Senior Open triumph sees Bethnal Green United close in on double

Bethnal Green United are on course to complete a Middlesex County League double after lifting the Senior Open Cup

Bethnal Green United are on course to complete a Middlesex County League double after lifting the Senior Open Cup on Saturday night.

United produced a dazzling first-half blitz to overcome Indian Gymkhana as goals from Michael Begg, Jamie Barry, Kadir Jama and Ajibola Olatunbosun in the opening 45 minutes secured the trophy at Yeading FC's The Warren ground.

The Senior Open triumph marks the first leg of a possible double for Bethnal Green, who were also beaten in the final of the Alec Smith Premier Division Cup last month.

United, who have already clinched promotion to the Essex Senior League, will be crowned Middlesex League champions if the club win their final two remaining league matches.

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Bethnal Green boss Justin Gardner said: "It's our first trophy of the season and it's a great achievement, but it's back to work this week. We've got two matches left and they're both cup finals."

Despite missing eight first-team players through injury, including top-scorer Marlon Campbell, the outcome of the Senior Open final was rarely in doubt after United surged into a 4-1 half-time lead.

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Gymkhana, who briefly led through Sukh Liddar's 10th-minute strike, rallied after the break, but despite bossing possession and pulling a goal back late on, were unable to salvage the match.

"We destroyed them in the first half and produced our best football of the season," Gardner said. "The second half was a different story, although we probably took our foot off the gas."

United had twice threatened through Danny Sabroche before Liddar broke the deadlock for Gymkhana with a shot that appeared to bamboozle United goalkeeper Ashley King.

But it took just two minutes for Bethnal Green to level through Begg's low free-kick and United skipper Barry converted from the penalty spot following a foul on Amos Foweya to give his side the lead before a magnificent third goal illuminated the clash.

From a Gymkhana corner, Olatunbosun headed clear to Sabroche, who exchanged passes with Begg and Foweya before releasing Jama. The Bethnal Green midfielder raced clear and after his initial shot was blocked, tapped home the rebound.

Olatunbosun effectively ended the contest two minutes before half-time after heading in a fourth goal from Marlon Boateng's corner. Gymkhana fought back after the break and Mukhtar Khella reduced the deficit, but United's lead proved insurmountable.

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