Whitelock critical of Basildon pitch as Greens are held to a draw

Essex Senior League: Basildon United 1 Bethnal Green United 1

Bethnal Green United boss Kirk Whitelock was pleased with his side’s performance as they drew with bottom of the league Basildon United on Saturday.

The Greens made the trip along the A13 knowing that the hosts hadn’t won a game on home soil all season, but despite having the better of possession and chances, failed to make the necessary breakthrough in the early stages.

And Whitelock’s men were duly punished when the home side took the lead following some sloppy defending from the visitors.

With Basildon leading 1-0 at the break, Whitelock regrouped his men at half time and it took just four minutes of the second half for the Greens to pull level through new signing Ryan Jenkins.

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However, despite the goal and a number of subsequent chances, Whitelock’s men were frustrated in the efforts to find a winning strike.

“I think that the game at Basildon was a good match,” said Whitelock.

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“We played well and definitely deserved something from the game, although I have to say that the draw was probably a fair result.

“Both sides had chances, but we probably had the better of them.”

Whitelock revealed that he isn’t sure why Basildon are bottom of the league and was surprised at the quality of some of their players.

“I am not sure why they are down at the bottom of the Essex Senior League,” he said.

“They played some good football on Saturday and we recognised some of the boys that were over there as they used to play in the Ryman leagues for Ilford, so it is surprising to see their league position.”

However, Whitelock was not so complimentary about the state of the pitch at Basildon United’s ground, The Hive.

“The pitch at Basildon was atrocious, easily the worst in the league,” he said.

“The surface was so bad that it was almost impossible to play football, but the conditions are the same for both teams and both sides have to adapt to it.

“However, we definitely took some time to adapt as we are used to playing passing and attractive football.

“But Saturday was one of those days when I just had to tell the lads that we couldn’t play that way on the pitch.

“I was really pleased with the way that we played though, and the way that we changed our game to match the conditions.”

Whitelock was also impressed with Jenkins, who managed to score on his debut and should have grabbed a second.

“We’ve brought in Ryan to help try and solve our striker crisis,” he said. “He is a young lad that we have signed from East London Sunday League side Millwall Albion and he is hungry to prove himself at this level.

“Coming from Sunday league football he is a little behind in terms of fitness but once he gets up to speed I think he will be a very important player for us.

“He scored one on Saturday and had another mysteriously ruled out for offside, but he is not afraid to shoot on sight, something that we don’t tend to do as we frustratingly like to try and walk the ball in.

“However, we managed to score a good goal on Saturday which gave us a point and stretches this little unbeaten run of ours to two games.

“We want to keep that going for as long as can.”

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