Greens draw at their adopted home
Bethnal Green boss Gardner furious at team’s mistakes
Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner was left frustrated after his side were held to a 1-1 draw against Enfield 1893.
Due to maintenance work at their Mile End Stadium home, the Greens had to find alternative arrangements for the game and ended up playing at Waltham Abbey’s ground.
And the adopted hosts started the better of the two sides, duly scoring on the half-hour mark for a well-deserved lead, when Andy Jones’ free kick found Jay Leader, who scored with a header at the back post.
“We definitely deserved to take the lead,” said Gardner.
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“We completely bossed the first half, and we should have been 3-0 up at half time.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t take our chances and it came back to bite us late in the second half.
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“To be fair though, a draw was probably the right result, as we won the first half and they just shaded the second in my opinion.”
Enfield came firing out of the blocks for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but Gardner revealed he was more-than happy with how his side rode out the storm.
“They controlled the beginning of the second half,” he said.
“They had the ball, but we kept them playing in front of us.
“As long as they were doing that, we knew that they couldn’t grab a goal back.
“We then started to get back into the game, but a double mistake cost us two points and drew the game.”
Despite getting back into the game, the Greens conceded an equaliser through a catalogue of errors.
First of all, the Bethnal Green defence were caught in possession in their own half and Enfield’s winger was then clumsily brought down just outside the area.
From the subsequent free kick, which was struck straight and hard, Greens keeper Pape Diagne spilled the shot, allowing an Enfield player to tap in the rebound.
“I can’t blame just the keeper,” said Gardner.
“It was the mistakes before that gave away the free kick, so it was a team error really.
“At the end of the day, drawing 1-1 with the team that won the league last season is not a bad result.
“But we paid the price for not taking our chances.
“In the big games, if you don’t make the most of your opportunities, then you get punished.
“Having said that, it did feel like an away game for us, despite being down as a home fixture.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to Waltham Abbey for letting us play there, but the pitch was not the greatest and didn’t help us play how we like to.”
This Saturday, the Greens travel to Clapton for an Essex Senior League clash, and Gardner admits he really doesn’t know what to expect.
“All we know about Clapton is that they are a young and enthusiastic team,” he said.
“But we just don’t know which Clapton will turn up on Saturday.
“Sometimes they are a team that can be on fire and cause you all sorts of problems and other times they are much more easier to beat.
“Saturday will be their local derby and will be their game of the season, though.”