Badshot Lea beat Farnham Town thanks to set-piece magic

Friday 22nd April 2022 6:00 am
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Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith
Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith (Tindle )

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THREE set-pieces, three goals – and Badshot Lea had chalked up a Combined Counties League double over their closest rivals Farnham Town.

The Coxbridge derby was never a high-class affair – although the bumpy, dusty pitch put paid to keep-ball football.

Town had the better of the first half – but paid for missing chances.

The Baggies took advantage when the influential Matty Matthews was first to a free kick and his header was knocked home by Nic Ciardini.

Just before half-time Town were rewarded for their endeavours when the prolific Josh Ogunseye fired home from the edge of the box.

Town will have a fight on their hands to keep the speedy striker as his eye for a goal is bound to attract interest from other clubs.

Two goals in four minutes sealed the win – first Matthews won another aerial battle from a free kick Kane Fitzgerald shot home, and then the big defender was on hand in the box from another free kick to fire the third.

Co-manager Gavin Smith was delighted with the win – but not with the overall performance.

“It was great to get the win for the club and the chairman and for the few fans we have, to get the bragging rights – for them it was important,” he said.

“We wanted to win the game – for us, it was just another game and we wanted to win for our points total, as we want to get to 81 points.

“But we weren’t anywhere near our levels. Farnham did well in the first half but we weren’t particularly good – we weren’t tight enough and people let themselves down with their work rate.

“We gave them a rollicking at half-time – it wasn’t good enough.

“One of the players was Kane, who is excellent – he’s such a good player. But he wasn’t showing enough.

“Then he set one up and scored one and showed what a good all-round player he is.

“We were playing in front of more than 200 people – okay, we know it’s not a lot – but we wanted to show people we are a good side and the players didn’t look bothered in the first half.

“We weren’t a lot better in the second half of what was a scrappy game, but we did what we do well and were dangerous at set pieces, and Matty has got his head to free kicks to set up two goals and he has scored the other.

“Fair play to him – we are always going to be dangerous in situations like this. To win leagues you have got to be dangerous at set pieces and other teams can’t cope with Matty.

“It’s good to win scrappy games – it doesn’t always matter how you win. And we’ve got that ability that if we are not playing particularly well we are still always going to be in with a shout.

“We kept Josh quiet, which was good, apart from the goal – and that was our fault because we didn’t stay tight enough to him.

“He’s quick and lively and we told our midfielders to pick him up when he made his move, and although he shot from distance we should have put pressure on him.

“We always knew it was going to be a hard game. We have a lot of derby games and they always seem to be our hardest matches.

“These teams are below us in the table they want to prove they were better than us and we have to be prepared for that. These teams are going to come at us – and Farnham have some good young players.”

The Baggies hope to strengthen in the summer to take the step from promotion hopefuls to promotion favourites – but Smith feels they have to address their home form.

“We have got to do better at home,” he said.

“Of the games we have lost, most have been here so something is not quite right. Maybe it’s because we are too open so we will have to address that.

“We have had a couple of matches which, on paper, we should not have lost.

“It’s hard because when you look at the number of points we have accumulated this year, trying to get more points next year is a big task – but hopefully that’s what we will set out to do.”

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