Badshot Lea FC
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Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday February 25, 2023, 2:45 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
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 transferred to the Combined Counties League in 2008 where they have finished fifth for the last two seasons, an improvement of their previous best of sixth 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 last season. In the F.A. Vase they reached the third round “proper” in 2009-10.
This season they lie second to Raynes Park Vale but with games in hand. They are top on points per games with a 18-2-2 70-16 with Jersey lying third. Badshot Lea went out at the first or second hurdle in the F.A. Cup, F.A. Vase and Combined Counties League Cup this season, two of them on penalties, but remain in the Aldershot Senior Cup having just beaten Aldershot Town.
They have only been beaten twice in the league, both by Camberley Town, who triumphed by an aggregate of 5-0 after their recent 3-0 win here, that being their only points away from home all season. Other than that Badshot Lea have only dropped points in two home draws, with lowly Banstead Athletic and Knaphill, the latter who also put them out of the Combined Counties League Cup on “penalties”.
All three previous meetings with Badshot have resulted in away wins, a pattern Jersey will hope to continue today as their record against promotion rivals over the past two seasons is not good. Jersey won 2-0 at Badshot in October 2021 but Badshot reversed that with the only goal of the goal at Springfield. Badshot then won at Springfield again in late November, 2-1. Last season the teams eventually finished level on points in fourth and fifth places with Jersey edging ahead on goal difference.
Jersey made four changes to the side that met Alton in midweek. They welcomed back Frank Tobin and Jay Giles to the defence, in place of Luke Campbell, on holiday, and Jack Steel. Kamen Nafkha and Luke Watson came into midfield, pushing Joe Kilshaw and Jonny Le Quesne to the bench. The Sammy’s, Henia-Kamau and Sutcliffe, as well as Miguel Carvalho, all remained there.
It was a sunny, albeit chilly, afternoon so Jersey on winning the toss elected to attack the clubhouse end, leaving the hosts, looking into the low sun, to kick off.
The attendance of 362 was easily Badshot’s highest of the season with a considerable visiting support, many of whom were dressed up in French related garb at the clubhouse end. At least a third of the crowd were visitors with about 50 travelling over from Jersey. The fancy dress was in response to the Badshot supporter’s “banter” on their visits to Jersey – “you are French and you know you are”, to which the Jersey retort is “you are only a bus stop in Surrey”.
There were plenty of minor clashes in the early minutes as the various protagonists sought to establish an early dominance with Nafkha in particular seemingly targeted.
Euan Van der Vliet, diving to his left, pushed away a Badshot free-kick for a corner and Lekimamati, well placed, shot at Luke Roberts who fumbled the ball away for a Jersey corner.
Then there was a match, possibly season, defining moment. Giles lobbed a ball forward towards the penalty box where Badshot’s tall central defender, Connagh Wicks, climbed all over Fraser Barlow. On attempting to get up Wicks flung his right arm back which possibly caught Barlow in the face and he retaliated by pushing Wicks in the back with both arms.
The referee fifteen yards away, following the ball, realised something had happened but not exactly what, so consulted with his junior assistant on the far side nearly forty yards away from the incident. The outcome was that a red card was brandished to Barlow, allegedly for flinging an elbow, and Wicks escaped censure. The consensus amongst the supporters of both sides who were close to the incident was that a yellow card to each of them would have been fairer and appropriate.
Going down to ten men didn’t have the expected impact on the game with Badshot unable to take advantage and Jersey often taking the game to them. Just before the half hour Van der Vliet pushed over a flicked header from a Nick Medcraft long throw. After the resultant corner was cleared Lekimamati went down in the corner of the box as a result of an earlier knock. Despite lengthy treatment he could not continue and was replaced by Le Quesne.
Trotter put over a hanging cross which Bickley had difficulty getting power on but he at least directed his header on target for Roberts to save. Watson blocked another Badshot attack and from the follow up Van der Vliet saved from Malachi Thomas. Queree put in a twenty-five yard free-kick which Roberts again fumbled but reclaimed before Le Quesne could capitalise. In added time Medcraft miscontrolled a ball on the half way line and in trying to regain the bouncing ball caught the onrushing Trotter on the shins to earn himself a caution.
At the interval Badshot brought on James Whiting for Dan Walster. Four minutes in Adam Trotter tried a speculative twenty yarder but although accurate it was not powerful enough to test Roberts unduly.
