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Barking boss looks to bring in fresh blood for FA Cup tie with Saffron Walden Town

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 August 2017

Barking's Ben O'Brien heads home against Waltham Abbey (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Ben O'Brien heads home against Waltham Abbey (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking will go into their FA Cup preliminary round tie with Saffron Walden Town seeking success, while also utilising their full squad this weekend.

Barking's Alan Taylor (left) tackles a Waltham Abbey rival on the opening day of the season and netted their goal at Haringey Borough (pic Terry Gilbert)Barking's Alan Taylor (left) tackles a Waltham Abbey rival on the opening day of the season and netted their goal at Haringey Borough (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues head into the fixture off the back of a pleasing 1-1 draw at Bostik North rivals Haringey Borough in midweek, in which joint manager Justin Gardner spotted a lot of positives.

The cup tie, with £1,925 in prize money on offer to the winners, sees a change in competition for the first time this season for the Mayesbrook Park club and Gardner is seeking to make changes to the starting line-up.

He said: “Going into the game we will make changes as we want to use the squad and I am a firm believer of utilising the squad, as a squad is better than a starting 11.

“We know that Saturday won’t be an easy fixture. Saffron Walden are no mugs, they would have done their research and we will have to be up for a tough game, because it will be a tough match.

“So we will make our own rotations and utilise tactical changes in the game.”

Although changes to the line-up are expected following their first two league matches at a higher level – after last season’s Essex Senior League title triumph – the game is still very important for the club as they seek to reach the first qualifying round of the world’s most prestigious club knockout competition.

Gardner added: “The game is a massive match for the club and we hope for a repeat performance of our last game.”

Alan Taylor gave Barking the lead on Monday at Haringey, who hit back for a share of the spoils despite being reduced to 10 men.

That point came after Blues had been beaten 3-2 at home by Waltham Abbey in their opening match of the campaign, despite a goal from long-serving captain Ben O’Brien and a Billy Jones penalty.

Barking know that ongoinig success in the FA Cup will be hard and is really not expected, but manager Gardner is more than happy to take it slow.

“At the end of the day we know we are never going to win the cup. If we did, then Barking would be mental!” he added.

“For me I think it would be best that we take each game as it comes. The aim at the moment is to just make it through the first two to three matches of the competition as it does bring large revenue to the club, which is obviously nice.”


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