Greens continue good early away form with win at Witham Town
Bethnal Green boss Gardner looking forward to FA Cup tie
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner was delighted as his side continued their great early-season form with a 1-0 win away to Witham Town.
Gardner’s men made the journey up the A12 at the weekend and returned with three valuable points which extended the Greens’ unbeaten away run to three games.
“It was an excellent win at Witham,” said Gardner.
“It is a tough place to go, you only have to look at their home record.
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“Not many teams will go there and return with a win and a clean sheet.”
The Greens boss also told of how he had to make a number of changes to his side due to injuries.
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“We travelled without eight first-team players due to injury,” he said.
“However, the eight players that came in did such a good job that the shirts are now theirs.
“It is now up to other players in the squad to win those shirts back.”
The hosts started by controlling the game and making Gardner’s men play their way, which frustrated the Greens boss.
“To be honest, in the first half, they were the better side,” he said.
“They controlled the game and made us play their way, which is with the ball in the air a lot of the time.
“We like to play football with the ball on the ground.
“At half time I got the lads together and told them that if we played our way then we would go on to win the game.”
And in the second half, the Greens emerged a different side and began to control the way that the game was played.
“I told the team that if we put pressure onto Witham and played the only way we know, then they would make mistakes,” added Gardner.
And it was a Witham mistake which led to the decisive goal in the 70th minute.
After winning a free kick in a dangerous position, the ball was floated in for Michael Begg to head home to give his side the lead.
“The goal had been coming and I thought that we deserved it,” said Gardner.
“After the goal we controlled the closing stages and should have scored again when Billy Holland forced the Witham keeper into a great save.
“However, our Man of the Match for me was our keeper Pape Diagne.
“Witham must have put 30 to 40 balls into the box and he did superbly to deal with each one.”
The win puts the Greens into second place in the Essex Senior League, but Gardner wants to go one better.
“I want us to be top of the league,” he said.
“If we can keep this unbeaten run up, then we will soon be there.”
This Saturday, the Greens travel to Dunstable Town for a FA Cup Preliminary Round tie and Gardner expects another tough test.
“From what I know about Dunstable they are a good side,” he said.
“But we go into the game full of confidence as we have played really well away from home so far this season and have kept three consecutive clean sheets.
“If we can keep that up and go on a little cup run, then everyone at the club would be delighted.”