Rovers desperate to make up for league disappointment

Dean Harris. 'Picture: Mick Young
Dean Harris. 'Picture: Mick Young
Wes Fogden. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Baffins Milton Rovers can power their way to a double cup success starting with their bid to retain the Hampshire Premier League Cup.

Rovers take on AFC Stoneham in the final at Gosport Borough’s Privett Park this afternoon (2.30pm) and then go head-to-head with league champions Hamble Club in the Hampshire Intermediate Cup final at AFC Totton on Friday (7.45pm).

Manager Lee Newport is backing his team to do the double to make up for their league disappointments.

Rovers lost their league crown and were also denied promotion to the Wessex League because their Langstone ground was not ready in time.

‘Cup weeks don’t come 
any bigger and it is 
important we get something out of the season,’ said Newport.

‘Ideally we can put two pieces of silverware in the trophy cabinet.

‘Morale remains high in the camp and Louis Bell has had them training hard ahead of the challenge.

‘As holders of the league cup we obviously want to keep hold of it and the lads are really up for it.

‘We usually turn up for the big games to be fair and we have done our homework.’

Rovers recently beat Stoneham 3-1 in the league, gaining revenge for a defeat at the start of the season.

Newport acknowledges his side will need to keep Stoneham dangerman Luke Musselwhite under wraps to succeed.

Rovers possess plenty of threat going forward themselves with the likes of Blu Boam, Chaz Gardiner and Dean Harris.

Formere goalkeeper Harris will prove a key figure as he captains the side.

However, on arriving at Baffins, Harris has converted to playing up front.

‘He got bored playing in goal,’ said Newport.

‘He works his socks off for us as an outfield player and scores goals.’

Apart from Jason Parrish, who is suspended until the start of next season, Newport has a full squad to pick from.

‘These are important games for us because it would be terrible to end the season empty-handed,’ he said.

‘It would be a bitter pill to swallow.’