Gardner pleased as Bethnal Green come out on top against local rivals

Greens see off London APSA to move up to fifth in league table

Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner was pleased that his side managed to bounce back from their Hullbridge Sports loss with a convincing win against local rivals London APSA.

Goals from Billy Holland, Junior Appiah and Ben Protheroe were more than enough for the Greens to claim just their second home win of the season.

“I’m happy because of the performance,” said Gardner.

“We scored three goals, kept a clean sheet and apart from a 15-minute period in the second half, we controlled the game and didn’t give APSA a sniff.”

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The Greens took the lead after 20 minutes, when Leon Ryan and Anthony Gaspar combined to set up Holland, who kept his calm to slot the ball home.

However, despite being in control, the home side didn’t score their second goal until the 81st minute, and Gardner admitted that 1-0 can be a dangerous lead.

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“When you are winning 1-0, sometimes there is more pressure on you than the opposition,” he said.

“One little defensive slip and APSA could have got back into the game.

“But we kept going until the end and Junior scored to kill the game before Ben’s goal in stoppage time.”

Bethnal Green had a keeper crisis going into the game as both Pape Diagne and Riccardo Mazzon were both injured.

“We had to borrow Hornchurch FC’s reserve keeper, Michael Bowditch, for the game,” added Gardner.

“We had no other choice as our other keepers were injured, but Michael did well when he was called upon and made a couple of good saves.”

Following their convincing win, Gardner is keen for his men to go on a little winning run and to climb up the league table.

“We are currently in fifthplace after last weekend, just six points behind league leaders Witham Town, which was a huge surprise to me,” he said.

“But this year, the league is really tight at the top and if you lose a couple of games you slide right down.

“There is no point winning one week if we are going to lose the next.

“We need to go on a streak now.”

This weekend, Gardner’s side travel to Barking, and the Greens boss is targeting another three points.

“Before our game against Hullbridge, we were unbeaten away from home,” he added.

“I want us to prove that was just a blip against what will be a tough trip to face a very good Barking side.

“It is never an easy game against them, although it will be like another local derby for us as it is just down the road.

“We will go there full of confidence and looking to take another three points.”

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