Bethnal Green United secure historic double after League Cup triumph
Fatigue and injuries wrecked their treble dreams, but Bethnal Green United's League Cup victory over Burnham Ramblers was the greatest day in the club s history, according to boss Justin Gardner
Fatigue and injuries wrecked their treble dreams, but Bethnal Green United's League Cup victory over Burnham Ramblers was the greatest day in the club's history, according to boss Justin Gardner.
United were superb against Burnham, a team who had beaten United earlier in the campaign at the Mile End Stadium and were, like United, gunning for the title a few weeks ago.
They were no match for the East End outfit, who became the first ever side in the history of the Essex Senior League to win a trophy in their debut season.
That record was broken when they beat Takeley to win the Gordon Brasted Trophy and Gardner rates this triumph even higher.
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"It's the greatest day in the club's history and it was an absolute top drawer performance," he said.
"The 11 day rest did us a world of good. We were fresh and were completely dominant.
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"I got such a great feeling from the win and I must admit I am still buzzing, it is such a proud day for everybody associated with the club.
"A lot of credit must go to my backroom staff, as well as those behind the scenes such as our chairman Nurul Hoque and secretary Akhtar Ahmed, who have worked so hard."
Surprise starter Shane Drew rewarded his manager's faith by giving his side a 14th minute lead, after Kadir Jama played the forward in.
It was two, three minutes later, when from a corner, man of the match Steve Willis showed great technique to place the ball in to the top corner from eight yards out.
Greens were indebted to goalkeeper Ashley King, who before the break pulled off a sensational save to deny Burnham's Billy Hunt, whose shot was tipped round the post by the stopper.
The chance seemed to rejuvenate Burnham, but their fate was sealed in the 77th minute when substitute Richard Johnson scored with his first touch of the ball.
It was four when Remi Nelson scored with a deflected shot seven minutes from time, but with seconds remaining Marc Gorbell scored a consolation for Burnham.
"It was such a good performance, but you know I am a perfectionist and I was not happy with their goal," Gardner said.
"Steve Willis was rightfully named man of the match while Leon Ryan was also excellent. I am very proud of all of them."
Greens excelled in front of a 300 plus crowd and the boss was keen to praise those who had travelled to Bowers & Pitsea to watch the finale.
"There were 150 fans there and they were so vocal and created a superb atmosphere," he said.
"It really inspired the players and it would be great if we could get them to come back and watch our home matches next season.
"It would make a big difference and give us a great chance to go for the title next season.