Last-minute penalty misery as Baffins Milton Rovers are dumped out of the FA Vase
BAFFINS Milton Rovers suffered late penalty agony as they were knocked out of the FA Vase by Bradford Town.
Last season Steve Leigh’s men defeated the Wiltshire side en route to reaching the last 32 in what was only their second ever Vase campaign.
But Bradford - currently top of the Western League, the same level of the non league pyramid as the Wessex - claimed dramatic revenge at a rainswept PMC Stadium.
Left back Brandon Miller was penalised for an 89th minute foul - given on the linesman’s advice - and Tyson Pollard stepped up to seal a 3-2 victory by sending keeper Cameron Scott the wrong way.
It was a sickening way to exit the competition, but boss Steve Leigh admitted the best team won on the night and most neutrals would agree with him.
Most of the action was condensed into an entertaining first 45 minutes, in which Baffins twice hit back to level and also missed a spot-kick of their own which was to eventually prove crucial.
Baffins were forced into a late change when George Way failed a fitness test on a groin problem and Kieran Carter was drafted into central midfield.
The visitors took a 12th minute lead when Baffins were guilty of failing to pick up lanky target man Gary Higdon and he collected a long punt forward to finish well.
Rovers were handed a great chance to level seven minutes later when Town keeper Daniel Worton was punished for a foul, but he made amends by saving Callum Dart’s penalty which, in truth, was hit at a perfect height for him.
Worton also got up quickly to block Dart’s follow-up effort for a corner.
Undaunted, Dart was instrumental in Baffins’ 28th minute leveller when his low cross was deflected into his own net by Lee Davidson.
Two minutes later, Bradford were back in front. Carter was booked for a foul on the edge of his own penalty area and more bad marking allowed Lewis Powell a free header from Pollard’s free-kick.
A good run from Dart on the left wing provided Baffins’ second leveller on the stroke of half-time, Rob Taw finishing at the far post.
The second half was an end to end affair, forever competitive but never dirty, with Bradford creating the best of what few clear openings there were.
Higdon somehow headed over from inside the six yard box, while the same player, Will Hailston and Matt Morris also went close.
At the other end, the nearest Baffins came was a curling Dart effort 12 minutes from time which went just wide.
Extra time was looking likely before Pollard decided the tie and earnt Bradford a home third round tie against either Saltash or Bridgwater Town.