Narrow defeat for the Worthians in Hampshire
By Derek Lloyd
Moneyfield 2 Highworth Town 1
Highworth visited high flying Moneyfields on Saturday and may consider themselves unfortunate not to have returned to Wiltshire with at least a point.
The visitors could have been ahead at half time but home keeper, Steve Mowthorpe, made decent stops from the returning Josh Parsons and debutant Jordan Young. Highworth keeper Connor Johns had little to do but appeared to aggravate a previous leg injury and was hampered for the remainder of the game.
It took Highworth 16 seconds to take the lead at the start of the second half when Young won an aeriel duel with a home defender and went on to slot the ball beyond Mowthorpe. Moneyfields were adamant Young had won the ball with the use of his hand but the assistant referee, who was close to the challenge, and referee ignored the protests.
Defending frailties then struck Highworth as a free kick from the right was not dealt with and Joseph Briggs headed home on 48 mins.
3 minutes later it was 2-1 as again Highworth failed to cut out a Crossfield pass and Nathan Paxton crossed for Briggs to score his second.
Mowthorpe, who excelled also in the reverse fixture at the SaveonTyres Stadium, in the home goal brilliantly block a young effort on 67 mins.
At the other end Johns did well to keep out a couple of long distance efforts but the real drama took place in the last 5 minutes. Highworth's Lomotey had a close range effort ruled out for offside before an altercation on the touchline. The Moneyfields bench staff asnd substitutes appeared to prevent Darren Jefferies from retrieving the ball for a throw in. In the melee that followed a member of the Moneyfields coaching staff was dismissed along with Jefferies for his reaction.
There was still time for Highworth to claim the ball had struck a Moneyfield hand in the home penalty box but for the second time the assistant referee failed to signal for a handball.
in addition to Johns's injury problem Highworth also lost Westlake, Mbunga and Grabe to injuries which together with Jefferies impending suspension may prove to be an issue with regard to next Saturday's fixture at Melksham Town.