Baffins Milton Rovers' 'perfect' preparation for Portsmouth Senior Cup final - and news of a Worthing friendly prior to the Fratton Park showpiece
Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson believes his side's friendly visit to Gosport Borough has provided them 'perfect' preparation ahead of the upcoming Portsmouth Senior Cup final.
Rovers suffered a 3-0 defeat at Privett Park against a side made up of trialists and Boro's under-23s.
But Wilkinson, whose team returned to action for the first time since December against Gosport, reckons the run-out could not have worked better for his squad.
Baffins are continuing to prepare for the delayed 2019-20 season Portsmouth Senior Cup final against Moneyfields, which will take place at Fratton Park on Thursday, May 20.
Wilkinson has also scheduled another friendly - this time at Isthmian League Premier Division Worthing - for next Saturday as he attempts to get his players' fitness levels up.
He said: ‘They’ve given us a final date so the game we arranged came at the right time at the weekend. It was a real good work-out for us, it was perfect.
‘We had chances, we were a bit rusty, we weren’t quite there fitness-wise which is understandable.
‘It was a real good test, Gosport had a decent side out, they had some young under-23s who have carried on right the way through so they were still match ready.
‘They also had a lot of trialists who, again, were match ready and they had some good players on display.
‘It was a good test for our boys, it was played in the right way on a decent surface, they were quick, pacy and energetic, which is what we needed really.
‘Our lads did get a bit of a chasing at times, which is ideal for their fitness.’
Baffins were due to travel to Hampshire League Premier outfit Liss Athletic tomorrow for a friendly, but that has now been cancelled.
Wilkinson, meanwhile, stressed he will not be signing players just to feature in the PSC final.
He added: ‘We’re not playing tomorrow now because Liss have pulled out so I’ve rearranged a game for Saturday at Worthing. It’ll be another fitness session because they are proper decent.
‘They’re a top outfit who play football and their manager (Adam Hinshelwood) is an ex-Brighton team-mate of mine.
‘The results are not important at the minute, it’s just trying to get minutes into the players’ legs to prepare them as best we can for this final.
‘We’ll get this final out of the way then we’ll have a few weeks off and get ready for pre-season.
‘The final is a competition from two years ago so I’m not going to go and sign players for the sake of a final just to win a trophy.
‘The lads who have been at Baffins will get a chance to play, they’re the ones who’ve earned it.’