Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson set to ‘freshen things up’ after poor Wessex League run continues with shock loss at lowly Portland

Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson will look to ‘freshen things up’ in a bid to return to winning ways.

By Simon Carter
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 12:54 pm
Callum Dart (yellow) could be recalled by Baffins Milton Rovers from  his spell at Fleetlands.
Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Callum Dart (yellow) could be recalled by Baffins Milton Rovers from his spell at Fleetlands. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Rovers slipped five points behind top two Horndean and Hamworthy on Saturday after a 3-0 loss at a Portland side who had started the day fifth bottom of the Wessex League Premier.

Baffins have now taken just two points out of a possible 12 against four teams in the bottom half of the table - they had previously drawn with Christchurch and US Portsmouth and lost to Fareham. Prior to that, Baffins had rattled off seven successive league wins to catapult themselves firmly in the title race.

‘First half (at Portland) we played with the wind, we had three or four chances but didn’t work their goalie, didn’t hit the target,’ Wilkinson reported.

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‘They scored a poor goal from our point of view and at half-time we asked for a reaction. But it went the other way - we lost with a bit of a whimper.’

Greg Borthwick had put Portland ahead and further goals followed from Joel Hewitt and Ben Morris.

Wilkinson continued: ‘Portland didn’t beat us by playing particularly good football, but they wanted it more - they were young, hungry, energetic.

‘I can accept people being out of form or making mistakes, but running around requires no talent.

‘The club laid on a coach for the players on Saturday, they laid on some breakfast for them. All you’re asking for is 90 minutes of effort in return.

‘Every team has a wobble and this is certainly ours. It’s the same group, the same players, the same system.

‘I don’t know if we’ve taken our foot off the gas because we’re not playing the top teams. We’ve got a tough February and if we play like we have been against the top teams we’ll lose every game.

‘I don’t know if I’ve built them up too much, whether they think they are better than what they are.

‘I don’t want to be too rash - the club is still in the best position it’s ever been in - but I will freshen it up.

‘We’ve got a good group of under-18s and the one thing they will do is run around, which is one thing that’s missing at the moment.’

Wilkinson said he could recall attacking midfielder Callum Dart from his spell at Fleetlands for Tuesday’s Wessex Premier trip to Cowes Sports.

Following Portland’s win, Cowes have now slipped into the bottom five.