Gardner left speechless as Bethnal Green suffer heavy loss
Essex Senior League: Barking 4 Bethnal Green United 0
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner described his side’s 4-0 defeat at Barking as ‘one of the worst he has seen during his time as a football manager’.
The Greens made the short journey along the A13 full of hope and expectation, but returned with a heavy loss having put in a dismal display.
And Gardner revealed that it could have been all so different, had his side managed to score the first goal of the game.
“Make no mistake, it was a shocking result,” he said.
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“There isn’t much that I can say really, other than it was one of the worst defeats I have seen in my time as a football manager.
“For the first 15 minutes it actually looked like it was going to be our day and we were playing well and creating chances.
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“However, they then got a corner against the run of play which they scored from.
“Then moments later we were 2-0 down as they scored again. We lost heavily and there are no real excuses.
“We did the right things when we had the ball and possession, but when we didn’t we were awful.
“It is a big wake-up call for us as a team and we know that we have to do better.”
After conceding the second goal, Gardner changed his system into a more attacking one, something that resulted in Barking scoring two more goals.
However, the Greens boss is adamant that he wouldn’t do anything differently.
“When you a losing a game 1-0, it makes no difference if you then go on to get beat 3-0 or 4-0, it is still three points lost,” he said.
“So when we went behind I went on the attack to try and get back into the game, but it left us short at the back and we conceded more.
“I don’t want to dwell on it too much, and all I can do is apologise to the fans and to the chairman.
“I am the manager of this football club and the buck stops with me.
“It is up to me to turn it around after this result.”
The loss means that Gardner’s men slip to eighth in the Essex Senior League, beneath Barking on goal difference, although they remain five points behind third place.
With a FA Vase tie away to Felixstowe this weekend, Gardner admits that he may have to change things around in his team selection to get a positive result.
“I think I have too many good footballers in the team,” he said.
“I think that I need to bring in some ugly and dogged players to add some steel to the side.
“Obviously the Vase game gives us a chance to forget about our league form, but we haven’t been playing well for a few months now.
“We know nothing about Felixstowe which in a way is a blessing as it means we can concentrate on ourselves and not the opposition.”
Gardner also welcomes former Blackpool winger Kingsley Francis-Reynolds into his team, after the 19-year-old signed from Enfield.
“He is young, but we are expecting big things from him,” said Gardner. “It is something of a transfer coup for us to sign him and we hope that he has the hunger to succeed at this level.”