SAM WILLETT was the unlikely hero for Baffins Milton Rovers as they enjoyed an impressive 2-1 victory at AFC Portchester in the Russell-Cotes Cup.
With one eye on Saturday’s FA Vase clash against United Services, Royals boss Graham Rix elected to name a weakened side for the visit of lower-league Baffins.
But the Wessex League premier division side came unstuck against the Hampshire Premier League senior division leaders, courtesy of a double strike from defender Willett.
The visitors led inside the opening 10 minutes when the right-back broke the deadlock from the edge of the box.
The Royals equalised when Curt Robbins beat the offside trap but an inviting cross from Ollie Watts picked out Willett again to give Baffins a deserved half-time lead.
Rovers survived a period of intense pressure from the hosts in the second half but were good value for the win and could have increased the advantage late on when Blu Boam’s fine strike cannoned back off the crossbar.
Baffins boss Lee Newport said: ‘From start to finish, we bossed the game.
‘I’m chuffed to bits with the lads – I couldn’t have asked them for any more.
‘We are still in all the cup competitions and we are where we are in the league for a reason.
‘I know they (Portchester) had only five or six of their regular first-team line-up playing as they have an eye on the FA Vase but that takes nothing away from the performance of my players.’
Baffins will play Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the quarter-finals in January.