Bethnal Green draw with Barkingside

PUBLISHED: 15:27 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 October 2010

Anton Stephenson was again on target

Anton Stephenson was again on target

Bethnal Green manager Justin Gardner believes if his side can cut out the silly mistakes they have been making of late they will be Essex Senior league champions

Bethnal Green manager Justin Gardner believes if his side can cut out the silly mistakes they have been making of late they will be Essex Senior league champions.

United were again dominant on Saturday against Barkingside, but after going 1-0 up conceded another sloppy goal and in doing so picked up only one point instead of three.

Gardner admits he is frustrated by the errors, but has great belief in his young side.

"I would not swap this squad with any other in the league and if we cut out the mistakes we will win the league," he said.

"I want us to be ruthless like we were last season and win say 10 games in a row and we are capable of it.

"Sadly though on Saturday we were not clinical and that coupled with the fact we conceded another goal from a basic error means it was two points dropped against Barkingside."

Bethnal Green started strongly at Mile End Stadium and on five minutes took the lead thanks to a 25-yard free-kick from Anton Stephenson, whose strike was his 10th league strike of the campaign.

The powerful forward was clearly in the mood and were it not for a communication breakdown with Alfred Kamara he would have doubled his side's tally.

Barkingside struck back though and equalized from a free kick through Ryan Imbert after he lost marker Karl Blake.

"I was happy with the performance, but obviously not the result," Gardner admitted.

"We gave them the goal, but in fairness for the majority of the game we defended ok and if we had put our chances away we would have won.

"Anton has held his hands up and said he should have got more than one, but I have to keep reminding myself we are a young side."

Stepehsnon should have an opportunity to attone for his missed chances this Saturday when the Greens take on London APSA in an East End derby at the Terence McMillan Stadium in Plaistow.

"There is east London pride at stake for this game and they will be up for it, because they were unlucky last time we played," Gardner said.

"I'm confident heading into every game we play, but we must play to our potential because APSA are a good side and anything can happen in a derby.

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