Match Preview: FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round
Moneyfields v Basingstoke Town
When: Saturday 17th October 2020 Kick-off 3pm
Where: Moneyfields Sports Ground, 1 Moneyfield Avenue, Portsmouth. PO3 6LA
Moneyfields (Nickname – Moneys), Average 2019-20 Home Attendance
Admission Prices: Adult £8 Concessions £5 Kids Unclear
From a win in the Forest of Dean mountainside, we travel south down to the middle of Portsmouth, to take on fellow league opponents, in the FA Trophy second qualifying round.
Last year we did have some success and some great wins, as we beat North Leigh on the road 3-4, then followed that up on the road with a 2-3 win at Cirencester. We then got dumped out of the cup on that rainy day at our friends Melksham.
Despite various match arrangements which were all ultimately postponed at Winchester, plus our away fixture set for April, Moneyfields was the only team that we never actually played at all in the league last season.
We did however play them in the League Cup back in early September, but again threw that away, as we led until a 90th minute equaliser, which was the night that our keeper Chris Rackley got a straight red card, and our stand-in keeper Andrew Charlsey stood little chance in the penalty shoot-out.
Moneyfields like us had a poor season last year, finishing just one place above us last season (18th), with a record of Played 25 Won 7 Drawn 6 Lost 12 GF 37 GA 50 with 27pts.
This year Moneyfields have continued on their poor league form starting with a loss at Cinderford 2-1, which was followed by a home 0-2 home loss to Melksham, only to then shock Thatcham Town 1-5 on the road, but then to fall back to a 1-2 loss at home to Paulton Rovers. This leaves them in 16th place with just three points from four games.
The reason they have only played the four league games, is due to them reaching one stage further than us in the FA Cup, but were ultimately dumped out as they lost 2-6 at home to Cray Wanderers in the last round. They had beaten both Camberley Town and Aylesbury Utd, in the previous rounds.
Managed by Dave Carter, the Money have their forward line returning, which includes 30-year-old forward Stephen Hutchings, who was previously at Bournemouth and Havant & Waterlooville, he had 13 league goals when the season ended. Whilst fellow forwards Joseph Briggs had 6 league goals, and ex-Gosport forward Ryan Pennery had 3 goals.
This season Hutchings has two league goals, whilst another forward who was also on the books last season Keiron Roberts has three goals.
Well the amazing turnaround continues, with some truly strange results for Dan Brownlie’s 2020/21 squad.
Last Saturday another six goals on the road, this time at Cinderford, not only saw us take over at the top of the table, but confirmed that after just five league games, we are now the only unbeaten team in the league.
Our league record now proudly sits at PLD 5 Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 0 GF 18 GA 10 with 13pts.
We lead the league with 18 goals and striker George Hallahan sits in second spot with 5 goals in the league’s goal-scoring chart, plus three other players already with three league goals, McKoy Palmer, George Reid and now after his quality finishing last Saturday Bradley Wilson.
Leading the goal-scoring chart is AFC Totton’s Brett Williams with six goals.
The pace in the team, is one of a number of keys to this squad’s success this season. Not only does occur from both flanks, it is interchangeable as well, as George Reid, McKoy Palmer and even Bradley Wilson switch wing to wing, which must confuse most standard defences at this league level.
We have lost a bit of bite in midfield, with the type of midfield we have, but the expected return of team Captain Simon Dunn, to the starting line-up will strengthen that area. This should give Lewis Hayden more support in midfield with Ben Cook, who scored his first goal of the season, and a quality finish it was, possibly because he didn’t have time to over-think it. Let’s not forget Harrison Cliff, who fights for a starting role, and has that energy and tackling quality that will be needed as we progress through the season and on some more, let’s just say dodgy surfaces.
Alongside George Hallahan is Dylan Ive, who continues to improve each week, and scored a lucky but vital goal just before halftime at Cinderford.
Academy youngster Lloyd Snell, came on and played some significant minutes last week, as his pace, allowed us to calm the game down, when we were under extreme pressure. His late run, that won us the penalty was down to his pace, as much as the defender’s tiredness. Lloyd will no doubt add that injection of energy throughout the season.
Defensively, we are still light years better than last season, but strangely we still conceded a further three goals.
It will be interesting to see how Dan will set his back four, as the returning Shaun Dallimore could be looking for a starting spot.
Last but certainly not least is keeper Julian Schwarzer who continues to amaze and ultimately keep Paul Strudley on the bench. The double-save last week optimised what he has brought to that area that was so poor last season
But this good times for the supporters of the club, as they see and know the players have to fight for their positions.
However, it is October and still eight months of the season remains.
But for this weekend, we can relax from the league, well for seven days anyway as we can try and progress in the FA Trophy at Moneyfields.
If we progress the next round is on Saturday 31st October, which will mean our game at Melksham will be rearranged.
Currently the weather is expected to be dry as we move through the Autumn months.
Safe journey to all our fans, who I hope turn-up in similar numbers to which we did at Cinderford.
Match Preview by Martin French..