Bethnal Green United boss Justin gardner confident of League Cup triumph
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner believes his sides 11 days rest will give them an edge for the League Cup Final against Burnham Ramblers on Bank Holiday Monday
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner believes his sides 11 days rest will give them an edge for the League Cup Final against Burnham Ramblers on Bank Holiday Monday.
The East End outfit have not played since a 1-1 draw with Tiptree United last Thursday after a run of 13 games in two months lead to fatigue and an end to their title hopes.
But now, with the chance of claiming the double after the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy triumph last month, Gardner believes his side are ready for Burnham.
"It's the bigger of the two cups and will be a great achievement if we can win it, in our first season of semi-professional football," he said.
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"I'm very confident because we have had plenty of rest and those players I had to play four games in a week will have fully recovered and raring to go.
"It's been a long hard season and the fixtures have not been kind to us, but I have faith in my squad. It should be a great day out and I hear they usually get about 500 spectators turning up to these finals and Bowers & Pitsea is not far away."
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Gardner has however warned his players that they will be in for a tough encounter against a Ramblers side who beat the Greens 2-0 at Mile End Stadium at the end of the season.
"They are a very good team who are extremely well organised," Gardner said.
"They are a typical direct Essex team who are not particularly exciting to watch, but they are effective.
"We are due a good game though and I don't believe we have played well since the last cup final."
United ended the season with a whimper and could only draw 1-1 with struggling Tiptree.
The Greens however have been without key players and Gardner believes the large amount of matches in a short space of time ruined any chance they had for title glory.
"It was a tired, poor performance against a pretty poor team, but regularly playing four games in a week really took its toll," he said.
"In the end I was happy with the draw, I didn't have a full squad to chose from and I was not too hard on the players."
R Wisemere had given Tiptree a 40th minute lead and with five minutes to go it seemed that United were going to end their league campaign with a defeat, before Shane Drew popped up with a late leveler.
Goalkeeper Ashley King's long kick downfield was missed by the Tiptree defender leaving Drew clean through on goal.
The young striker held his nerve and calmly lobbed the Tiptree stopper for a share of the points.
"He's one for the future and he has scored three goals in his last four starts," Gardner said.
"He is only 21 and I will be looking to use him a fair bit more next season.