Badshot Lea beat league leaders

Friday 4th February 2022 5:00 pm
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Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith (right) is delighted with his side (Ainslie (c) 2019 )

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BADSHOT LEA co-manager Gavin Smith was delighted with his side after they comfortably beat Combined Counties Premier Division South league leaders Walton and Hersham 3-0 on Saturday.

The home side took an early lead at Westfield Lane when Danilo Cadete found Nick Medcraft, who powered his shot into the net.

Billy Upton doubled the Baggies’ advantage when he headed home from Mac Ford’s free kick.

Mal Thomas completed the scoring when he got on the end of Kane Fitzgerald’s through ball and fired a low shot across the visiting keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.

And Smith was beaming after the emphatic victory against the league leaders.

“It’s really positive,” he said. “We know what Walton and Hersham are about, and the lads were set up really well.

“We got off to the perfect start with the early goal, and at half time I told the lads to carry on what they were doing. It was a really positive performance.”

The result has seen the Baggies, who are in fourth place in the Premier Division South, cut the gap to the league leaders to seven points, with a game in hand.

While Smith appreciated the significance of beating the league leaders, he emphasised the need for his players to remain focused.

“You have to get results against the teams in and around you, so to win 3-0 was really pleasing,” he said. “I don’t think they can complain about it either.

“Sometimes we don’t take our chances, but on Saturday we scored the early goal.

“It is just one game though, and the lads need to understand it’s one game. There’s no way we can afford to get carried away.

“Every game is different and you can go to a mid-table team and get beat if you don’t turn up.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re at it for our next league game, and look to pick up the three points.”

The Baggies have now taken four points off Walton and Hersham this season after drawing 3-3 in the reverse fixture in December, although the visitors were 3-1 up that day.

The four-point haul continues an encouraging set of results for the Baggies against the league’s top teams, which also includes taking four points off Raynes Park Vale, drawing against Redhill and only narrowly losing against Jersey Bulls.

Badshot Lea have a break from league action this Saturday, but Smith is planning to use the time wisely.

“It will be nice for the lads to have a break, but I will go and watch Walton and Hersham against Beckenham on Saturday,” he said.

Next up for the Baggies is a trip to Combined Counties Premier Division North outfit Abbey Rangers on Tuesday night (February 8) in the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

Abbey Rangers are currently in third place in the Premier Division North, but Smith is hoping his side can progress.

“If we can get through we’re one step closer to winning some silverware,” he said.

“We’ve got a few injuries at the moment, including our goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw who played with an elbow injury on Saturday, so we’re looking to get one or two players in.”

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