Barking boss Gardner ‘would prefer league, not FA Trophy, action’

Barking's Donnell Anderson on the ball against FC Romania (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Donnell Anderson on the ball against FC Romania (Pic: Terry Gilbert) - Credit: Archant

Barking manager Justin Gardner would prefer to be trying to get their league fortunes on track this weekend, but will be hoping to progress in the FA Trophy.

Barking's Sheri Artmeladze chases after the ball (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Sheri Artmeladze chases after the ball (Pic: Terry Gilbert) - Credit: Archant

The Blues welcome Isthmian League South Central rivals Harlow Town to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday for a second qualifying tie.

The winners of the tie will receive £3,000 in prize money, while the losers will walk away with £775.

And Barking also faced a long trip to Hartley Wintney in the FA Cup onTuesday evening where they crashed to a 3-1 defeat to exit the competition.

Gardner said: “A long trip away in the FA Cup, then an FA Trophy match – I just wish we had a league game, but we’ve got to wait until the 20th to play in the league which is disappointing.

Isaac Westendorf and Ben OBrien combine (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Isaac Westendorf and Ben OBrien combine (Pic: Terry Gilbert) - Credit: Archant


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“It’s the FA Trophy, it’s a better chance for us to progress than the FA Cup, but it’s going to be another tough game for us as Harlow haven’t started too bad to be fair to them.

“I don’t know much about them, to be honest, I will have something on them by the time we play them.”

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Barking lost 2-1 to FC Romania in the Isthmian South Central despite taking an early lead on Saturday.

The Blues found the net through new signing Dominic Green in the eighth minute of play, but Adrian Hurdubei levelled the score just before half-time.

Isaac Westendorf goes shoulder to shoulder with an opponent (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Isaac Westendorf goes shoulder to shoulder with an opponent (Pic: Terry Gilbert) - Credit: Archant

Narcis Filip then sealed the victory for the visitors in the 84th minute.

That defeat has seen Barking fall to the foot of the early league table.

“I’m extremely disappointed, [we were] not good enough really, but that’s not taking anything away from FC Romania as that was probably one of the best FC Romania teams we’ve faced,” Gardner admitted.

“We should be really ashamed of ourselves and we only have ourselves to blame.

“It’s easy for me to say I haven’t got certain players available, but that is football.

“I believe the players I put out were good enough to get a result and they clearly didn’t do that.

“Questions have to be asked about themselves and about myself in terms of me picking them and giving them that opportunity.”

Barking are expected to make a number of changes to the line-up in their cup matches prior to a trip away to Ware in the league on Tuesday (October 20).

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