Baffins beat young Hawks to win Portsmouth Senior Cup
Baffins Milton Rovers were crowned Portsmouth Senior Cup champions after beating the Hawks 3-1 at Wicor Rec.
It was a well-deserved win for the Hampshire League premier division champions who proved too strong physically for the youthful Hawks side.
After falling behind to Liam Kimber’s early strike, Baffins levelled quickly through a Jake Knight own goal, before Jamie Musselwhite’s header had them ahead at the break.
Chaz Gardner’s late second-half effort then sealed a memorable win.
Delighted Baffins boss Louis Bell said: ‘That is the icing on the cake for us and we thoroughly deserved the win.
‘Although we went behind we didn’t let it affect us – the lads have been like that all season.
‘They are all friends on and off the pitch and that showed in the spirit there.
‘Though the Hawks fielded a young side, there was still plenty of quality out there.
‘We were physically stronger, though, and caused them problems at the back all night.
‘In our defence, Mike Mallory and young Ashton Leigh were tremendous and hardly put a foot wrong.
‘This is a great boost for us as we now look forward to our first season in Wessex League football.’
Baffins fired an early warning sign when Jamie White almost caught the Hawks out with a 20-yard lob which landed on the roof of the net.
The first Hawks chance fell to Dan Penfold after eight minutes but his shot on the turn flew over the top.
Lee Bradbury’s side took the lead on 13 minutes with a scrappy goal after Baffins failed to clear, leaving Kimber with a simple side-foot finish at the far post.
Baffins were gifted an equaliser 10 minutes later, though, as young Hawks full-back Knight, under no pressure, headed the ball into his own net.
And on 29 minutes, Baffins forged ahead with a superbly-constructed goal.
Gardner crossed from the right and Musselwhite thumped his header past Charlie Searle.
Baffins continued to have the better of it at the start of the second half with Blu Boam firing past the upright.
On 62 minutes the Hawks almost worked Harry Medway in, only for Leigh to get across and clear the danger.
The greater physical presence of Baffins was giving them the edge and they felt they should have had a penalty when Gardner was felled in the area.
Hawks substitute Kev Brown was lively and he forced a low save from Tony Male.
Mallory was a tower of strength in the heart of the Baffins defence, refusing to give the Hawks attack an inch.
Baffins sealed the win two minutes from time when Gardner latched on to a through ball and finished superbly past the advancing Searle.
Baffins Milton Rovers: Male, Willet, Watts, Leigh, Mallory, White, Cornish, Boam, Musselwhite, Gardner, Fairweather.
Subs: Moret M, Davies, Rimmer, Dean, Moret T.
Hawks: Searle, Knight, Medway, Whittingham, Molyneaux, McCrossan, Thomson, Ridge, Penfold, Kimber, Ashton.
Subs: Hardingham, Turnbull, Codling, Brown, Fripp.