Oletunbosun: This season is all about the league for Bethnal Green United

Defender says team not disheartened following their FA Cup replay defeat on Tuesday night

Bethnal Green United defender Ajibola Oletunbosun admitted he was disappointed but not disheartened by the club’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of Hanworth Villa in their FA Cup extra preliminary round replay on Tuesday night.

The Greens had travelled to the other side of London on Saturday to face the Feltham-based side, coming away with a 2-2 draw setting up the replay.

However, with Bethnal Green unable to use their Mile End Stadium home due to Olympic restrictions, the club were forced to travel across the capital once again for Tuesday night’s tie and Oletunbosun believes this had a negative effect on the team.

“The long journey that we had to do didn’t really help us at all,” he said. “It was meant to be our home tie, but due to things that are out of our control we had to play at their place again, meaning the team had to leave at 4.30pm.

“The journey didn’t help our preparations and we started really slowly and just couldn’t seem to string any play together.

“The fact that they had quite a big home crowd there also got to a few of the players I think.

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“On Saturday, there was hardly any crowd at all, but obviously word got round about the replay and they had a lot more supporters there.”

Oletunbosun is a veteran of the non-league circuit, having played for Ilford and Aveley in recent years as well as a previous spell with Bethnal Green and the central defender admitted that the club will benefit from not being in the cup, as they will be able to concentrate on more important matters.

“To be honest, this season was not about cup runs,” he explained.

“If you go on a run then great, but we are more concerned with the league.

“We want to win the Essex Senior League this season, that is our number-one target.

“I without a doubt believe that this team has enough quality and strength in depth to do that.

“I am a little disappointed that we have fallen at the first hurdle in the cup, but this season we have bigger things to worry about.”

The Greens now have a two-week break, before they return to league action on September 1, when they travel to Clapton.

And Oletunbosun revealed the squad will use that time away from competitive games to the best effect, working on their weaknesses in training.

“We know what we have done right and what we have done wrong so far this season,” he added. “This two-week break will be spent working on that.

“The lads are a good bunch and there is a good spirit and atmosphere at the club at the moment.

“That will soon start to show on the pitch too.”

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