Gardner over the moon with United
BETHNAL GREEN UNITED boss Justin Gardner believes his side are back in the title race after two wins in a week pushed his team up to third in the Essex Senior League table. Anton Stephenson grabbed a double, while Marlon Boateng hit a last-gasp winner as
BETHNAL GREEN UNITED boss Justin Gardner believes his side are back in the title race after two wins in a week pushed his team up to third in the Essex Senior League table.
Anton Stephenson grabbed a double, while Marlon Boateng hit a last-gasp winner as United beat Tiptree 3-2 last Wednesday.
On Saturday, Kadir Jama, Ainsley Gasper and Marlon Campbell found the target in a 3-0 win over Mauritius, which leaves the East End club just three points behind current leaders Burnham Ramblers.
"It's been a great week, I'm over the moon that we have picked up two wins in seven days," he said.
"Those wins have put us right back in the title hunt and if we can go on a run like we did last year, then we are in with a great shout.
"We won 18 games on the bounce to win the league last year and if we can string five or six wins together, it would put us in great shape."
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And if they show anything like the kind of form they have this past week in the foreseeable future, then Gardner's target is a real possibility.
"We should have won both games by more, but on each occasion the opposition goalkeepers played out of their skins, and were superb," he said.
"So I won't be too harsh on my players, we picked up the wins and that is the most important thing.
"We should have beaten Mauritius 10-0, that would have been a fair result.
"Their best player was the one on loan from us, Chris Theodore.
"Mauritius could have got one back if they finished properly, but I have to hand it to their goalkeeper for putting in such a good performance."
Despite the stopper's excellent display, he could not prevent Jama's stinging shot from the edge of the area heading into the net to give Bethnal Green the lead, or keep out Gasper's well-struck spot-kick.
Later it was three when a Remi Nelson shot was saved and then bundled home by Campbell.
Those chances were created against a poor Mauritius side and Gardner feels his United side may have to up their game come Saturday, when they travel to Oakside.
"Barkingside will be I think, the toughest game of the season so far for us and they are certainly no mugs," he said.
"They are always there or thereabouts come the end of the season and almost won it a couple of years ago, so we have to respect them.
"If they have their Aveley players playing then it will be very tough, but if they don't have those players I believe we will beat them easily.