Baffins cash in on tired Moneys display to reach cup final

Blu Boam, right Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Blu Boam, right Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Baffins Milton Rovers will face the Hawks in the Portsmouth Senior Cup final after beating Wessex League premier division neighbours Moneyfields 2-1 in the semi-finals.

Ten-man Rovers did it the hard way after having Tyler Yates sent off early in the second half.

The key to victory came from two early goals, a little bit of luck and an inspired performance from goalkeeper Tony Male.

A delighted Louis Bell feels a showpiece end-of-season Fratton Park cup final is a just reward at the end of a successful season for the Puma Engineering Hampshire League premier division champions.

The Easton Road outfit will be plying their trade in Wessex League division one next season and were full value for their victory against higher-tier opponents.

‘We won the game on merit and it wasn’t just a fluke,’ said manager Bell.

‘I thought our sending off was harsh and we had to battle hard after that.

‘It was backs to the wall at times but we defended well.

‘Goalkeeper Tony Male was immense pulling off three or four quality saves but that is what the lad is capable of.’

The home side recalled Jamie Musselwhite to their forward line even though he had missed recent games after dropping a fireplace on his toes at work.

The presence of Musselwhite and the pace of Chaz Gardiner posed Moneyfields problems, particularly in the first half.

The home side took the lead after 15 minutes through an excellent Shane Cornish finish.

A second goal followed when Blu Boam converted an Ollie Watts cross at the far post.

Moneyfields pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Tyler Giddens was pulled back inside the area when clean through.

Dan Woodward buried his spot-kick into the bottom corner.

After that, the visitors hit the woodwork a couple of times but couldn’t find the all-important second breakthrough – exiting the competition.

‘We could have still been out there next day and not scored,’ said Moneys boss Dave Carter.

‘Baffins probably wanted it a little bit more than we did.

‘We have had a tough couple of months playing a lot of games.

‘It was our fifth game in eight days and we looked tired both physically and mentally.’

Baffins and the Hawks will meet in the final at Fratton Park on Tuesday, May 24 (7.45pm).