Wessex Premier League
Team Solent 2
(Giovanni Landu, Tyrell Mitford)
(Marley Ridge, Brett Poate)
In the back of my mind for most of the season, I knew I should try and get to a Moneyfields match due to the fact that they are on course to win the Wessex League and subsequently gain promotion.
There wasn’t many chances left, however a rearranged fixture, crammed in on a Thursday night before Easter weekend was a great chance to head over to Test Park as Team Solent hosted a side heading up to the Southern League next term.
Thursday 13th had originally been reserved for the Dorset Intermediate Cup final at Swanage’s ground. Corfe Castle were playing in the final, but I couldn’t justify the long drive, especially with a packed day tomorrow watching two games in the Western League and not to mention a lengthy journey on Monday as I head over to Yeovil versus Crewe.
So it had only been three days since my last visit to Test Park, just enough time away to warrant a return in my opinion!
League leaders Moneyfields battled from two goals down to earn a point with a 2-2 draw over Team Solent at Test Park.
The students led through Giovanni Landu after 15 minutes before Tyrell Mitford doubled the lead on 51 minutes.
With both sides reduced to ten men, Moneys left it late but managed to score twice in the final six minutes as substitute Marley Ridge pulled one back before former Southampton & Eastleigh centre back Brett Poate rescued a point for the Portsmouth side.
The visitors are close to confirming the league title, but that could all change if they are unsuccessful with their appeal for a three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player back in January.
Dave Carter’s men enjoyed more of the ball in the opening exchanges, however they found themselves a goal down when Landu latched onto a loose ball in the box to slot past Steve Mowthorpe in the Moneys goal.
Moneys full back Connor Bailey had a good chance to level the scores when he sliced his shot well high of the bar after getting into an advanced area on the left side.
Ryan Dacres-Smith saw his shot from outside the area roll into Mowthorpe’s hands when he latched onto Dan Woodward’s weak clearance.
Woodward had a good chance up the other end from a free kick when he hit it low and hard at Lee Webber who could only gather the ball at the second attempt.
As the half drew to a close, the referee ended up issuing Woodward with a yellow card for a late tackle on Tobi Adekunle before Solent’s Landu was booked for catching Bailey late when charging down a long ball forward.
Carter made a change at half time, Darren Simmonds making way for Marley Ridge. Moneys started the half in frantic fashion, throwing men forward to force an equaliser.
However it got worse for the visitors when Dacres-Smith’s ball over the top sent Mitford through on goal and the first year student did excellently to lob the onrushing Mowthorpe.
The second goal really did provide a wake up call for Moneyfields who enjoyed a spell of possession, going over the top when trying to get the ball back as Bailey fouled Adekunle and decided to put the Solent winger in a headlock on the floor.
Pip Nolan kept Solent’s clean sheet intact when he cleared Steve Hutching’s shot off the line as Solent defended for their lives and soaked up the pressure.
Solent attacked on the break as Moneys committed men forwards and Mitford knocked the ball past Jake Raine before forcing a good save from Mowthorpe from a tight angle.
The hosts were reduced to ten men midway through the second half when Landu foolishly rolled the ball away as Moneyfields were about to take a free kick, earning himself a second yellow card and an early shower.
Moneyfields must have fancied themselves with the man advantage, however it only lasted for one minute when Woodward received his second yellow for a late tackle on Curtis Thorn, who had run from the edge of his own box into the attacking half with four Moneys players hot on his heels before Woodward decided to haul down the stand in captain.
Despite all of Moneyfields possession, Solent were still showing glimpses in attack and Mitford got the better of Tyler Giddings before firing into the side netting.
The comeback began on 84 minutes when a corner was floated in from the left side and Ridge was waiting, unmarked, at the back post to volley in past Webber.
It looked like Solent were going to throw the result away and the equaliser came moments later in scintillating fashion when central defender Poate smashed the ball in from 30 yards low into the corner through a crowded box to confirm a point away from home and step closer to the Wessex Premier title.
2016/17 Games: 119
2016/17 Grounds: 63 (10)
Total Grounds Visited: 155 (41)