Gardner not impressed as Bethnal Green leave it late against Basildon Town
Michael Begg spares Greens’ blushes with 86th-minute winner
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner admitted that he was ‘happy with the result, but not the performance,’ as his side narrowly beat bottom of the league Basildon United at the weekend.
Things started well for Gardner’s men and the Greens took the lead after just 11 minutes through Kingsley Francis-Reynolds.
However an individual defensive error allowed the visitors back into the game.
“Normally I would go mad at my players for the performance that we put in on Saturday,” said Gardner.
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“However, the lads had given me four superb performances before the weekend, and I have to focus on the positive and that is that we have now won our last five games.”
In the second half, Jay Leader gave Bethnal Green the lead, before another mistake allowed Basildon to equalise once again.
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However, with just four minutes left, last week’s hat-trick hero Michael Begg grabbed his fifth goal in three games to secure the win for Gardner’s side.
“I was happy with the result, but not the performance,” said the Greens boss.
“Basildon probably deserved something out of the game, but at the end of the day we had something that they didn’t have and that was a little bit of quality.
“They have a new manager and I am sure that their results will start to improve from now on.”
Gardner admitted that his side have tended to struggle against the teams towards the bottom of the league and he believes it is all down to his players’ attitude.
“My players seem to find it hard to get motivated for games against the lesser teams,” he said.
“I take full responsibility for that as a manager, but I prepare more for these sorts of games than when we play the top sides.
“Our hardest games have been against sides in the bottom half of the table and it is because my players think it will be a stroll in the park, which is just not the case.
“I didn’t tell my team that Basildon were bottom of the league until half time, and only then did my side react and we were much better after the break.”
The win takes the Greens into sixth place, just five points behind this weekend’s opponents Southend Manor.
“I know that we are sixth, but I am only looking at Enfield and Witham at the top,” added Gardner.
“Southend Manor have five games in hand on some teams and they won’t win them all, playing three matches a week.
“We travel to them this weekend knowing that we have the chance to continue our unbeaten run into the Christmas break.
“We will go there aiming for three important points, but if we can’t win we must make sure that we don’t lose.”