Barking boss Gardner proud of his squad’s efforts in Dulwich defeat

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 January 2019

Barking manager Justin Gardner and assistant Andre Thomas look on (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Barking manager Justin Gardner and assistant Andre Thomas look on (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Barking manager Justin Gardner is proud of his squad’s effort despite crashing out of the London Senior Cup with a 3-1 loss to National League South side Dulwich Hamlet.

The Blues opened the scoring through Jack Edwards before three second-half goals including a brace from new signing Decarrey Sheriff and another from Dipo Akiyemi to seal the win for Hamlet in the quarter-final tie at Champion Hill.

And the former Billericay Town feels they defended well and created plenty of chances in the match.

“I’m very proud, we said before the game just to go out there, don’t let ourselves down and then look each other in the eyes after the game and if we can say we gave our all – it doesn’t matter about the result,” the 38-year-old said.

“We were playing a team two levels higher than us that practically train full-time, signed two players from professional football on loan before the game, so it would have been word of rover stuff if we got anything.

“Saying that on the reflection of the game, I did think we created the clearer cut chances, bit of quality in the final third then we probably would have got a couple goals.

“When you come to teams like this, any chance you create, you’ve got to take.

“If we played the way we did in our league, we would have put lots pass them.”

Gardner pin-pointed the Akinyemi goal as the only disappointing factor from his side as the striker headed home in the 46th minute.

But insists the crowd of 413 will help the Blues financial plans this term.

“I’m over the moon, the only one disappointment I have is conceding a minute into the second-half, and I heard their second goal was offside.

“Maybe a bit of quality in the final third, but that’s me being picky, I’m over the moon.

“You rarely hear that from me when we lose matches but we’re playing against a better team.

“It was an opportunity to get into a semi-final, but the picture is there was a good crowd, and we get half the gate receipt so that’s going to help the club massively.

The boss also believes it was a great day out for himself, the players and the club, and wishes their opponents good luck in the semi-final of the cup competition.

“It was a good day out, my wife came to watch, and she hasn’t come to watch a game for four years.

“There was a lot of family here, a few of my family actually support Dulwich, and they’re here every week supporting them.

“My uncle was standing by our dug-out, he is a Dulwich supporter, and he was quite impressed with us.

“Other Dulwich supporters come up to us and said 3-1 flattered them, which is nice to hear, but congratulations Dulwich and good luck in the semi-final.”

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