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Barking manager Gardner calls Hayes & Yeading clear favourites for FA Trophy tie

PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 October 2018

Barking celebrate Ben O'Brien's goal (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking celebrate Ben O'Brien's goal (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner says Hayes & Yeading will be the clear favourites going into their FA Trophy preliminary round tie this weekend.

Ben O'Brien in the thick of the action (pic Terry Gilbert)Ben O'Brien in the thick of the action (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues welcome the Bostik South Central side to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday as they look to cause an upset and progress into the first qualifying round.

Boss Gardner is hoping the Blues can build off their solid 1-0 victory against Bostik North rivals Dereham Town after having to change formation and tactics at the last minute after so many players pulled out of the squad.

“Probably the best thing about that win on Saturday was getting a clean sheet as Hayes & Yeading have been putting up cricket scores against teams in recent weeks,” the 38-year-old said.

“They’re a very threatening team going forward and have had a really strong start to the season.

“They will obviously be odds-on favourites after how they’ve started and that’s to be expected, but it’s a cup competition, and hopefully it sticks with the theme of form going out the window for these sorts of games. It’s just who shows up on the day.”

Gardner is also urging his team to show the same spirit they did to battle to victory against Dereham Town, adding: “The standard we set on Saturday, we now need to keep that up.

“I will have everyone back available, including three centre-backs, but at the same time I need to get that balance right as I need to get our key players in but I also want to reward everyone who played Saturday.”

The former Aveley manager insists no matter how vital the £3,000 in prize money is for the club, he will not put that added pressure on his players.

“The club needs all the resources it can get, everyone knows that,” Gardner insisted.

“That will not be our first and foremost priority, though, it will be about building some momentum and getting our strongest team possible out there to play the match.

“We will not be adding extra pressure on the players saying they need to win for the prize money. We just want them to go and enjoy the occasion of the competition and playing against a strong side.”

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