Barking must respond after FA Cup exit says manager Justin Gardner

Despite his high jump, Barking full-back James Folkes misses the ball against Ilford in the FA Cup

Despite his high jump, Barking full-back James Folkes misses the ball against Ilford in the FA Cup - Credit: Terry Gilbert

Barking manager Justin Gardner insists his side must respond after their ‘disappointing’ FA Cup exit to Essex Senior League side Ilford. 

The Blues will now return to Isthmian North action as they host Heybridge Swifts on Saturday before then taking on Romford on Bank Holiday Monday – both at Mayesbrook Park. 

“You have to get over it, you can’t turn back the clock, but it is disappointing to be out of the FA Cup. I don’t think I have ever in my management career been knocked out of the first round of the FA Cup,” Gardner said. 

“We have got three huge league games at home, one away, but technically still at home as it’s against Romford. 

Barking's Louis Dillon in a chase after the ball against Ilford in the FA Cup

Barking's Louis Dillon in a chase after the ball against Ilford in the FA Cup - Credit: Terry Gilbert

“We need to just concentrate on one game at a time, we can’t look too far ahead of us, and we need to prepare for Heybridge. We’re both in a similar boat. They got knocked out of the FA Cup and both teams will want to turn their fortunes around. 


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“I did tell them, but I don’t think I need to tell them again, they need to put Saturday’s result right very quickly.” 

lford pulled off a shock FA Cup upset with a 3-2 preliminary round victory over Barking at Mayesbrook Park.  

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Goals from Lee Sharpe, Rachid Qist and Ellis Leveridge sealed the win for the Foxes despite the Blues almost clawing their way back into the contest thanks to Charlie Heatley and Charlie MacDonald.  

A flying header from Barking striker Charlie MacDonald against Ilford in the FA Cup

A flying header from Barking striker Charlie MacDonald against Ilford in the FA Cup - Credit: Terry Gilbert

“A bit more than disappointed, sick if I'm honest with you,” Gardner admitted. “If I want to be a manager that makes excuses I could say the sending off didn’t help and the referee’s performance had a lot to be desired. 

“I’m not going to make an excuse and I'm going to give credit to Ilford. They deserved the win, they didn’t cause us any problems, but they stuffed us out and rode their luck.  

“They were in our faces, I don’t want to make any excuses why we didn’t win the match, I want to give all the credit to Ilford.  

“We missed some easy opportunities, but to concede three goals from our point of view is very poor, and I want to give credit to Ilford. Let them deserve the victory and enjoy it. Hopefully it will give them confidence.” 

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