Barking boss hopes to Bury hosts after banking ‘biggest three points of the season’
PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 December 2017
Barking make the long trip to Bury St Edmunds on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten run in Bostik North into double figures.
Goals from Ben O’Brien and Kiernan Hughes-Mason sealed a 2-0 win over Romford as Blues made it nine games without defeat to climb to fifth in the table.
And boss Justin Gardner felt it was a vital victory for his in-form side, saying: “To me it’s the biggest three points of the season. I don’t get nervous, but it was the game I was the most nervous for.
“Playing against Romford, I know what to expect and if we don’t get things right then you will come unstuck and regret it.
“Romford is one of the few games we’re going to go into as favourites because every other team in the league are bigger clubs and that doesn’t help, because you know if you lose everyone’s upset. If you win it’s looked at as a game you were supposed to win.
“For me it’s not a good game to prepare for. I don’t particularly like playing Romford. It’s a professional performance, that’s nine games unbeaten and we keep on getting nose bleeds and climbing up the league table.”
Long-serving O’Brien headed Barking in front early on, with Hughes-Mason running on to Ryan Reed’s pass to secure the points with three minutes left.
But Gardner felt his side were far from at their best against the division’s bottom club, adding: “I don’t think we looked like we would have conceded. It was a professional performance, I just felt in the final third we were a bit off it. No disrespect, if we came up against Canvey like last week or Hornchurch we might not have got anything out of the game as I felt our final ball was killing us.
“I said to the boys at half time if we match their work rate our quality will take over and you could see with our two goals the quality was the difference.”
Gardner has moved to further improve his squad by snapping up experienced striker Martin Tuohy, following a brief spell with Essex Senior League neighbours Redbridge.
And the boss is thinking about shuffling his pack, with a trip to Brentwood coming up on Tuesday as well, adding: “I might make a few changes. I’ve signed Martin, but we’ve won so he’s going to have to fight to get into the squad.
“It’s someone I feel that as the weather changes we’re going to need a fox in the box and I think he fits the bill.”