Baffins Milton Rovers arrange Gosport Borough and Liss Athletic friendlies as date for delayed Portsmouth Senior Cup final with Moneyfields is confirmed

Baffins Milton Rovers are stepping up preparations ahead of their Portsmouth Senior Cup final with Moneyfields later this month.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 10:59 am
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 1:26 pm
Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080820-18)

Rovers now know the delayed 2019-20 season showpiece against their Southern League Premier Division South neighbours will take place at Fratton Park on Thursday, May 20.

But keen to get some minutes into his players’ legs prior to the final, manager Shaun Wilkinson has arranged two friendlies before they go in search of silverware.

Rovers will first travel to Privett Park to take on a mix of Gosport Borough’s under-23s and trialists on Saturday (1.30pm) before Baffins face Hampshire Premier League side Liss Athletic on Tuesday.

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Rovers boss Wilkinson, whose team last played in December, felt it was important to give his squad some action before facing Moneyfields in the Portsmouth Senior Cup final.

He said: ‘We’re struggling to get games because teams are either in these friendly tournaments or they’re not back yet.

‘We’ll have a squad of about 19 or 20 just to get some minutes in the legs really and see where we are after Tuesday next week.

‘Hopefully, by then, we’ll be a bit better prepared for this final.’

Wilkinson will also use the friendlies to have a look at some of Baffins’ promising under-16s players.

He has something of a defensive crisis with Jamie White, Zak Sharp and Josh Warren all suspended for the PSC final while Ryan Peake and Sam Emeny (in the Falkland Islands) are currently unavailable.

But that provides an opportunity to some of Baffins' bright young teenagers to step up over the next few weeks.

Wilkinson said: ‘We’ve got some real good under-16s who we’re going to include and have a look at as well, just to get the lads some minutes in the legs.

‘We may have a couple (new faces) just to see, but we’re struggling for defenders at the minute.

‘We really haven’t got many centre-halves, if any, at the minute.’