Hat-trick hero Palmer helps Burrfields beat Baffins Milton U23s to lift first silverware of the 2021/22 Mid-Solent League season

Jack Palmer fired a hat-trick as Burrfields collected the first silverware of the 2021/22 Mid-Solent League season.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 10:42 am
Burrfields with the Oscar Owers Cup. Back (from left): Jordan Shuttleworth, Max Bleach, Tom Duff, Charles Flatman, Jesse Parkis, Joe Western, Josh Currie, Kevin Parry, Duane Gray, Brian Kirby (manager). Front: Sam Lucas, Jack Palmer, Richie Leader (captain), Clinton Uzochukwu and Ali Shioui. Picture: Neil Marshall

Brian Kirby’s side were forced to come from behind to beat one of the league’s new clubs, Baffins Milton Rovers U23s, 5-2 at Front Lawn.

New signing Clinton Uzochukwu scored the other two goals against a Baffins side that were reduced to 10 men due to a sending off.

‘Baffins were a decent outfit,’ said Kirby. ‘They have players who will go on to bigger and better things.

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Jack Palmer fires Burrfields into a 4-2 lead. Picture: Neil Marshall

‘We tried out a new formation - we normally go 4-4-3 but we went 3-5-2 because I was short of defenders but had lots of midfielders.

‘We packed the midfield, won that battle, and ultimately dominated the game. I felt we dominated possession in the first half but were 2-1 down at half-time.

‘It was one of the best performances since I have been manager. We retained the ball well, we recycled it well, we passed and moved well - we looked a decent outfit.’

Burrfields finished third in last season’s MSL Division 1 table, and Kirby said: ‘We’re looking to consolidate on that, we’re looking for another top three finish.

Jack Palmer about to put Burrfields into a 3-2 lead. Picture: Neil Marshall

‘It’s difficult to predict because there’s a lot of new teams. I feel we have improved but it’s hard to calibrate because you don’t know how strong the new teams are.’

Burrfields were invited by MSL officials to compete in the Oscar Owers Cup due to what Kirby said was ‘our outstanding contribution to the league last season and the fact we have introduced a reserve team to help bolster numbers.’

After beating Baffins, Kirby and his squad went ‘en masse’ to watch the reserves draw 1-1 with Horndean United in their opening MSL Division 2 fixture.

Managed by ex-Burrfields player Matt Billett, Anton Dewing put the second team ahead with Horndean levelling from a second half penalty - awarded for a handball that resulted in a red card for Glenn Archer.

The Baffins Milton U23s wall defend a Burrfields free-kick. Picture: Neil Marshall

‘For us to move forward, it’s important we have a reserve team,’ said Kirby.

‘It will enable us to bed new signings in, give trialists game time, and instead of throwing players coming back from injury into the first team we can get them match-fit in the reserves - that’s the theory anyway.’

Burrfields (maroon) v Baffins Milton U23s. Picture: Neil Marshall
The Baffins Milton U23s goalkeeper. Picture: Neil Marshall.
Baffins Milton U23s celebrate taking a 2-1 lead in the first half. Picture: Neil Marshall
Burrfields celebrate a goal. Picture: Neil Marshall
Burrfields (maroon) v Baffins Milton U23s. Picture: Neil Marshall
The Baffins captain protests once too often and is about to be shown a red card. Picture: Neil Marshall