Badshot Lea co-manager Gavin Smith has challenged his side to bounce back from their derby-day defeat against Farnham Town and keep their Combined Counties Premier Division South promotion hopes alive.

The second-placed Baggies lost 3-0 at home to Farnham on Easter Monday and trail league leaders Raynes Park Vale by two points, having played a game more.

With only one automatic promotion spot, Badshot Lea will have to settle for a play-off if they finish second. Smith’s side have four league fixtures remaining, and the co-manager wants his side to keep the pressure on Raynes Park.

“I can’t knock the work the players have put in – we just need to bounce back and win our next four games and see where it leaves us,” said Smith.

“We can feel down but we are where we are for a reason, so we just need to push on. Don’t sulk – get on with it. We’ve been brilliant all season.

“You never know what’s going to happen – four games is a lot. Raynes Park have got tough games coming up.

“We’ve slipped up against two teams (Farnham and Camberley) who gave it everything against us because it’s local – we haven’t been able to match it. But where we are, you can understand why they turn up for it.”

The Baggies played with ten men for the majority of Easter Monday’s game after left-back Nick Medcraft was shown a straight red card after five minutes for elbowing Farnham’s Owen Dean.

The dismissal had a knock-on effect for Danilo Cadete, who was substituted for full-back Josh Eatwell.

“Danilo has earned his place to play – he’s done well when he’s come on,” said Smith.

“Looking back it was probably the wrong decision because we thought we might be able to cope with a 4-3-2, but then they started getting out wide.

“We sacrificed Danilo for a left-back, and looking back we really needed the width. We made the decision at the time that we thought was right, he understands that, but I’m gutted for him because five minutes in we’re dragging him off when he’s earned his start.”

The Baggies had enjoyed two profitable away days before Easter Monday’s defeat.

Connagh Wilks scored the only goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win at AFC Croydon Athletic.

“It was hard work in the end,” said Smith. “We had to dig in and put in a shift.

“They weren’t bad. Going forward they caused us a couple of problems, but not too many.

“We missed some chances – their keeper made three or four really good saves – so we could have been out of sight.

“We were thinking it wasn’t going to be our day but then their keeper let one through his hands, which gave us the three points.”

The Baggies also won in the league last Wednesday night (April 5), when goals from Tane Caubo (2) and Mal Thomas earned a 3-2 win at Banstead Athletic.

“Banstead was not the best place to go,” said Smith.

“I’ve never experienced a pitch that bad – but we got the three points.”

The Baggies now face a busy end to their league campaign, with four games in ten days as their gruelling schedule refuses to let up.

First up are Sheerwater tonight (Thursday), before away games against Balham on Saturday and Colliers Wood United next Wednesday night (April 19).

The Baggies finish their Combined Counties Premier Division South campaign with a home game against Fleet Town on Saturday, April 22.