Combined Counties League Premier Division
Wey Court, Farncombe
Match Rating: 2
Bank holidays almost always start with a fixture in the Combined Counties League for me, and this Easter Monday was no exception, being able to easily combine it with a visit to Guildford City....who would be playing Godalming Town, somewhat ironic, as I would be visiting their home ground in the game before.
To be allowed to play in the Combined Counties League, Badshot Lea currently play their home games at Wey Court, home of Southern League outfit Godalming Town. Located about some ten minute walk from Farncombe train station, the stadium certainly looks relatively impressive from the outside, with plenty of club signs to welcome visitors. Inside, it's a blank and unremarkable ground, although visiting on a freezing cold day with a perishing wind may have caused a harsh assessment there. The small main stand is situated where one walks up from the turnstile to the pitch and consists mainly of bench seating. To one side behind one of the goals is a primitive stand offering limited protection from the elements, whilst around the rest of the ground is just hard standing. The programme actually turned out better than its cover appearance suggested, with a very basic design. Consisting of 24 pages, there was an acceptable proportion of advertising and an adequate mix of welcome message, league stats and some information on the home club and players. Credit also for including information from Saturday's games in the programme.
Today's match would be a local derby, with Badshot Lea village, located very close to Farnham, even if the game would be played 9 miles away from Farnham. Badshot Lea have had a great season, currently up in third place in the league, with 58 points from 31 games and with realistic hopes of a second place finish, currently nine points adrift but with three games in hand, although the Championship is surely beyond them, as they trail the leaders Egham by 17 points, and Guernsey are four points behind Badshot Lea but with nine games in hand. Farnham are currently in twelfth place, with 45 points from 29 games but with games in hand on most clubs above them, they could comfortably achieve a top ten finish. When the two clubs met in February, Badshot Lea claimed a 0-1 away win.
On an overcast morning with a strong bitterly cold wind blowing throughout, the game was what one would expect from a local derby - competitive, hard fought but with few clear-cut chances to score. Badshot Lea always looked the more likely to score, although a couple of minutes before half time, it was Farnham who opened the scoring. A corner was quickly taken before the home side could organise themselves, and the low cross into the box was tapped home by Jack Dillon from close range.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first. Badshot Lea were slightly disappointingly given their lofty position in the league, although they had by far the better chances to score in the second half, hitting the woodwork twice, spurning other good chances, and three minutes from time, the keeper saved a one-on-one opportunity. Farnham still looked capable of scoring though, but there were no further goals and so it was Farnham who narrowly claimed the derby bragging rights.