Bethnal Green United up to second after derby win

East Enders beat APSA to move up the league

BETHNAL GREEN United moved up to second in the Essex Senior League table on Saturday after a 3-0 win over east London rivals London APSA.

Anton Stephenson, Kadir Jama and substitute Josh Coulson all found the target at the Terence McMillan Stadium as the East End club find themselves five points off Enfield 1893, but with a game in hand.

Despite the victory, manager Justin Gardner was still unhappy with an aspect of their game he has been critical of all season. Finishing.

“A win is a win, but I am not happy with the performance,” he said.

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“Once again we did not take our chances and we should have been out of sight after half an hour.

“We played really well for the first 20 minutes on a terrible pitch, scored, then took our foot off the gas. The players acted like we had already won the game.

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“They hit the bar when we were 1-0 up and it was a local derby so it was never going to be easy.”

United took the lead after 19 minutes when Michael Begg and former APSA striker Isaac Aubyn exchanged passes before laying on Stephenson who scored from close range.

It took until the 75th minute for Bethnal Green to extend their advantage when a slide rule pass from Begg found Jama who outpaced a defender and finished well.

The third, in stoppage time, came when a quick free-kick from Jama to Ryan Lee was played on to Coulson to seal the points.

A well-earned three points, but it came at a cost with Stephen Wright injured.

“Our former striker Greg Akepele nearly broke our goalkeeper’s leg,” Garnder said.

“He has a nasty gash on the side of his leg and could be a doubt for Saturday’s game.”

United take on Barkingside at Oakside this weekend, looking to maintain their recent good form in the league.

Their opponents have only played twice on home soil this season, but did beat United in the quarter-finals of the Gordon Brasted Trophy 2-1 at the end of last month.

“I wouldn’t read too much into that result,” Gardner said.

“We did not put out our strongest team that night. It’s another derby so it won’t be easy.”

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