Gardner misses home comforts as Bethnal Green made to play away
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 September 2011
Greens boss furious at sending off as his side crash out of FA Cup
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner was left fuming after his side’s FA Cup preliminary-round replay 3-0 defeat at the hands of Dunstable Town on Tuesday night.
The Greens were forced to travel to Dunstable for the second time in four days, after learning that their Mile End Stadium home would be unavailable, due to the athletics track being re-laid.
And Gardner is adamant that this was one of the reasons that his side lost.
“We had to travel away to Dunstable once again and this didn’t help us as we had to leave London at 4pm,” he said.
“And some of our team couldn’t make the game because of work commitments.
“And of course, they had the massive advantage of playing at home.”
The two sides met on Saturday and Bethnal Green managed to earn a 1-1 draw, thanks to Michael Begg’s sixth-minute strike.
However, on Tuesday night it was a different story as the Greens went behind after 15 minutes.
Then, one minute into the second half, Gardner’s side were reduced to 10 men when the referee sent off left back Jack Sawyer.
“There is no way that it was a red card,” said Gardner.
“Everyone was shocked and amazed that the referee gave the decision and to be honest it ended the game as a contest.
“I switched to a 3-4-2 formation as I didn’t want to stop attacking, but after the sending off it all went downhill.”
Dunstable soon made their numerical advantage count, and killed the game off with a further two goals.
“We just didn’t get the lucky breaks on the night,” said Gardner.
“We had our chance to win the tie on last weekend.
“I would like to thank the Dunstable vice-chairman though. He is originally from Bethnal Green, and he donated £250 to the club, to cover our expenses for having to travel, which was much appreciated by us all.”
This weekend, the Greens face Enfield 1893 in a league clash, and Gardner is expecting a tough game against last season’s Essex Senior League winners.
“This Saturday gives us a big chance to put things back on track,” said the Greens boss.
“Being out of the FA Cup means we can concentrate on the league, even though we can’t play at Mile End for another couple of weeks.
“We are going to play at Waltham Abbey on Saturday which we have to hire, but it’s just not the same as having a real home advantage.
“It seems as though we are being penalised, when it’s not our fault.
“It’s not like we planned to have construction works at Mile End Stadium is it?”
“We face another challenge against Enfield 1893.
“They won the league last year and they are unbeaten so far this season.
“We will pay them respect, but we won’t worry about them.
“If we can’t win the game, we have to make sure that we don’t lose.”