Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Baffins Milton Rovers v Portland United 16/03/19

Baffins Milton Rovers 3 Portland United 0

THE opening ten minutes of this game were dominated by heavy wind, with both teams initially failing to adapt to the conditions and spurning any decent opportunities as a result. As such, little of note happened early on until Portland’s Jamie Beasley had the game’s first real chance after 13 minutes: a long ball over the top set him through into the box, but the angle was difficult and he placed his shot into the side netting. Four minutes later, Baffins had their first chance, Harry Wedlake spotting Portland keeper Mike Edgar off his line and audaciously shooting from range, but the ball didn’t dip quickly enough and went over the bar.

A few more chances followed after this, but the next ten minutes or so were again dominated by the conditions, with misplaced passes and aerial balls with too much strength on them making it hard for either team to do much. However, everything changed on the half-hour mark when Portland’s Sean Stewart was sent off; I didn’t see the incident myself, but it sounded like there was an off-the-ball incident of some description.

This opened the game up and Baffins were quick to take advantage in the 34th minute: Blu BOAM placed a low curved shot past Edgar from the edge of the box to make it 1-0. Six minutes later it was 2-0 to the home side, I didn’t see it as I was ordering a burger and a tea, but I heard that Brandon MILLER shot from just inside the box to score. HT 2-0

The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with the only notable difference being that Baffins were pushing forwards far more and with greater intensity than Portland could manage. The wind-influenced deadlock lasted for fifteen minutes this time before Baffins finally forced a third goal: a free kick from range was expertly played to the far post and someone was there to tap in and make it 3-0 (I think it was Ashton LEIGH, but I’m not entirely certain of that).

Baffins were then inches away from making it 4-0 four minutes later, Dale Mason made an impressive run into the box and got a shot away, but it went agonisingly wide of the far post. After this, the game started to peter out somewhat, with Baffins fairly comfortable with their lead and Portland knowing that the game was done. This did at least allow Portland to play with a bit more freedom and create a few more chances, while Baffins pushed forwards on occasion and always looked threatening.

The best chance in the last twenty minutes came in the 79th minute for Baffins: there was some neat interplay on the right wing between Carel Kayembe and Ashton Leigh before the latter played a short pass to Miller, whose close range shot was charged down well by Edgar before being cleared. Other than this, the only notable aspect of the last ten minutes was Baffins being forced to finish with ten men after one of their players suffered an arm or shoulder injury of some sort. Still, little changed despite this and it finished 3-0.

Overall, this was a reasonably entertaining game that could have been so much worse than it was given the conditions. Ultimately though, I’d say that the red card was the turning point that turned the game in Baffins’ favour, as before this there was very little to separate the two sides. Also worth noting that Portland were apparently playing with a very depleted side today, but they competed well until the red card and the two goals that quickly followed. FT 3-0 (Dan Tortoise)