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United denied chance to go clear

PUBLISHED: 10:48 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:56 05 October 2010

Bethnal Green United saw their chance to go clear at the top of the Middlesex County League derailed by the weather

Bethnal Green United saw their chance to go clear at the top of the Middlesex County League derailed by the weather on Saturday as the club's meeting with Indian Gymkhana was abandoned 11 minutes into the second half due to a frozen pitch.

United had fought back from an early deficit to level the match at 1-1 and were in the ascendancy when the match officials decided to postpone the clash over fears for the safety of the players.

With title rivals Hayes United also unable to play last weekend, the Bethnal Green club would have opened a three-point lead at the top of the Premier Division had they gone on to beat Gymkhana.

But United boss Justin Gardner admitted that the referee had made the correct decision in calling off the encounter.

He said: "My players were gutted because we were all over them at the time. There was only one team in it and I'm sure we would've beaten them if we'd been allowed to continue.

"But as I said to them afterwards, all it takes is someone to go up in the air and land badly and they would've broken their arm. We're in a strong position in the league and we can't afford to lose players through injury."

Gymkhana had taken a surprise lead midway through the first half when United failed to clear a corner and the ball eventually found its way into the net via a number of deflections.

But the Bethnal Green side, who entered the match on the back of eight successive league wins, were quick to respond and Kadir Jama flashed a shot narrowly wide of the near post before netting the equaliser 10 minutes before the break.

United defender Ainsley Gaspar began the move in his own half, taking the ball around an opposing forward and bringing the ball past the halfway line before finding Jama, who exchanged passes with Leon Ryan before sliding home a low shot.

United continued to create chances after half-time and Ryan curled a shot narrowly over the crossbar before the match was abandoned.

Bethnal Green United play Deportivo Galicia at Mile End Stadium on Saturday (1.30pm).


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