'He's got a massive, massive future ahead of him' - Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson backs teenager Ethan Gee to use sending off in US Portsmouth draw as tough learning experience

Shaun Wilkinson defended teenager Ethan Gee following his dismissal in title-hopefuls Baffins Milton Rovers' home Wessex League Premier Division draw with US Portsmouth.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 3:36 pm
US Portsmouth's Owen Scammell appears in pain on the ground after Ethan Gee's red card challenge Picture: Paul Collins
US Portsmouth's Owen Scammell appears in pain on the ground after Ethan Gee's red card challenge Picture: Paul Collins

And the Baffins boss believes Gee, who recently turned 17, will learn from his red card in the 1-1 draw at the PMC Stadium.

Youngster Gee was given his marching orders just 24 minutes into the clash following his challenge on Owen Scammell near the halfway line.

Although admitting it was a tackle which warranted a red card, Wilkinson says starlet Gee has 'not got a malicious bone in his body' and he'll bounce back stronger.

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Despite going down to 10-men, Craig McAllister's effort seven minutes after the restart looked enough to send the second-placed hosts to all three points.

It certainly appeared to be Baffins' day when Tom Dismore ballooned over a 73rd-minute penalty for US Portsmouth.

However, deep in injury-time, player-assistant coach Tom Jeffes volleyed home to snatch a point for the visitors.

Wilkinson reflected: ‘It was reckless (Ethan’s tackle), yeah, I would probably say it was a red card. It was out of control, but the lad is such a lovely boy, he’s not got a malicious bone in his body, he’s not aggressive at all - it was just a naive tackle.

‘He’s down, obviously, he’s a young lad. We’ve got good experienced players in the camp who looked after him - it’s football - he’ll look back and learn from that.

‘Listen, he’s got a massive, massive future ahead of him, he’s such a good player - that’s why we play him. It’s just one of them things.

‘The 10-men we had out there did fantastic on a difficult pitch. We came under a bit of pressure but stood up to it quite comfortably.

‘Again, for the second game (running), we’ve missed some real, real good chances - if you put them chances away the game is put to bed. ‘Unfortunately (when you don’t), they come back to bite you.’

US Portsmouth boss Tom Grice says he would have happily taken a point pre-match, yet he was slightly annoyed his side failed to come away with all three - particularly with how things unfolded.

He said: ‘I don’t think they’ll be another time this season where it was probably more open, especially at their place.

‘The circumstances which unfolded there, I actually think we should have got the three points.

‘The sending-off - it was a red card in my opinion - there was no real malice in the challenge.

‘It was quite an industrious display in terms of work rate, it was quite an honest performance from us, but we let them back in it.’