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Barking manager Gardner delighted by home tie with Sittingbourne in FA Trophy

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 October 2020

Barking forward Isaac Westendorf races away against Westfield (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Barking forward Isaac Westendorf races away against Westfield (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner is happy to be at home in the FA Trophy this weekend.

Barking celebrate Isaac Westendorf's goal against Westfield (Pic: Terry Gilbert)Barking celebrate Isaac Westendorf's goal against Westfield (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

The Blues welcome Isthmian South East side Sittingbourne to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday for a third qualifying round tie.

The winners will bag £3,750 in prize money and put themselves in the hat for the next round while the losers walk away with £1,000.

“It’s a home draw, that’s all we could have asked for. You can’t pick who you’re going to play. You can’t be greedy,” said Gardner.

“If you said to me a home draw or an easy away draw, I would’ve taken the home draw because that’s what you want.

Dan Flemming of Barking sends a header wide against Westfield (Pic: Terry Gilbert)Dan Flemming of Barking sends a header wide against Westfield (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

“Sittingbourne have a few more points than us, but a similar start, maybe a bit better but it’s in a different league and it will be another difficult game.

“It’s a one-off game, the game has to be finished on the day, and that’s the beauty of it as you can go all out, leave it on the pitch, and not worry about a replay.

“If you go out, then you’re out of the cup, and then you can concentrate on the league.

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“I think the last time I played against Sittingbourne was in a pre-season friendly with Aveley about six or seven years ago.”

The Blues picked up their first victory in the Isthmian League South Central at the weekend with a 1-0 win at Westfield thanks to a 72nd-minute goal from youngster Isaac Westendorf.

Gardner said: “Delighted to get our first league win of the season, we’re going to have to be hard to beat at the moment, and roll our sleeves up.

“Maybe some of our luxury players may have to suffer due to that and the start we’ve had in the league.

“The start in the league is due to a combination of injuries as well as doing well in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

“With a budget of our size we can’t afford to have a big squad to compete in both.

“Players have put a lot into the cup games and have struggled to recover for the league games in time.

“On Saturday we went back to basics and we’ll continue to do that for the next few games to try climbing up the table and get as many points on the board as we can then earn the right to play again.”

Barking also sealed a 3-0 win overWaltham Abbey onTuesday in the league to end their opponents unbeaten start to the new season.


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