Bethnal Green United smash Sawbridgeworth for six
Six goals was not enough for Justin Gardner after he saw his Bethnal Green side hammer Sawbridgeworth 6-1 on Monday and the boss believes a more ruthless side would have hit 10
Six goals was not enough for Justin Gardner after he saw his Bethnal Green side hammer Sawbridgeworth 6-1 on Monday and the boss believes a more ruthless side would have hit 10.
The Greens manager was obviously delighted after they thrashed their promotion-chasing rivals, but demands more from his outfit.
"We beat a team who were above us in the league, but I still caned them after the game, because Sawbridgeworth finished stronger," Gardner said.
"A ruthless team with the talent we have would have scored 10, and I keep telling them to be greedy, be hungry and be even better.
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"The performance was generally excellent and we sent a message out to all those around us that we mean business."
Greens took the lead early on, when Daryl Wilson was tripped in the box by a Sawbridgeworth defender, with the resulting penalty tucked away nicely by skipper Aynsley Gaspar.
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Anton Stephenson hit the bar with a header and the East End side had further chances to extend their lead before the break, but the opportunities were not taken.
Green made a superb start to the second period, when, within seconds of the re-start, Kadir Jama played in Stephenson, to slot past the goalkeeper.
Ten minutes later it was three when golden-boot chasing Stephenson smashed home his 22nd goal of the season after Wilson had provided the striker with a pin-point cross.
It was four on 70 minutes when Richard Johnson fed Wilson who was brought down by the Town goalkeeper in the area, when clean through. The referee sent the stopper off and despite protests from Stephenson, Gardner asked Gaspar to step up, as the captain stroked home his 10th of the campaign.
The powerful striker was not to be denied his hat-trick though and it was Wilson who was once again the architect with a through-ball to his strike-partner who, once again, finished well.
Sawbridgeworth reduced the arrears after Jason Fox gave away a penalty, but
Green had the last laugh when centre back Ajibola Olatunbosun played a defence-splitting through ball to substitute Grant Harbingi, who finished with aplomb.
"Daryl Wilson was superb and deserves special praise for the way he played," Gardner beamed.
"He set up two of the goals, won both the penalties and he really deserved a goal. He worked so hard in the game."
Gardner will be looking for a repeat performance from Wilson and his teammates this Saturday when they face leaders Burnham Ramblers, in a match which should have a major impact on who wins the Essex Senior League title.
"It's the biggest game in the club's history, if we win it we will have real momentum and I believe we would win the league. I am very confident, we got a big boost on Monday," Gardner said.
"Alfred Kamara and Marlon Boateng are carrying knocks but I cannot complain because I have a good squad."
That group of players could be pushed to breaking point if they are forced to play against Southend Manor, who postponed their Gordon Brasted Trophy match on Saturday at 10pm the night before, leaving Gardner fuming.
"I hope the league throw the book at them," Gardner said.
"They say they had no players available due to illness, but at this level of football that excuse does not wash with me.
"We'll wait and see what happens, but I will be very disappointed if we have to play the game.