Room for improvement as Badshot Lea reach semi-finals

Thursday 27th January 2022 5:00 pm
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BADSHOT LEA have reached the semi-finals of the Aldershot Senior Cup after winning 1-0 at home to Frimley Green on Tuesday night.

However, Baggies co-manager Gavin Smith was not happy with his side’s performance in the second round tie.

A scrappy game was decided by one moment of quality on 59 minutes, when Jake Hawker’s pass found Mal Thomas in the box, who produced a composed finish into the bottom corner.

A physical Frimley side got away with some late challenges, but Smith said that was no excuse for his side’s display.

He said: “It was awful. I think our last worst game was against Frimley at Frimley.

“I thought we started alright – and if we had got an early goal maybe it would have been a different game.

“It was frustrating. We didn’t keep the ball – we looked nervous. It was a scrappy game. It was rubbish to be honest. I didn’t enjoy watching it.

“There’s a little bit of rivalry with Frimley – nothing too bad – but they know what they’re good at and what they do well.

“But that’s not an excuse for the way we played. We weren’t good enough. Our boys have got to learn to cope with it. We did to start with, but then we didn’t do what we do well. That’s the frustrating thing.

“I’m disappointed with a few performances to be honest.”

Despite not hitting their usual heights in possession the Baggies were pretty comfortable throughout the match, with the visitors barely offering much of a threat.

And Smith was happy with the clean sheet and the defensive solidity his side showed.

“We are defending pretty well,” he said. “There were a few scrambles, but we’re putting our bodies on the line and are keeping clean sheets. We looked solid throughout.

“It would just be nice to get early goals, because it changes the complexion of a game.”

The Baggies picked up three welcome points in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday, with a convincing 5-0 win at home to AFC Croydon Athletic.

Tane Caubo broke the deadlock for the hosts, and Kane Fitzgerald’s penalty gave the Baggies a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Mac Ford was on target for Badshot Lea in the second half, and Fitzgerald scored two more penalties to seal the win.

Despite the emphatic win, Smith felt there was plenty of room for improvement.

“It was a frustrating game where we didn’t play at our full potential,” he said.

“We took our chances and we looked like we were going to score when we went forward – but we didn’t play to the level we could play at.”

The Baggies face a tough test this Saturday, with a home game against Combined Counties Premier Division South league leaders Walton and Hersham (3pm).

Badshot Lea earned a creditable 3-3 draw at Walton and Hersham in the reverse fixture in December, and Smith is hopeful his side can give another good account of themselves against the table toppers.

“When there’s a level set by someone else you have to rise to that level, and I know the players are capable of doing it,” said Smith.

“We know how Walton and Hersham play – I’ve seen them enough. We set up right last time we played them – so hopefully it will be more of the same.”

Badshot Lea will use Saturday’s game to raise funds for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care.

Collection buckets will be accepting donations at the Baggies’ Westfield Lane home.

The club’s youth section will also be raising money for the Farnham-based charity this weekend.

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