Marlon Campbell nets hat-trick in Bethnal Green United cup victory
Marlon Campbell was rewarded for a new shoot-on-sight policy with a stunning hat-trick as Bethnal Green United thrashed Barking
Marlon Campbell was rewarded for a new shoot-on-sight policy with a stunning hat-trick as Bethnal Green United thrashed Barking in the Essex Senior League Cup.
Striker Campbell had failed to score in the first four games of the season, but made up for lost time on Saturday by putting Barking to the sword with a classy display.
Danny Sabroche opened the scoring with his second goal in as many games before Campbell's deadly finishing sent the Greens to the top of Qualifying Group F.
The former Hitchin forward could have added to his treble as he also hit a post and saw another effort well saved by Barking goalkeeper Chris Clark.
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Bethnal Green boss Justin Gardner later revealed that the powerful striker had rediscovered his scoring touch after being encouraged to take more shots at goal.
He said: "That was out best performance of the season and Marlon was devastating.
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"If he plays the whole season for us, I'm expecting 25 to 30 goals because he can score all different types of goal - header, left foot, right foot, skilful goals.
1"My only criticism of him is that he sometimes tries to walk the ball into the net. I've been telling him to shoot more often and after the game [on Saturday] he said he'd taken my advice.
"With Marlon firing on all cylinders and Danny [Sabroche] back to his best, we're going to be a handful for anyone."
It took Bethnal Green just eight minutes to take the lead against Barking when Clark was unable to keep out Sabroche's piledriver and Campbell nearly doubled the lead after 15 minutes but headed wide following a sweeping one-touch move.
Campbell made no mistake midway through the half, firing home Leon Ryan's pass, before the two players combined after the break when Campbell headed in Ryan's corner.
Barking were given a lifeline when a clearance was allowed to run through to Ruel Sandiford, who fired in from the edge of the area - "a really disappointing goal because it was just sloppy defending," Gardner added.
But Campbell ensured Bethnal Green had the final word, sidefooting in first time from Sabroche's pass as the Greens warmed up for their FA Vase trip to Ampthill Town in perfect style.
Bethnal Green United visit Ampthill Town in the FA Vase on Saturday (3pm). For travel details, see www.bethnalgreenunitedfc.co.uk.