DISAPPOINTED Badshot Lea boss Gavin Smith has warned of changes for Saturday’s trip to Guildford after an insipid midweek defeat against Cobham.
Lea conceded twice in the first half and again midway through the second in a frenetic game that saw both teams reduced to ten men.
“We’ll see who’s there at training (on Thursday) and who wants to be part of it and who’s going to show the right mentality, but there will definitely be changes because it wasn’t good enough,” said Smith, who saw his side beaten at home by a team in the bottom six for the second time in 17 days after basement boys Banstead Athletic’s shock win at Westfield Lane by the same score at the end of September.
“I’m fed up with giving people the benefit of the doubt when they let us down. I don’t mind losing games of football the right way, if you give it your all and you come off the pitch and you’re tired and you’re disappointed and you’ve lost. But when you don’t give it your all and you let your teammates down by not working hard enough or you have a bad attitude and bad discipline, that’s poor,” he said.
Lea were up against it when midfielder Zac Hawker picked up a second yellow card on 33 minutes while Cobham’s James King also saw red ten minutes into the second half after rash tackles on Nic Ciardini and George Hedley within a silly five minutes.
Hawker’s dismissal was arguably the more decisive of the two as it allowed deserving Cobham to steal into a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Callum Wilson and Monty Everett, despite the best efforts of Lea goalkeeper Kallum Lunn.
And Ciardini’s cool penalty, after lanky striker Tom Cursons had his legs taken away in the box, proved nothing more than a consolation as substitute Tomba Bokulu took full advantage of uncertainty by Lea central defender Liam Flanaghan to fire home Cobham’s third.
“You can never underestimate anyone and they were by far the better team,” admitted Smith, who said the only home player to shine was central defender George Hedley.
“If you don’t respect the people that you’re playing you are going to get beat. It’s showing me a little bit about the character of our players. We’re playing teams at the bottom and we can’t raise our game to match them. They wanted it more than us. At our level of football, if you want it more than the other team then you will win. It’s not always about how good you are as players.”
The defeat not only denied the Baggies the chance to move up the Premier Division table by winning one of their games in hand, it also took the gloss of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Western League side Westbury United in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase, which set up a return trip to Dorset to play Christchurch in the second round on November 2, having already knocked them out of the FA Cup.
“We were really good on Saturday, which makes Tuesday night’s performance so disappointing,” said Smith.
“We defended well, defended properly, we were solid. We knew they were very direct so we would have to win our battles first, and we did. We were playing superbly in the first ten or 15 minutes, really good football, and you could tell the lads were up for it.”
The boss will be hoping the Baggies are back up for it on Saturday when they make the short trip to Guildford City.