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Barking boss Gardner says his side will not take London Senior Cup lightly this term

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 September 2018

Barking's Afolabi Obafemi gets up for a header (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Afolabi Obafemi gets up for a header (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking boss Justin Gardner says his side will not be taking the London Senior Cup lightly this season and are in it to win it.

Barking's Olajuwon Ogunwamide (pic Terry Gilbert)Barking's Olajuwon Ogunwamide (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will welcome Combined Counties Football League Premier Division side Balham to Mayesbrook Park on Tuesday as they look to progress through the first round of the competition.

Gardner’s side will have a weekend off before that after failing to progress in the FA Cup as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to league rivals Bowers & Pitsea.

“We’re looking to build a team as strong as possible and will be using that game to keep building,” the 38-year-old said.

“We’re not sitting top of the league so we can’t rest on our laurels, we’re fighting down the bottom right now, so we need to build some momentum.”

The former Aveley boss is keen to add a cup to the trophy cabinet and sees the London Senior Cup as a good opportunity.

“I want to win any cup we’re involved in and that’s what we’ll be looking to do, it would be different if we were top of the table, and looking to give players pitch time,” he added.

“The boys did well Saturday but there is still a lot to work on and that’s what we’ll be doing.”

Barking have had a slow start to the season and boss Gardner has moved to bring in former Dagenham & Redbridge striker Afolabi Obafemi from Bostik Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley to bolster their attacking options.

He also moved to bring in winger Olajuwon Ogunwamide from Essex Senior League side Woodford Town after his impressive start to the campaign.

And they both came off the bench in their 3-0 win against Romford last weekend.

“We’re not taking our chances in the final third so I felt we needed a bit more in the squad,” said Garnder.

“Ola has been training with us the last few weeks and has integrated into the team well.

“He has taken his chance of keeping his shirt as he came on against Romford and set up two of our three goals.

“With Afolabi the opportunity was too good to turn down, he was their top goal scorer in pre-season, but Wingate felt he needed more pitch-time.

“He came on with 30 minutes left on Saturday and almost scored. If we can get him going, give him a good run of games, i’m sure he will score plenty of goals for us.”

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