Report: Badshot Lea 0-3 Whyteleafe
A trip on the M25 at tea-time can be a lucky dip especially if you get on at Junction 6 and aim clockwise. A horrible night in weather terms too, so it made for a ‘testing’ journey to Farnham and the home of Badshot Lea FC for our second round Surrey Senior Cup game.
A Leafe fan (you know who you are!) said he didn’t realise that Surrey was quite so large as he was sure he was heading into Hampshire such was the length and duration of his trudge down the A31! However, us Leafe fans are a hardy lot and Harry and the boys are giving us genuine reasons to be cheerful, whatever the weather, at the moment.
At kick off time our hosts were sitting in twelfth place in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties Premier Division (eight points and five places below Abbey Rangers, whom we beat in the FA Cup this season), which is effectively a tier below us in the football league pyramid, but they looked a lot more accomplished than that, to be honest. See this week’s Gaffer’s Chat for Harry’s opinion on them.
They started brightly, weren’t overawed by a strong Leafe side and pinged the ball around nicely. Their grass pitch, obviously hammered by recent storms, looked in good nick and to their credit they tried to play football on it despite the dampness and driving rain. The sort of squally rain that gets everywhere!
Although Badshot Lea went close several times, the Leafe defence, marshalled superbly – again – by keeper, Tyler McCarthy coped well. Our hosts continued to press though but a great move instigated by Ronnie Sobowale and finished nicely by Martin Sontan, put Leafe one up in the 32nd minute.
The second half saw Badshot again start at pace looking for an equaliser, but a lovely run by Corie Andrews, through the heart of the defence saw him beat four defenders before burying his shot that evaded the Badshot keeper, in the 52nd minute.
That strike kind of put the result beyond doubt, although four minutes later Ronnie settled it by scoring number three. There were definite signs in this game that our Ron is returning to form, which is great to see. Other notable Leafe performances on the night came from Matt O’Donoghue (now back to his best), Bentley Graham (Badshot’s midfield just couldn’t get to grips with him and he bossed the middle of the park), Corey Holder (commanding at the back) and Helge Orome, who had his best game of the season, playing out of position in centre mid alongside Bentley and possibly just nicking star man award.
To their eternal credit, Badshot continued to work hard and plug away looking for at least a consolation goal. In the end it wasn’t to be and Leafe now move into the next round with the short trip to local rivals Chipstead FC. The attractive prize for the winners of the tie is a semi-final place. The date of that one has yet to be set but keep an eye on the club website for more information.
As we left their ground, a Badshot Lea fan congratulated us on the victory and summed the game up very nicely: “Your bit of extra quality showed tonight, you were just a bit too good for us,” he said.
This Saturday (February 21 – 3PM), we entertain Ramsgate FC in a BetVictor Isthmian League South East fixture and Harry and the boys will be looking to overturn a 3-1 defeat at the Kent seaside earlier this season.
See you there.
Whyteleafe Line Up: McCarthy, Orome, O’Donoghue, McGeoghegan, Olorunnisome, Holder, Gondoh, Graham, Sobowale, Sontan, Andrews
Subs: Masumpu, Duru, Anderson