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Barking boss Gardner expects a tough test against league leaders Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 January 2018

Barking manager Justin Gardner (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking manager Justin Gardner (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking will be looking to bounce back after a miserable start to 2018 in the Bostik North as they face Hornchurch.

The Blues travel to local rivals and league leaders Urchins this evening (7.45pm) and will be hoping to cause an upset at Bridge Avenue.

Manager Justin Gardner believes it’s is a huge task they face as they look to respond from a 3-1 defeat to AFC Sudbury against a team he has pinned on to win the league title.

“We’re playing against the team who will probably win the league, so we couldn’t pick a harder game or tougher opposition to bounce back.

“We’ve got nothing to lose, in terms of set up and budgets it’s like David versus Goliath but even bigger than that.

“We’re underdogs, but we’ll go there, try our best and hopefully we can get a result.”

The last time the two sides met was on Saturday, December, 30 and they drew 1-1 at Mayesbrook Park.

Gardner believes to pull off another result like that they must match the Urchins work rate.

“They’ve got a very good squad, they’ve got tonnes of fire power and they don’t concede many goals either.

“For us it’s about trying to match their work rate and limiting our mistakes as they punish teams who make too many.”

The boss will also be coming up against one of his former players in Hornchurch’s latest addition Christian Assombalonga, who Gardner worked with at Billericay Town last season, but he admits it’s not just him they have to watch out for.

“I know Christian very well, we played against him down at Waltham Abbey earlier this season and he scored.

“He is someone that likes to score goals and we will have to be wary of him, but we can’t just focus on him as they also have George Purcell, Brad Warner, Theo Fairweather-Johnson and also Nathan Cooper scores lots from set pieces.”

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