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Barking boss Gardner taking positives out of Marlow loss

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 August 2019

Jed Chouman keeps his eye on the ball (pic Terry Gilbert)

Jed Chouman keeps his eye on the ball (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner is looking at the positives after starting the new BetVictor Isthmian League South Central season with 3-1 defeat at Marlow.

Montel Joseph holds on at full stretch (pic Terry Gilbert)Montel Joseph holds on at full stretch (pic Terry Gilbert)

Only six minutes had been played when Ashleigh Artwell ran through the visiting defence and slotted past Montel Joseph.

And the home side doubled their lead on 12 minutes as Junaid Bell fired a superb free-kick into the top left corner of the net, to leave Blues up against it.

The visitors hit back four minutes later, though, when an inswinging corner from the right was headed back into the goalmouth at the far post and turned home by Emmanuel Ighorae.

nd the match remained in the balance until the last minute of normal time when Marlow made sure of the points with their third goal thanks to Charlie Samuel.

Barking's Jack Hayes (6) heads back across goal (pic Terry Gilbert)Barking's Jack Hayes (6) heads back across goal (pic Terry Gilbert)

"There are plenty of positives but overall not getting any points is disappointing," Gardner said.

"The disappointing thing from our aspect was the first goal, third goal I'm not too worried about as we were gambling for an equaliser.

"We even had a chance to equalise in the 88th minute through Jed Chouman, Nana Boakye-Yiadom had a few chances, Eman and Johnny Ashman had a free-kick that nearly took the crossbar off."

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The former Aveley felt after a shaky opening 16 minutes that his side were the better team.

"I think we started the game quite nervous and we had nine new players making their debuts that were a bit worrying.

"We went down 2-0 after 12 minutes, the first goal was a mistake of ours so we have to hold our hands up, the second goal the guy scored a free-kick and I'm sure he's not going to score a better goal than that in his whole career.

"Speaking to their manager they want to go for the league title this year and we got ourselves back in the game after 16 minutes.

"I felt we created a lot of chances after that and finished the first-half the stronger side, so we didn't want it to finish.

"We created five or six good opportunities from our own style of play by opening them up.

"Their goalkeeper was man of the match in my opinion."

The boss was also keen to make it known that he felt the referee gave too many soft free-kicks both ways on Saturday.

"Saying that I felt the referee was a bit soft, there were a lot of free-kicks, there was eight yellow cards and there wasn't a bad tackle in the whole game so that was for both sides."

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