Badshot Lea bowed out of the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup with a 3-0 defeat to Isthmian League South Central Division high fliers Walton & Hersham.
The Swans gained promotion from the Combined Counties last season, and were always a class above the Baggies at a wet and windy Wrecclesham on Tuesday night.
Not that Badshot Lea didn’t have their chances. They had one goal ruled out for a mysterious offside decision and carved out – and squandered – several other opportunities.
But the feeling was Walton & Hersham could have upped the tempo at will – and that was not lost on Baggies co-manager Gavin Smith.
“It was a tough night at the office,” he said. “I know they are doing well in the Isthmian League but I think they’re a level above even that. They have good movement, they have a good shape and they all know what they are doing – they’re well drilled and well coached.”
The Swans led 2-0 at the break through goals by John Gilbert and Jordan Adeyemi, and wrapped it up seven minutes from time through substitute Finlay Lovatt.
“They took their foot off the pedal in the second half but it was up to us to sort out a shape to cause them problems. We tried but when a team are that much better than you – and I don’t mind admitting it – it’s hard.
“A positive is that we created chances but the lads were really disappointed afterwards because it was an entirely different game than we are used to. It was hard work.
“With the teams in it, we were never going to win the Surrey Cup and sometimes it’s good to play teams like that to see where you are at.
“We could maybe have been a bit more defensive, perhaps, but they were just at a completely different level to us. There’s no shame in getting beaten like that.
“I was a bit disappointed with our quality on the ball in the second half, especially when they let us have a lot of possession, with a lot of unforced errors and poor passing. We could have dealt with the first and third goals better, but normally we wouldn’t get punished for the errors we made. We were just up against good players.”
The Baggies return to league action today (Saturday) when they travel to Camberley. “That will be tough,” said Smith.
“They will be right up for it against us – they always make it tough.”
The Royal British Legion was collecting donations and Samantha Atherton of the Alder Valley Brass Band played The Last Post before kick-off, followed by an impeccably-observed minute’s silence.