Blues boss Gardner feels his side owe Felixstowe for their easy victory at Mayesbrook
PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 February 2019
Manager Justin Gardner wants his side to show Felixstowe & Walton United what Barking can actually offer in the Bostik North.
The Blues are seto to head to Dellwood Avenue on Saturday as they look to get their own back on The Seasiders after falling to a 4-2 defeat at Mayesbrook Park earlier this campaign.
Gardner’s side found themselves 3-0 down after just 29 minutes in that fixture and although they pulled two goals back they fell short as Ian Watson’s side netted another late on.
“Felixstowe and Dereham are the only teams that have beaten us quite comfortably really,” said the former Billericay Town boss.
“I think we owe ourselves to show Felixstowe that we’re a better team than the one they easily beat at our ground.
“They found themselves 3-0 up after 20 minutes, so they’re licking their lips thinking it’s going to be a nice easy three points for them this weekend.
“We managed to get two goals to get back into the game but it was obviously an uphill task being 3-0 down early on.
“I want us to go there, give a better account of ourselves, and show Felixstowe that we can compete at this level. They came to us and it was too easy for them.”
The 38-year-old knows it will be a tough test as The Seasiders pull in decent crowds and are a stronger team on home soil.
“Make no mistake though, I think they have 400 to 500 people at home, and they’re very strong at home,” he added.
“Our best chance to take points off them was at our ground, but that’s gone, so we’ll go there expecting a tough baptism of fire in terms of their support.”
Gardiner is keen for his side to take confidence from their 2-1 win over AFC Sudbury last weekend, when substitute Ross Elsom netted two late penalties to earn the points.
“For us to take four points off Sudbury is fantastic, there is some teams we have taken points off this season, which is outstanding achievement and they’re one of them teams,” added Gardner.
“They’re a team with a good model and that is something I hope to create at Barking with everyone behind the scenes and a manager (Mark Morsley) I highly respect. They’re a fantastic team, I feel will be one of the favourites for the league next season. I did say play-offs might be a bit soon for them this season.”