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Barking boss Gardner pleased with strong start and defensive efforts

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 December 2018

Barking's Darelle Russell chases a lost cause against Grays (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Darelle Russell chases a lost cause against Grays (pic Terry Gilbert)

Archant

Barking boss Justin Gardner says his side came out firing in the first-half of their 2-1 win over in-form Grays Athletic - despite a late line-up reshuffle.

Jordan Peart sets up Barking's second goal (pic Terry Gilbert)Jordan Peart sets up Barking's second goal (pic Terry Gilbert)

Having beaten Essex Senior League side Tower Hamlets 4-0 in the London Senior Cup in midweek, Gardner made three changes to his starting line-up, as Ricky Tarbard, Chinedu Osadebe and Ola Ogunwamide came in for Jack McQueen, Rashid Kamara and Gary Cohen.

Goals from Darelle Russell and Ola Ogunwamide sealed the three points for the Blues at Mayesbrook Park.

“Grays were the most in-form team in the league and their manager got the manager of the month award.

“If I’m honest we played well first-half and then played well second-half.

“We had a few players pull out the night before so we had to reshuffle the squad a little as I picked it after training Thursday.

“But for some reason we started like a house on fire, Chinedu came in for his debut and set the tempo.”

He praised the goals from Russell and Ogunwamide during the clash and was pleased with keeper Tim Brown again this week.

“Darelle scored a very good goal to take us into the break 1-0 up.

“Our goalkeeper did have to pull off a save he should never have made in the first-half.

“Our second goal was against the run of play, Jordan Peart broke and no one can stop him once he gets going due to his pace.

“Ola was in the box to give us the two goal lead which was needed and made me feel a lot safer.”

The former Billericay Town boss praised his side’s defensive efforts and revealed he has never seen so many corners and throw ins in a match.

“I think it was the most throw ins and corners I’ve ever seen in a match – I think they 20 odd corners and 15 throw ins and if I’m honest that looked to be the only way they were going to score.

“We were in open play and defended really well.

“Tim Brown got man of the match as he was bombarded but all of the defenders could have been given it as we defended so well.”

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