A further four minutes saw Jersey break the deadlock. Nick Medcraft miscontrolled the ball on the right and Giles blocked him off. He gained the benefit of the rebound and passed inside to Bickley who did well to check his run, get the ball out from under his feet, and curl it in to the top right corner from fifteen yards.
Tobin was harshly penalised as he broke down the right and was cautioned for kicking the ball away in frustration. Jersey immediately had a golden opportunity to extend their lead. Le Quesne stifled a midfield clearance and the ball broke to Bickley in the left channel. He set off goalward but from ten yards put the ball agonisingly wide of the right post.
Either side of the hour Badshot adjusted their front runners with Tane Caubo and then Jake Hawker coming on for Harrison Livingstone and Dean Rule respectively.
They soon equalised but not as they might have expected. The ball was played forward to Thomas who was flagged for offside by the junior assistant. However, Van der Vliet, came out of his box to beat Thomas to the ball and hacked it clear. In hindsight that was a mistake as play was allowed to continue.
Van der Vliet’s clearance only reached an opponent who drilled it forward again. Unfortunately, on the bobbly surface, Ben Le Rougetel, near the six-yard line, miskicked his clearance to Thomas still on the edge of box with Van der Vliet. Thomas evaded the flailing ‘keeper and drilled the ball into the roof of the net to bring Badshot level.
Badshot exerted more pressure as the game went on but Le Quesne and Bickley broke away the left before the latter’s attempt was fumbled away again. Giles was then added to the referee’s notebook for what most thought was a good tackle.
Nafkha injured himself chasing down a forward ball and was replaced by Kilshaw for the last dozen minutes as the rain that had already been spitting for ten minutes became heavier. Le Quesne was busy harrying the opposition defence but overdid it when he lunged in on Adam New in the penultimate minute and was duly cautioned. The following minute Le Quesne spotted Roberts slightly off his line and put in a powerful long shot which sailed just over.
In added time Badshot dominated proceedings as they looked for a late winner with Thomas, in particular, constantly probing. In the end a draw was a fair result and credit to Jersey for obtaining it after playing most of the match a player down. What might it have been with a full complement throughout?
Badshot Lea 1 (Malachi Thomas 63), Jersey Bulls 1 (Lorne Bickley 53)
Attendance – 362
Programme – 32pp £2.50
Badshot Lea – Luke Roberts, George Hedley, Nick Medcraft, Adam New (wore 13), Connagh Wilks (wore 17), George Frise (c), Dan Walster, Stacey Thripp, Harrison Livingstone, Malachi Thomas, Dean Rule
Substitutes – 12. James Whiting (for Walster 46), 14. Kane Fitzgerald (not used), 15. Danilo Cadete (not used), 16. Jake Hawker (for Rule 61), 18. Tane Caubo (for Livingstone 59)
Claret (Sky sleeves)/Claret (Sky trim)/Claret & Sky hoops; GK All Pink
Gavin Smith and David Ford (Joint Managers), Lee Dyson (Coach), Dan Bailey (Coach), Ryan Weeks (GK Coach), Mia Pemberton (Physio.)
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin (wore 12), Jay Giles, James Queree (c), Ben Le Rougetel, Kamen Nafkha, Francis Lekimamati, Adam Trotter, Lorne Bickley (wore 16), Luke Watson, Fraser Barlow
Substitutes – 14. Joe Kilshaw (for Nafkha 78), 15. Jonny Le Quesne (for Lekimamati 32), 17. Sammy Henia-Kamau (not used), 18. Sammy Sutcliffe (not used), 19. Miguel Carvalho (not used)
White/Black/Black; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach)
Badshot Lea (4-4-2 R to L) 1; 2-17-13-3; 7-6-8-11; 10-9
Jersey Bulls (4-1-4-1 R to L) 1; 2-4-5-3; 6; 7-8-10-11; 16
Referee – Connor Fanelli (Woking) – his first Jersey match
Assistants – Jason Giddings-Townsend (Blackwater) on the dug outs side and Craig Griffiths (Addlestone) on the grandstand side – both on their first Jersey match
Cautions – Nick Medcraft (BL) 45+2, Frank Tobin (JB) 57, Jay Giles (JB) 73, Jonny Le Quesne (JB) 89
Corners –Badshot Lea (5) 5, Jersey Bulls (2) 2
Player of the Match Award – Lorne Bickley
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