Six of the best as Bethnal Green United seal title with Deportivo rout
Bethnal Green United have been crowned Middlesex County League champions after securing the Premier Division title with a six-goal demolition of Deportivo Galicia
Bethnal Green United have been crowned Middlesex County League champions after securing the Premier Division title with a six-goal demolition of Deportivo Galicia.
United needed a win at bottom-club Deportivo to lift the championship and seal a league and cup double on Saturday and victory was never in doubt following a ruthless first-half display that saw Bethnal Green open up a four-goal lead by half-time.
The result lifted United four points clear of nearest challengers Hayes United, who have one match remaining, and sealed a dramatic twist in the race for the title as Bethnal Green prevailed in the final furlong.
The East End club, who suffered two defeats in the opening three games of the season, staged a magnificent turnaround to win 17 of their remaining 19 fixtures and claim leadership of the division in the final week of the season.
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United had not held top spot at any stage during the campaign until a brace from Michael Begg and a late strike from Shane Baptiste secured a tense 3-1 win over Newham Borough last Wednesday and lifted Bethnal Green to the summit.
Three days later, United were champions. Doubles from Begg and Danny Sabroche destroyed Deportivo, while further strikes from Baptiste and Marvin Abegunde sealed a six-goal rout and sparked the title celebrations.
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United boss Justin Gardner paid tribute to his players for their mental strength in the final weeks of the campaign, adding that last week's win at Newham had proved crucial in deciding the title race.
"That was one of our toughest tests of the season. Everyone was nervous and Newham played really well, but we battled through and once we won that game, I felt we would win the title," Gardner said.
"I told the players afterwards to savour this moment. It's not often in football that you win major trophies and to do the double is something they'll always remember. We've made history - we'll always be remembered as this season's champions."
United's triumph was all but assured after half an hour at Osterley Sports Club as Sabroche beat the offside trap to lob home a 25th-minute opener before Begg received Amos Foweya's pass and rifled in from the edge of the area.
Begg's pass allowed Abegunde to net a third and Sabroche completed a four-goal first-half blitz by curling in a long-range effort.
Deportivo pulled a goal back after the break but Begg restored the four-goal margin and after another reply from the home side, Baptiste smashed home a sixth.
There was further cause for Bethnal Green to celebrate on Sunday as the club's Under-16s side also secured title glory in Echo League Division One.