Baffins Milton Rovers light on numbers as they bid for a hat-trick of cup wins in eight days

Baffins Milton boss Shaun Wilkinson admits he is light on numbers as Rovers bid for a hat-trick of cup wins in eight days.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 3:08 pm
Josh Dean clears during Baffins' Wessex League Cup win against Infinity on Wednesday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Baffins defeated Infinity 4-2 to reach the last eight of the Wessex League Cup on Wednesday.

They host another Division 1 outfit, Andover Town, in this weekend’s FA Vase first qualifying round tie before welcoming two tiers higher Hartley Wintney in next Wednesday’s Hampshire Senior Cup action.

Wilkinson is without Tommy Scutt, James Cowen and Charlie Williamson against Andover, while Fuzz Kanjanda (injury) and Josh Warren (recovering from illness) are still sidelined.

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Baffins (blue) v Infinity. Picture: Habibur Rahman

In addition, Baffins have seen Blu Boam, George Burgess and Billy Connor all leave in the last fortnight.

‘It’s hard trying to keep everyone happy,’ said Wilkinson. ‘It’s a squad game, it’s not about the 11 players on the pitch.

‘We need depth - we’ll have 50-odd games this season and we need everyone to buy into what we’re trying to do if we’re going to have any success.’

The Andover tie is a potential banana skin - they have netted 20 goals in their six games so far in 2021/22 with Josh Bertie hitting nine of them, including four in last weekend’s 7-1 hammering of Millbrook (ex Hampshire Premier Leaguers Bush Hill).

Infinity's Jamie White on the ball against Baffins in the Wessex League Cup. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Midfielder Harry Sargeant - who helped US Portsmouth to the Vase semis last season - missed the Infinity tie through illness and could remain absent this weekend. But the likes of Lee Molyneaux, Jason Parish, Miles Everett and keeper Konrad Szymaniak - who has kept four successive Wessex Premier clean sheets - all return.

‘We’d like a good run in the Vase,’ said Wilkinson. ‘Our form’s good - we’ve only lost to Sholing in the FA Cup - and winning games can become a habit.’

Baffins reached the fourth round of the Vase - the last 32 - in 2018/19, but suffered a first qualifying round exit in Wilkinson’s debut season in charge last year, losing to Bashley on penalties.