Baffins Milton to host National League South big-hitters Dorking – as a ‘favour’ to Rovers boss for his work in Rutherford and Prior transfers

Baffins Milton Rovers manager Shaun Wilkinson believes his squad have the perfect chance to showcase their abilities against National League South big-hitters Dorking Wanderers tomorrow (7.45pm).

Monday, 26th July 2021, 10:48 am
Dorking striker Alfie Rutherford in action for Hawks. Photo by Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

And he hopes luring Marc White's side to the PMC Stadium will help draw a big crowd for the marquee friendly meeting.

Wilkinson has already managed to attract a Pompey XI, Worthing and Chichester City - going down 1-0 on Saturday - for matches this pre-season.

But Wessex League Premier Division Baffins take a step up in opponents again when three divisions higher Dorking visit.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Dorking striker Jason Prior celebrates the goal that clinched the National League South title for Hawks in 2017/18.

Wilkinson revealed the friendly meeting came about after he played a part in helping Portsmouth-born pair Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford seal moves to Wanderers from Hawks prior to taking the Rovers job.

As a result, Dorking boss White is now repaying the favour by bringing his team down to the PMC Stadium.

Wilkinson said: ‘Baffins have never had teams like this down there for pre-season, they’re a top, top outfit (Dorking).

‘Again, like Worthing, null and void cost them (Dorking) a place in the National League last season.

‘People at the football club, myself and my staff, we work hard to get games like this to the club.

‘Hopefully the public will come out and show their support and come and watch a decent team.

'This is why I got the game because I helped do their deals to Dorking (Prior and Rutherford) before I was involved at Baffins.

‘Players used to come to me to speak to clubs and I used to help players move and stuff.

‘I was a big part in their moves (Jason and Alfie) to Dorking so that’s how I ended up meeting Marc White.

‘Marc is repaying the favour by bringing a team down to me. This is one of the games that I try to entice younger players to the club and give them that opportunity to showcase their skills and talents against higher opposition.'

Rutherford and his former Westleigh Park colleague Josh Taylor were on target at the weekend as Dorking won 2-0 at National League North outfit Chorley. Prior was among the players left behind for a rest.

Wes Fogden and Ed Harris are other ex-Hawks who could be making an appearance against Baffins.

Former Pompey Academy prospect Kaleem Haitham's first-half strike fired Chichester City to a 1-0 victory at Baffins on Saturday.

But Wilkinson was still pleased with how his side fared against opposition from a league higher - even if they lacked cutting edge in attack.

'The result aside, we’re in a lot better position than we were last season,' insisted Wilkinson.

'Out of possession we were very, very good - they (Chichester) found it hard to break us down.

‘In possession, our attacking players weren’t at our best so I was a little bit disappointed on us going forward but still plenty of positives to take out of the game - we’re looking okay at the moment.'

National League South Hawks return to friendly action with a trip to the Memorial Stadium to take on Joey Barton's League Two Bristol Rovers tomorrow (7pm).