Bethnal Green boss Gardner says title dream is still alive

Bethnal Green United manager Justin Gardner has insisted the title race is not over as he is convinced Essex Senior League leaders Burnham Ramblers will drop points

Bethnal Green United manager Justin Gardner has insisted the title race is not over as he is "convinced" Essex Senior League leaders Burnham Ramblers will drop points.

On Saturday, third-placed United drew 1-1 with Enfield 1893, leaving them two points adrift of the Essex club, who beat Barking 1-0.

Gary Kimble's men also have two games in hand on the London club, but Gardner is adamant his team are in the race for silverware.

"We're unbeaten in eight league games, so we're doing well, but we need Burnham to drop some points. We are in the hunt for the title," said Gardner.

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"They've got some tough games coming up against teams near the top of the table, so I'm convinced they're going to slip up at one point.

"It's up to us to make sure we're winning our games so that we take advantage."

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The east Londoners could have found themselves further behind the table toppers, had it not been for Marlon Campbell.

United's hero cancelled out Joe May's first half goal to salvage a point for Gardner's east London troops. Gardner felt it was a fair result.

"We beat them 5-0 earlier in the season, so from my perspective it's a poor result, but on reflection from the game itself, it was a fair result," he said.

"They battered us in the first half and we battered them in the second half. If the game had gone on a few more minutes I think we would have won.

"Both goalkeepers had blinding games. The score would have been a lot higher had it not been for them."

On Saturday, Green host Essex boys Basildon United and after losing to the Bees 3-2 in November, Gardner is out for settle some scores.

"Whatever happens at the end of the season, the two games that will haunt me, are the 3-2 loss to Southend Manor and the 3-2 loss to Basildon United," he said.

"We were shocking in both those games and should have won them easily. I have no complaints about our other defeats, but those two losses really rankle with me.

"We'll be looking to avenge the Basildon result."

United were in action on Monday night, when they drew 3-3 with Barkingside in the first leg of the League Cup quarter-final with goals from skipper Ainsley Gasper and two from Anton Stephenson.

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