Bethnal Green United claim Basildon victory
East End club keep pace with league leaders Stansted
Essex Senior League
Basildon United 1
Bethnal Green United 2
Bethnal Green United boss was keen to praise the efforts of winger Kadir Jama after the midfielder put in ‘his best game of the season’ to help the East End club beat Basildon United 2-1.
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Buoyed by their morale-boosting victory over title rivals Enfield, United headed into the match full of confidence, although boss Gardner was determined that his side would not be complacent against a lower ranked side.
United has lost at their Essex rivals last season but there was no repeat performance with strikers Anton Stepehenson and Michael Begg on target.
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Gardner was happy with the win and performance on a muddy pitch, which made playing their natural passing game difficult.
“It was not the best performance, but it was never going to be because of the state of the surface. But we did a professional job,” he said.
“Kadir Jama was outstanding and put in his best performance of the season. His work rate and off the ball play was very impressive.”
It was the tricky left winger who set up United’s opening goal after 16 minutes after his cross found Stepehenson, who from a tight angle beat goalkeeper Dean Neil.
The lead was doubled after 72 minutes when Stepehenson played an excuisite reverse ball to set Begg clear who rounded the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the net.
United did get back into the game through the dangerous Chris Lewis, whose excellent shot from the edge of the area gave Stephen Wright in the Bethnal goal no chance.
Stepehenson and skipper Ainsley Gaspar had some good efforts saved by the outstanding Neil, who prevented a cricket score, while at the other end, Wright produced an excellent save when the score was 1-0 to tip a Lewis effort round the post.
Gardner was forced to watch the game from the sidelines after learning on the morning of the match he was to serve a three-game ban.
The East End boss was accused of using foul language against the referee when his side faced Stansted last month.
“It was very frustrating because I could not appeal against the decision,”the boss said.
“I found out very late on and ai am annoyed because I did not swear at the referee, but he said I did.
“It was horrible to watch the game from the stands, but credit to football advisor Kirk Whitelock. He stepped in and led the team from the sidelines really well.”
Bethnal Green are back in action this Monday when they travel to Oakside to take on Barkingside in the quarter-final of the Gordon Brasted Trophy, with kick-off at 7.45pm.