Slow start costs Bethnal Green United

Boss Gardner looks for response this weekend in FA Cup tie with Kentish Town

Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner was left disappointed by his side’s 2-1 loss at home to Burnham Ramblers on Saturday that saw the Greens lose their 100 per cent record in the Essex Senior League.

During the first week of the season, Gardner’s side had beaten Bowers & Pitsea away 3-0 on the opening day of the season, before defeating Eton Manor by the same score last Wednesday.

However, the Greens’ winning streak came to an end last weekend, as Burnham Ramblers rolled out of Mile End with the three points thanks to a slow start from the hosts.

The visitors took an early lead after just six minutes, however Gardner’s men equalised from the spot through Anton Stevenson.

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On the half-hour mark, the visitors put themselves in front for the second time through Dan Williams and that was how the score remained until the final whistle.

“It was disappointing to say the least,” said Gardner.

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“I’m not sure whether this was the case, but I think that some of the lads might have seen us win our first two games and then try to coast into the third.

“But we got punished for a slow start and we didn’t really start playing until 35 minutes into the game, which is far too late.”

Despite the loss which sees the Greens slip to second place in the table, Gardner was still pleased with how his side performed for the final 55 minutes of the game.

“Except for our slow start, we played really well,” he said.

“For the last half an hour we completely controlled the game and Burnham played with their whole team behind the ball.

“It was like a defensive drill for them. But credit where credit is due, they defended well and ground out the win.

“They are a pacy side, and they showed that you can’t afford to switch off against them.”

Gardner also revealed that he wasn’t best pleased with the referee’s performance, and thought that his side should have had another penalty.

“It total, we had four penalty shouts in the game,” he said.

“The softest of the four was the one that he actually gave which is remarkable.

“But we should have finished them off when we had the chance.

“Danny Gabriel scored a hat-trick against Eton Manor last week and he should have scored again at the weekend.

“But I would be more concerned if we weren’t creating the actual chances.”

This weekend, Gardner’s men begin their FA Cup campaign, with a home tie against Kentish Town in the extra preliminary round and the Greens boss is looking for an immediate reaction from his players.

“I said at the beginning of pre-season that it would be nice to have a bit of a cup run,” he said.

“It would bring some much-needed money into the club and keep the board and chairman happy.

“We are playing Kentish Town, who we knocked out of the cup last season, but we don’t know much about them as they have a new manager and new players.

“However, with the game at home, I expect us to go out there and win.

“But like I’ve said before, the league is our priority this season.”

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