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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Badshot Lea FC
Saturday April 9, 2022, 5:00 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
On Grand National Day close rivals Badshot Lea visited Springfield. For those of you who missed the race, many of the runners are referenced in the report below. Badshot were fifth, level on points with Jersey but having played a game more.
Badshot Lea played on their village Recreation Ground until 2007 when reaching the Hellenic League Premier Division and their facilities were not deemed of a high enough level. They then began a dozen nomadic years sharing at Farnborough, Godalming Town, Ash United and finally Camberley Town. Eventually they managed to acquire the former Farnham R.F.U. ground at Westfield Lane, Wrecclesham. This is to the south-west of Farnham, although Badshot Lea is to the north-east of the town. The ground was developed to meet the ground grading requirements and opened with a friendly against nearby Aldershot Town in August 2019.
Badshot Lea had transferred to the Combined Counties League in 2008 where their best finish is 6th in 2011. They were relegated to Division 1 in 2017 but bounced straight back with a third-place position. Their best run in the F.A. Cup was the third qualifying round in 2012-13, the same as Jersey’s this year. In the F.A. Vase they reached the third round “proper” in 2009-10.
They started the season well, scoring heavily, and were the early leaders until a string of draws saw them drop back into the second block of three, along with Raynes Park Vale and Redhill. A group now also inhabited by Jersey after their recent slump in form. In the F.A. Cup Badshot Lea beat East Preston in a replay before losing at home to Corinthian of the Isthmian League Division One South-East. In the Vase they scored ten at Western League Devizes Town and then squeezed home on “penalties” at Godalming Town, now of the Southern Combination Division 1. They then won at Fisher before going out to Stansfeld, the bane of many a Combined Counties team this season.
Jersey might not have been “at the races” lately but unfortunately a long-arranged stag “do” at Aintree deprived the team of a number of players with St. Paul’s connections. Euan Van der Vliet, Joe Kilshaw, Jack Cannon and Sammy Sutcliffe were all having good (Minella) Times whilst Frank Tobin, Jay Giles, Luke Campbell and Fraser Barlow all still needed (Delta) Work on their injuries.
Robbie Scott took over in goal and Ben Le Rougetel was back from Loughborough University, whom he had helped reach the F.A. Vase Semi-Finals, to make his debut. Josh Daniels made his first start, having already played in a local cup quarter-final at noon. Kamen Nafkha and Francis Lekimamati both moved up from the bench. On the were Ruben Mendes-Pestana, returning from injury, Rai Dos Santos and Kieran Lester, both of whom had already also played a local match earlier in the day, and Harry Curtis, another potential debutant.
So it was a bare bones XI to defend “Domaine de l’Isle”. A bright sunny late afternoon greeted the visitors who had brought along a few followers who good naturedly tolerated the (Brahma) Bull that was sent their way by the home support.
Jersey kicked off attacking the Town End and seemed to have the edge in the opening exchanges. However, the nature of the proceedings changed in the thirteenth minute. Daniels was a Fiddler On The (Roof) ball when it was played back to him and was dispossessed by Macaulay Ford. Ford sped forward, and with the help of a deflection off Daniels, played the ball inside to Tane Caubo who advanced to the byline where he crossed to the six-yard box. There the nippy Lord (du Mesnil) Malachi Thomas just beat Le Rougetel and Scott to the ball opening the scoring and rounding off a very quick counter-attack by the Badshot Lea front trio.
On the half hour Solomon, the Jersey talisman, sent in a cross from the right only to collapse holding his right thigh. The home supporters were left wondering if this was a recurrence of the injury he had suffered at Walton & Hersham a few weeks ago. A lengthy stoppage ensued before he had to be replaced by Mendes-Pestana.
Play fluctuated from end to end for the remainder of the half without either side creating any clear-cut chances leaving Badshot Lea as the Top Ville (Ben) team at the interval.
Two minutes into the second period a weak back header by Billy Upton gave Jake Prince the chance to equalise from near the penalty spot. Under pressure from the recovering Upton, Prince dragged his shot on to the base of the left post whilst time seemed to stand still, with Craig Bradshaw in the Badshot goal beaten.
Shortly afterwards Thomas had a chance for Two for Gold when he beat the offside trap and it looked for Any Second Now that he would double the lead but Scott pulled off a very good save to deny Thomas imposing the Death Duty.
Front man Lorne Bickley was also struggling with an injury and he was replaced by Lester before the hour. With twenty minutes to go Dos Santos and debutant Curtis came on for Daniels and Nafkha with instructions to Run Wild (Fred).
It made little difference and with ten minutes to go the Badshot supporters were about to Enjoy (d’Allen) Danilo Cadete wrapping up the match only for Scott to steal his (Mighty) Thunder with a strong left hand after he let (Anibale) Fly.
Prince eventually had Jersey’s first shot on target in the 89th minute but it failed to find a (Phoenix) Way past Bradshaw.
Two minutes later a Jonny Le Quesne chip forward found Prince again and his flick to the bottom left corner allowed Bradshaw to show his Class (Conti) as he dived across and pushed it around the post.
The corner came to nothing leaving Badshot Lea celebrating a Noble (Yeats) victory as they became the first team to win at Springfield in the league and preventing Jersey enjoying another (Poker) Party on Grand National Day.
Jersey Bulls 0, Badshot Lea 1 (Malachi Thomas 13)
Attendance – 617
Programme – £2, 24pp (joint issue with Frimley Green next Tuesday)
Jersey Bulls – Robbie Scott, Jonny Le Quesne, Ben Le Rougetel, James Queree (c), Josh Daniels, Kamen Nafkha, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley, Jake Prince, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Ruben Mendes-Pestana (for Solomon 35), Rai Dos Santos (for Nafkha 69), Kieran Lester (for Bickley 56), Harry Curtis (for Daniels 70), only four substitutes
Red/White/White; GK All Yellow.
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Paul Renton (Coach)
Badshot Lea – Craig Bradshaw, James Smith, Nick Medcraft, Victor Ocansey, Billy Upton, James Whiting, Macaulay Ford, Kane Fitzgerald (c), Tane Caubo, Malachi Thomas, Danilo Cadete
Substitutes – George Hedley (not used), Louis Lindsay (not used), Josh Stepney (for Ford 88), Jake Hawker (not used), Andrew Matthews (not used)
Yellow (Royal Blue trim)/Royal Blue (Yellow Trim)/Yellow; GK Black/Black/White
Gavin Smith and David Ford (Joint Managers), Dan Bailey (Assistant), Paul Harkness (Coach), Ryan Weeks (GK Coach), Adam New (Fitness), Megan Tubridy (Physio.)
Referee – Nic Hucker (Tooting) also refereed the reverse fixture in October. Initially with the Wessex League when living near Basingstoke. Moved to the United Counties League whilst at Loughborough University. After four years there joined the Combined Counties League, initially living in Woking but now at Tooting.
Assistants – Gareth Mays (Tadworth) on the dug-out side. Started with the Suburban League, later ran lines for the Southern League as well as refereeing in the Combined Counties League. Paulo Franco (Jersey) on the grandstand side. Qualified in 2010 and officiates in the Jersey Combination League.
Cautions – James Smith (BL) 27, Kamen Nafkha (JB) 49, James Queree (JB) 82, Jonny Le Quesne (JB) 85
Corners – Jersey Bulls (3) 5, Badshot Lea (5) 9
Player of the Match Award (commentator) – Robbie Scott