Baffins Milton Rovers are eyeing cup glory as they face Portland United in the Wessex League Cup final at AFC Portchester’s Crest Finance Stadium on bank holiday Monday (3pm).
Steve Leigh is confident his team will rise to the occasion and lift the trophy.
It would be the perfect end to a successful season that saw them achieve a top five finish in the league.
He is expecting a close-fought affair against opponents who finished one place higher than them in the league.
The Baffins boss said: ‘We are under no illusions as to how tough it is going to be.
‘Portland are a good side full of experience.
‘It is a cup final and that means it will be down to who performs best on the day.
‘We have a good blend of youth and experience in our team.
‘All the players are excited by the prospect of playing in the final.
‘The other factor will be the pitch which has had a lot of cup finals played on it recently.
‘It is likely to be a hard, bobbly surface and we might have to change the way we play.
‘The team that can adapt the best to the pitch will have an advantage.’
Leigh and his team have worked hard throughout the season to raise the playing standards at the club.
They have not been frightened to give youngsters their chance.
As a result at least eight players have made the step up from the youth and reserve teams.
They have been helped bed in by a number of more experienced faces.
Cameron Scott, Tony Male, Tyler Moret, Jason Parish, Shane Cornish, Corey Burns and Blu Boam have provided this experience.
Leigh believes winning silverware will be a just reward for the players’ hard work.
The Baffins boss added: ‘All through the season we have been learning from our mistakes.
‘We have improved our performances and played some good football.
‘I just ask them to go out and leave nothing on the pitch.
‘If they do that whatever the result they will get a pat on the back from me.’
Boam is ruled out of the final after having knee surgery.
Baffins Milton Rovers (squad) : Cameron Scott, Tony Male, George Burgess, Corey Burns, Owen Haley, Freeman Williams, Josh Dean, Tommy Leigh, Harry Wedlake, Shane Cornish, Callum Dart, Jason Parrish, Tyler Moret, Rudi Blankson, Max Paddon, Tommy Tierney, Aaron Grimshaw, Ashton Leigh