Gardner pleased despite Bethnal Green drawing a blank at Takeley
Goalless draw means Greens slip down to sixth in Essex Senior League
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner was focussing on the positives after his side drew 0-0 at Takeley on Saturday.
Having suffered a last-minute defeat at the hands of high-flying Southend Manor the weekend before, Gardner’s men responded with a performance full of attacking flair and plenty of chances, but no goals.
The Greens dominated from the off, but despite having 15 clear-cut chances, failed to find a way past the Takeley keeper, who was in inspirational form.
“The performance from the lads was fantastic,” said Gardner. “It’s just the result that did not go our way.
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“We were all over them and created 15-20 chances and we did everything but score.
“Huge credit has to go to their keeper though, as it really was 11 versus one out there for most of the game.
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“Their keeper pulled off some unbelievable saves, some of them from shots that he had no right to get to.
“It’s not like we weren’t shooting for the top corners, their keeper was just magnificent.
“For 90 minutes we were faultless apart from the lack of a goal.”
Gardner also revealed that he was most pleased with how his side had responded after their Southend Manor disaster.
“The Southend game was the worst that I have ever seen us play,” he said. “But on Saturday, we were back to our old selves and it was so frustrating that we didn’t score.
“Even Takeley’s fans were coming up to me after the game and saying ‘how did you not beat us by double figures?’”
Despite failing to convert any of their numerous chances, the Bethnal Green boss can still highlight some plus points from the game.
“The lads gave me 100 per cent from the first whistle until the last,” he said.
“It was a huge improvement on recent weeks, as for the past five or six games we have not been playing very well.
“But we kept a clean sheet and extended our unbeaten away run to five matches now.
“If we play like we did on Saturday every week, then we will start to win games by huge margins.”
Gardner has been adamant that he would not look at the Essex Senior League table until around Christmas, but the Greens boss admitted he had a peek after Saturday’s game.
“I was surprised, to be honest,” he said. “We are sixth, but just a few points off top and we have the second best defence in the league.
“But for me, we have not scored enough goals.
“Scoring 17 goals in nine games is not bad, but I think we need to be converting our chances if we want to win the league.”
This Saturday, the Greens are in FA Vase action, when they host Hoddesdon Town at Mile End Stadium.
“I expect us to win,” said Gardner.
“We are favourites as we are at home and they are a league below us.
“I will pick my strongest team to do the job and get us through to the next round and get some much-needed money pumped into the club.
“I can see no reason why we can’t go on a little FA Vase run.”