by the visitors; who ended with a defender between the sticks due to a goalkeeping injury.

The Creeksiders started the better in front of their home crowd at Cams Alders, quickly adapting to a drizzly pitch surface as Jack Breed and Gary Austin went close with efforts going high over the bar in the first 10 minutes of proceedings. Down the other end Moneyfields had their opening chance after fourteen minutes as Josh Hazell fired wide a fine pass by Joe Briggs down the right, before a shot by Jordan Pile was gathered by Fareham goalkeeper Henry Woodcock on the second attempt moments later.

Fareham created their best chance after 23 minutes following incisive passing between Ben Rowthorn and Casey Bartlett-Scott down the side; the latter’s low cross diverted goalwards by Austin whose effort was brilliantly clawed out by the gloves of Callum McGeorge for a corner that ultimately came to nothing. The Moneyfields keeper furthermore denied Breed from close range and saved a powerful drive by Archie Wilcox from a set piece before the half hour mark with his legs after it took a slight deflection off a defender.

As the game passed the half-hour it seemed to calm down following this end-to-end opening, both sets of midfielders cancelling each other out with good defending. But as half time approached the visitors began to find more space and Briggs almost profited as he saw a shot saved by Woodcock in the home goal; with the next attack leading in a Moneyfields goal on 41 minutes. It started as Steven Hutchings turned his marker and advanced towards goal, moving the ball over to find Briggs who converted a low curling shot into the bottom corner with a great finish; proving to be the last chance before the break for either side.

Buoyed by their lead Moneyfields started the second period in control and doubled their advantage shortly after the restart, a pass through the channel flat-footing Fareham defenders to find Hutchings; the striker’s low angled effort squirming past Woodcock at his post.  It should have been three-nil before the hour mark as the visitors flooded forward, seeing Briggs fire wide on two separate occasions whilst Fareham went close in response with Bartlett-Scott shooting over from range on 63 minutes.

Moneyfields were dealt a blow with less than 20 minutes to play following a quiet spell due to both sides making substitutions as their goalkeeper McGeorge was injured making a save from Cooper; manager Glenn Turnbull bringing on Harry Birmingham and putting defender Tom Cain between the sticks. This gave Fareham some home of a comeback as they pumped balls into the box trying to put the ‘replacement’ goalkeeper under pressure, but were denied by good awareness by Cain alongside good defending by the away backline who did brilliantly to prevent any dangerous shots.

Fareham had their final chance to score on 84 minutes as good interplay between substitutions Tom Settle and Siphesihle Mdladlose linked up; the latter cutting inside but seeing his low effort saved well by the legs of Cain who preserved his clean sheet. And Moneyfields punished these missed opportunities just sixty seconds later as Adam Cripps fed teenage striker Evan Harris, collecting the return pass before slotting home a fine side footed finish; a goal that made it three-nil and knocked the stuffing out of the final minutes as the game reached its inevitable conclusion.

This latest defeat means Fareham have only picked up one point from the last 27 available, staying in fourteenth with just four games left this campaign; last winning a league game in late January despite cup victory over Portchester last week. The Creeksiders will now play fifteenth place Portland United away in Dorset this weekend in a lower table battle as the season reaches its climax, before hosting 17th place Cowes Sports in a rearranged fixture at Cams Alders on Tuesday night (April 5).

PICTURED BY MONEYFIELDS FC MEDIA: Two teams clash at Dover Road in three-all draw last month, with Fareham struggling to make similar inroads in attack as their poor league run continues.