Wilkinson accepts share of the blame as Baffins crash out of the FA Vase on penalties

Shaun Wilkinson accepted part of the blame as Baffins Milton Rovers crashed out of the FA Vase on penalties against Bashley at the PMC Stadium.

Sunday, 20th September 2020, 4:48 pm
Tommy Scutt, left, was on target for Baffins as they crashed out on the FA Vase on penalties. Image: Simon Hill Photography.

The manager suggested he used his substitutes too early which helped unsettle his team.

He also felt his team played poorly, particularly in the second half.

'I have to take my full share of responsibility,' said Wilkinson.

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'When I made the changes we were 1-0 up but it unsettled our shape and we lost our way.

'At the same time we were nowhere near our best.

'I am still to see a team score a good goal against us this season.

'We are giving far too many penalties away and struggling to clear our lines.

'Also if we had taken our first half chances we could have been three or four up at the break.

'They weren't half-chances either but good ones you expect players to take.

'Bashley were no more than a bog-standard Wessex Premier side that are prepared to work hard.

'We didn't match them in the second half and they won far too many second balls.'

Rovers - who had reached the last 32 of the Vase two seasons ago - could easily have been ahead inside the first minute.

James Cowan picked out Billy Connor with a delightful pass but the winger shot across goal and narrowly past the far post.

Further chances were squandered by Rudi Blankson (twice) and Tommy Scutt.

The home side, however, were guilty of giving the ball away far too easily and this allowed Bashley to get a foothold in the game.

The deserved breakthrough finally arrived four minutes before the interval.

A Charlie Williamson free-kick was knocked down in the area and Scutt thrashed the ball into the roof of the net.

The hosts made two changes early in the second half with Connor and Scutt replaced by Tyler Moret and Jamie White.

Almost immediately Bashley levelled with a Connor Whiteley penalty following a careless challenge.

Two minutes later Whiteley put the visitors ahead, firing a low shot on the turn just inside the post past debutant keeper Nick Jordan, only playing as Charlie Searle was on holiday.

Wilkinson threw on defender Sam Emeney to play up front for the final 20 minutes and the move finally paid off two minutes from time.

Moret hooked the ball over from the byline and Emeney scored with a bullet header.

'We couldn't pass water, let alone the ball,' said Wilkinson.

'So I sent Sam on and went direct.

'It earned us a draw but then we missed two penalties in the shoot-out.'

Cowan blasted the first spot-kick into the car park to give Bashley the advantage.

When the visitors followed suit with their fourth penalty - Whiteley the guilty party - the hosts were back in it at 3-3.

Hopes were dashed, though, when Charlie Osborne's weak penalty was saved by Sam Thompson.

Jordan got a hand to the final penalty, from Harry McGrath, but couldn't keep it out.

The defeat means that Baffins have exited both the FA Cup and FA Vase at the first time of asking.

'It has been a long pre-season and hectic start to the campaign,' said Wilkinson.

'We looked a bit jaded and leggy which meant we became sloppy.'

Baffins return to action at home to Hamworthy in a Wessex League Premier game next Saturday, before a mouthwatering trip to fellow high-fliers Horndean on Tuesday, September 29.

Baffins: Jordan; Williamson, Miller, Sharp, Warren, Osborne, Scutt (White, 59), Cowan, Blankson (Emeney, 69), Dart, Connor (Moret, 56).