Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson takes responsibility for FA Cup exit at hands of Southern League Sholing

Shaun Wilkinson shouldered the blame as Baffins Milton Rovers were dumped out of the FA Cup.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 10:28 am
Tommy Scutt, right, scored and missed a penalty in Baffins Milton Rovers' FA Cup defeat. Picture: Vernon Nash (010220-041)

The Baffins boss says his decision to start Alex Przespolewski and Jason Parish up front together backfired in the 4-2 preliminary round defeat to Southern League side Sholing at the PMC Stadium.

The Southampton-based outfit raced into a 4-1 half-time lead to all but put the tie beyond Portsmouth team Rovers.

Wilkinson switched up his system after the restart, with Tommy Scutt, who netted a first-half spot-kick, missing a penalty before Callum Smith pulled it back to 4-2.

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Baffins had left themselves too much to do against Sholing, though, and Wilkinson held his hands up after the FA Cup exit.

He said: ‘I take full responsibility for the first half because I tried a different formation but it didn’t work.

‘I went with two up front, a little lop-sided one, just to get another body higher up the pitch down the middle.

‘Alex Przespolewski and Jason Parish played as a pair but it didn’t really well so I take full responsibility for that.

‘Second half, we changed it up to how we normally play and got a bit of joy.

‘It was a closer game than the scoreline suggests, especially in the second half, but we gave them four sloppy goals. You can’t give a team like that four gifts - they probably won’t score four easier goals all season.

‘The disappointing thing for me is were were 2-1 down heading into half time and we go and give them two of the worst goals you’ll see right on half time.

‘At 2-1 we were in the game and we could have gone on and won it second half, but two goals in four or five minutes killed it.’

Sholing made a storming start with Dan Mason and Claudio Herbert putting the visitors two goals to the good inside 20 minutes.

Baffins were handed a lifeline when Scutt fired home from the spot on the half-hour mark.

But two goals in as many minutes from Stuart Green right on the stroke of half time left Rovers with a mountain to climb as they trailed 4-1 at the break.

Scutt then missed as he stepped up to take his second penalty of the tie five minutes after the restart.

Smith did make it 4-2 with more than 20 minutes left but it proved just a consolation.

But Wilkinson stressed he could not be too critical of his side after a strong start to the season.

The defeat to Sholing was the club's first in five competitive matches this term.

Wilkinson said: ‘I can’t be too harsh on the lads because they’ve been brilliant up until now.

‘Obviously everyone wants a cup run but in the long run the league is the bread and butter and we’re fully focused on that.'