Thursday 31 March 2022

Baffins Milton Rovers - The PMC Stadium

Baffins Milton Rovers
The PMC Stadium
Eastern Rd

Ground Number: 1061
Wednesday 30th March 2022
Baffins Milton Rovers 0-5 Shaftesbury
Wessex Premier


The club was established as recently as 2011 when two successful local Sunday League clubs - Baffins Milton and Milton Rovers merged. They made the switch to Saturday football, joining the Portsmouth League and finishing as champions in their first season. The next year saw them finish as runners-up to Waterlooville Social Club and make the step up to the Hampshire League. They spent three seasons in the step 7 Senior Division and would win it twice, the other time following as runners-up to now fellow Wessex League side Hamble Club. Following their second title in 2016, which marked their move to their current home, they were admitted to the Wessex League Division 1. The fun of success did not stop and in 2017 they finished as runners-up, again to Hamble Club just as a couple of seasons earlier in the Hampshire League. They have been in the Wessex Premier ever since, their best finish coming in 2019 when they finished 5th.

Baffins Milton Rovers have an unremarkable record in the FA Cup, although they have reached the Preliminary Round in three out of the four seasons that they have participated in. The club had their best FA Vase run during the 2018/19 season. Victories against Fairford Town, New College Swindon (by a remarkable 14-1 scoreline), Bashley, Bournemouth & Bradford Town to reach the 4th Round. Their journey ended there as they lost 3-1 at eventual finalists Cray Valley PM. Local honours include the Hampshire League Cup in 2014, the Portsmouth Senior Cup in 2014 & 2016 and the Wessex League Cup in 2019. 


Despite the clocks going forward at the weekend, there was still a really limited range of options for this week, at least in terms of grounds that I'd not been to. The vast majority of them were over 100 miles away and the only one that wasn't - AFC Kilworth - had their cup game cancelled and changed to a friendly game, as visitors Ashfordby had pulled out. Fellow hopper Anwar didn't fancy any of the limited other options, including the nearest Thornbury Town which he keeps turning down. On this occasion, we missed out on a 2-2 draw with visitors AEK Boco winning on penalties. I know he will do it eventually, so instead, I decided to look at Wednesday night instead. Baffins Milton Rovers had come up a few times and happily, another hopper, Colin, was willing to come with me. It would be a bit tight with us having to leave at 5.45 due to him working, but it was by far the best of all the options.

I'd had a highly unpleasant overnight coach trip back from Newcastle and didn't get a wink of sleep. It took me a couple of days to get back on track, but by my day off on Tuesday, I felt fine. I opted against a revisit to my local team Holmer Green (1-1 draw with Harpenden Town) or Baldock Town (0-0 with Dunstable Town) and decided to have a night in instead. The day of the game came and I had worked as usual. I came home and had a couple of hours of rest whilst watching TV and looking towards next week with the fixtures in the Football Traveller. After a dinner of pizza, I left at 5.20, making my way to our pre-planned meeting point. The journey down was great and we were there by 7.20. Entry was £6 and as Colin's chips looked so good, I got my own portion for £2.50. After getting some pictures of the ground, we settled down to watch the game.

 Baffins Milton Rovers sat 8th in the Wessex Premier. They were in disappointing form having lost their latest game on Saturday as they went down 2-0 at home to Alton. They'd also lost 1-0 to Brockenhurst, 4-0 at AFC Portchester and 3-2 to AFC Stoneham. On the positive side, they'd drawn 2-2 at Bashley and won 3-0 at Blackfield & Langley. Shaftesbury were sitting in 3rd and despite losing their last two games, were in decent form. They'd lost 5-1 to AFC Portchester on Saturday and also lost 2-1 at Hamworthy United in the game before that. However, they'd won 4-0 at US Portsmouth, 3-1 at Horndean, 6-1 against Bournemouth and 4-0 against Fareham Town. Baffins looked the brightest early on but it was Shaftesbury who took the lead on 14 minutes. A free-kick was knocked backed in and Ben Satterley was there to put the ball in from close range. On 22 minutes, it was 2-0, Asa Phillips finishing off a well-worked move by finishing into the roof of the net. On 33 minutes, Satterley grabbed his second when he slid home after the ball was put back in from the right. Four minutes later, Shaftesbury were awarded a penalty but they missed the chance to out the game beyond doubt when the spot-kick was put wide of the post. It was a deserved 3-0 lead at the break with Shaftesbury controlling the vast majority of the game. The hosts had a chance to reduce the arrears on 74 minutes, hitting the inside of the left-hand post but Shaftesbury would go on to grab two further goals. They were two decent strikes too, first on 83 minutes Satterley completed his hat-trick when he curled a shot into the bottom right-hand corner. The 5th saw Phillips get his second and Shaftesbury their fifth with the last kick of the game. He lost his marker with some neat control and then flicked the ball into the top of the net.

Shaftesbury were clear and deserved winners, so the vast majority of the 106 present went home disappointed. Baffins had been good hosts though, a  nice ground, excellent chips which were crispy and fresh and some good 90s tunes on the tannoy. We left at 9.40 and Colin spent most of his time on the phone to fellow hopper Dan on the way home. They were arranging a trip to Norwich United on the 9th and I  was looking forward to going discounted with Colin on his disabled railcard. However with him stopping over, I'd be looking at £45, not outrageous but better to plan for advance tickets. It was a good journey back with me dropping Colin off at 11 and getting home myself 15 minutes later. I stayed up for 90 minutes before going to bed. I'd been hoping for Ledbury Town on Friday, but that was moved. With my nearest unticked option in deepest Wales, it'll likely be a night in for me, but never rule anything out.


THE PMC STADIUM as it is known for sponsorship purposes is a decent venue for a new build. Of course, there is the ubiquitous metal arena stand present, but also next to it, a covered terrace too. Overall the ground caters for 100 seated, 200 standing under cover with a capacity of around 1,500 overall, with much of one side closed off. 

There's a smart bar with a basic range of drinks and a decent tea bar, all at reasonable prices. Otherwise, there's a Morrisons opposite, plus other places nearer Hilsea station which is a short walk away. Parking at the ground is plentiful and a friendly welcome makes this club well worth a visit. 

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