Badshot Lea manager Gavin Smith was delighted with his side’s efforts after the Baggies won 2-0 at home to Raynes Park Vale in the Isthmian League South Central Division on Saturday.
The visitors sat in the final play-off spot, in fifth place, before kick-off, but the Baggies claimed a crucial three points to close the gap to the top five.
The Baggies took the lead in the 15th minute when Josh Keeya drilled his shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
The second goal arrived on 76 minutes. Baback Dehghani fed the ball to Nick Medcraft, who cut in and curled a superb finish into the top corner from 25 yards out.
“It was really important to get the three points,” said Smith.
“We’re keeping it interesting. It’s what we want – we want something to play for.
“I thought we were good value for it. We showed some really good characteristics in terms of things we’d been questioned about.
“People don’t think we can play on pitches that aren’t great, but we battled with them and did everything we needed to do to win the game of football, which was really pleasing.
“I can’t really pick anyone out – everyone was that good.
“Defensively we were strong. We dealt with everything they threw at us, and we looked good on the break at times, so it’s really pleasing.
“I thought the spine of our team was really good. The two centre-halves were good and the two boys in midfield were really good. We looked solid.
“I thought Nick was excellent. He deserved his goal.
“Nick’s not the best of finishers, and he’ll probably admit that himself, so when he lined that one up I’m thinking that’s either going straight over the net or you never know. It’s a great strike.”
Smith was particularly happy that his side managed to keep a clean sheet.
“That’s pleasing because we haven’t had a clean sheet for ages,” he said.
“It’s been a while for a clean sheet, so credit to the boys at the back – they were excellent.”
Raynes Park posed a physical test, and Smith was pleased with how his side stood up to the challenge.
“That’s part of their game,” said Smith.
“That’s why they do well – they’ve got a great team spirit.
“They’ve done really well over the years, and they’re a difficult team to play against. They make it difficult.
“The intensity is there, they press, they’re full of noise and it’s an intimidating team to play against really, so the boys have done well.”
Saturday’s win followed a 2-1 win at home to Chipstead in the fourth round of the Velocity Cup last Tuesday night (January 23).
Jaden Edwards gave the visitors the lead in the 51st minute, but the Baggies equalised on 67 minutes through Louis Hamblin’s penalty.
Josh Keeya scored the winer on 90 minutes to set up a tie at home to Hashtag United.