Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith believes his side can last the distance this season after starting 2023 on a winning note.

The Baggies won 3-1 at Guildford City in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday.

Smith was delighted his side showed no signs of rustiness in their first league game since drawing 1-1 with Knaphill on Saturday, December 3.

“It was more than a Christmas break as it was five weeks since we had played a game,” said Smith.

“When you finish the season in May it can only be six weeks until you start pre-season.

“We only managed to have a couple of training sessions in the break, as every other time we went to train the weather meant we weren’t able to.

“It was really down to the lads to look after themselves and do the right things to keep their fitness levels up.

“The referee said a couple of areas were not great in the corners of the pitch, but we’d made the journey and were keen to play.

“We said the first goal would be key as the pitch was going to get worse during the game.

“We made the perfect start with an early goal from Tane Caubo, and Dean Rule got the second before half-time.

“Guildford had a 15-minute spell when they had a lot of throw-ins, but apart from that we played very well.

“The only disappointment is that we conceded late on – it’s a shame we couldn’t keep a clean sheet.

“We were 3-0 up and our game management could have been a bit better.

“We went looking for another goal when there was no need to do that.”

The Baggies are well placed in third position in the Combined Counties Premier Division South, and Smith believes his side can last the distance in their quest for a top-two finish.

“It’s pretty much down to us as a group,” he said. “If we turn up regularly, we’ll pick up results and have a good chance of getting in the top two.

“I’m sure we’ll drop points along the way, but it’s how we react to that.

“Squad-wise we’re looking very good at the minute and we don’t need to add anyone.

“We need to make sure we keep everyone fit and happy.”

Next up for the high-flying Baggies is a trip to Colliers Wood United on Saturday (3pm), and Smith is expecting a tough game for his side.

“Colliers Wood are doing well in the league, and they were top when we beat them at home. We need to make sure we hit our levels,” he said.