Badshot Lea had an unusual feeling on Tuesday night – they had to reflect on a defeat...
It has been a great season so far for the Baggies, as they sit proudly on top of the Combined Counties Premier Division table, winning ten of their 11 league matches.
They made changes to their regular side as they travelled to Knaphill in the second round of the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup, giving some of their fringe players game time.
After 90 minutes the match was still goalless, and Knaphill won through in the penalty shoot-out.
Baggies co-manager Gavin Smith said: “We had the opportunity to give players who were coming back from injury or had been on the bench some minutes, so we tweaked our formation to give people a game. Looking back, that was probably a mistake.
“We wanted to be fair to people who have been on the bench and give them a chance.
“We changed our shape and tried something different and for the first 25 minutes we couldn’t get to grips with how we wanted to play.
“So we changed formation and when we did that we nullified what Knaphill were doing, although we were disappointed that we didn’t create much.
“Neither side really tested the goalkeepers so it was a bit of a frustrating night.
“They had a couple of one-on-ones which they missed, and in the shootout we had the chance to win it, but we missed what could have been the deciding penalty.
“I don’t know what it is with cup games for us. In all of them – apart from the FA Cup – they seem to be really low key, with no real desire.
“Maybe changing the team around doesn’t help with that but it’s always disappointing to lose games.
“There were some good points – Lamin Sankoh, who was at Thatcham when they won the FA Vase, came in and showed he had the quality to do well. He has looked good in training and he did well.
“We were missing a few players but we would have liked a better performance.
“We don’t like losing but if we win again on Saturday in the league, are we really going to worry too much about losing in the cup?
“We were very good on Saturday when we beat Cobham 5-0. We missed about five really good chances before they went down the other end and hit the crossbar.
“If they had scored I still think we would have gone on to win the game but it shows you have to put those chances away.
“We went ahead with a penalty and that settled our nerves and we did say to the players at half-time that we could go out and get three or four in the second half.
“We have a busy schedule now – Horley away, then Walton & Hersham, Camberley, Sheerwater and Croydon.
“We have a few injuries and although we have a big-enough squad that can cope, if we lose key players we may have to do something.
“George Short needs a scan after pulling up injured and he would be a big loss.”