'These are the games where you need to capitalise' - boss Shaun Wilkinson's message to his Baffins Milton Rovers squad ahead of 'big weekend'

Shaun Wilkinson told his Baffins Milton Rovers side to capitalise on their big Wessex League Premier Division chance this weekend.

By Lewis Mason
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 12:02 pm
Craig McAllister, right, has netted twice in his opening two Baffins Milton Rovers appearances. Picture: Martyn White
Craig McAllister, right, has netted twice in his opening two Baffins Milton Rovers appearances. Picture: Martyn White

Baffins, who moved joint-top of the table on 54 points with leaders Horndean and second-placed Hamworthy after beating Bournemouth last night, are one of just two teams in the current top four in league action on Saturday.

Wilkinson's third-placed side – now on the back of seven successive league wins – make the trip to lowly Christchurch while table-toppers Horndean face a tricky home test against seventh-placed Bashley.

And with both Hamworthy and Brockenhurst - in fourth - involved in FA Vase action, Baffins could take top spot come Saturday evening if they were to defeat Christchurch and the Deans dropped points against Bashley.

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Added to that, fifth-placed AFC Stoneham are hosting place-below Shaftesbury on the same day, so Wilkinson is viewing his weekend as a massive opportunity to seize with clubs in and around them either not playing in the Wessex Premier or facing each other.

The Baffins boss said: ‘It makes Saturday a big game now where Hamworthy and Brockenhurst are in the FA Vase so they’re not playing.

‘Horndean have got Bashley, they’re up there, AFC Stoneham are playing Shaftesbury so there’s a place in it for them.

‘These are the games where you need to capitalise when teams (around you in the table) are not playing or playing each other. It becomes a big weekend for us this weekend.

‘We’re looking at playing a Christchurch team who are five unbeaten themselves, they’ve got a new manager, so they’re going to be difficult opposition - especially away.’

Craig McAllister, recruited from Lymington Town last month, now has two goals and the same number of assists in his opening two Baffins appearances after netting and teeing up fellow forward Jason Parish against Bournemouth.

But it's at the other end of the field Wilkinson's wants to see improvement, with his side having kept just two clean sheets in their past 14 outings.

He added: ‘What we’re good at, we’re strong late in the game and in the second half, where we’ve got good options coming off the bench and our fitness levels are good.

‘We never seem to panic - I’d love a clean sheet at the minute - we’ve only had two in our past 14 games so we need to get back to not giving away silly goals, really.’