BADSHOT LEA have strengthened their grip on second place in the Combined Counties Premier Division South with a 5-1 win at home to Knaphill on Saturday.
Owen Dean’s goal gave the Baggies the lead at the break, before Adam New doubled the home side’s lead early in the second half.
Malachi Thomas scored the Baggies’ third, before Knaphill pulled a goal back. Kane Fitzgerald scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-1, before Thomas scored his second of the afternoon to complete the scoring.
Baggies co-manager Gavin Smith was pleased with his side’s performance in the second half, but felt they could have been better in the first half.
"It was a poor first-half performance," said Smith. "We were nowhere near our best.
"We regrouped at half time, and were lucky to be 1-0 up.
"On another day we could have been behind. Knaphill had chances but didn’t take them.
"We made a couple of changes, which we wouldn’t usually do as we usually give the players an opportunity to put things right. We could have made more changes.
"We had a response and scored early on with a good header from Adam. That settled us down.
"Mal got a couple of goals to get up and running and should be full of confidence. We were good in the second half in the end."
The Baggies are two points behind league leaders Walton and Hersham, and although Smith isn’t putting pressure on his side his aware of their good start.
"It would be stupid not to be aware of it," said Smith. "We’re winning games. Teams below us have to win games to catch us.
"Saturday showed we’ve got a very good group of players to call on. We had six players not available on Saturday, so credit goes to the other lads.
"George Hedley was ruled out in the warm up and Jack Selby had to play at right-back. The lads all dug in and did what they had to."
Next up for the Baggies is another home league game, against Sheerwater at 3pm on Saturday.
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