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Barking boss Gardner wants his side to march on against high-flyers Maldon & Tiptree

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 December 2017

Barking striker Kiernan Hughes-Mason powers forward (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Barking striker Kiernan Hughes-Mason powers forward (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner want his side to continue their good form right the way into Christmas.

Barking's Alan Taylor on the charge (Pic: Terry Gilbert)Barking's Alan Taylor on the charge (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

The Blues host high-flying Maldon & Tiptree at Mayesbrook Park on Saturday (3pm) as they look to remain in the leading pack in the Bostik North table.

Gardner’s men have a tricky run up until the festive period as they take on Maldon, Hornchurch and Heybridge Swifts in their next three matches and the boss believes it will be a dream if they remain where they are.

“The next three or four games coming up are very tough and if we can stay where we are in the table, we’ll be massively over achieving,” he said.

“That will be a dream as everyone at the club right now is already buzzing. We have come into the league and in our first season we have gone on a long unbeaten run, but I have said to the players nothing is won or finished in November or December.”

The manager had praise for Maldon’s Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and says Barking will be doing more homework on their opponents ahead of the clash.

“We had someone watch them last week and I will be getting more reports on them ahead of the match,” added Gardner.

“The top scorer in the league plays for Maldon and he is one of my former players as well, so I know a lot about him. He already has 21 goals this season and is in really good form.”

Gardner is excited for the weekend’s match as he feels it will be a battle of fitness between the two sides, adding: “It will be an interesting game as I feel we’re one of the fittest teams in the league and we want to test ourselves against the fittest team in the league and see how we make out.

“It’s also a great challenge for us as they’re one of the teams who are favourites for the play-offs and the league.”

The former Aveley and Billericay Town boss also revealed Maldon are a hard team to judge as they use a lot of Colchester youngsters in their squad.

“I know Junior and Matt Lock, their skipper, but I don’t know too many of their players, and it’s difficult to judge them as they can bring in some Colchester under-23s and I don’t know muich about them,” he said.

Barking, at home to Brentwood last night (Tuesday), travel to Hornchurch next Tuesday.

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