Barking boss Gardner expects tough Tilbury test

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 February 2019

Barking manager Justin Gardner (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Barking manager Justin Gardner (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Barking manager Justin Gardner is expecting a tough test when they come up against in-form Tilbury.

The Blues head to Chadfields this evening (7.45pm) as they look to build on their 1-1 draw with title challengers Aveley last week.

And the 38-year-old is hoping the fixture goes ahead after having their clash with Great Wakering Rovers postponed on the weekend.

“Let’s just hope it goes ahead, which I think it should do,” Gardner said.

“It will be a tough game as they had a tremendous result on Saturday, they had a man sent off in the 60th minute and still won the game 2-0 against Witham.

“They’ve got a good squad Tilbury, it will be a very tough game for us, and they’re one of the hardest working teams so we will have to match that or give more.

“My scout was watching them on Saturday so I’ve got a good report on them.”

The Dockers sealed a 1-0 win over Barking thanks to a 10th minute strike from Tom Anderson at Mayesbrook Park in September.

But the former Aveley manager believes it’s not going to be a similar as their opponents have since changed management with Marc Harrison replacing former Leyton Orient player Joe Keith.

“They beat us at our ground earlier in the season by a goalkeeping area for a 30 to 40 yard shot.

“It’s now a different manager, but a very similar squad, except for them adding one or two.

“I know their team; the only things we’ve got to deal with are their threat from set pieces and throw ins, that’s something the new manager has brought in.”

He did admit his side will have to be wary of league’s leading goal scorer Lewis Smith but also the other threats they pose in their squad.

“Lewis is a very good player, no surprise he’s up there in the goal scoring charts, and so he should be as he’s come down from East Thurrock.

“It’s not just him they’ve got Mitchell Gilbey and George Sykes, so it’s more about concentrating as a team rather than worrying about one individual.”

Gardner also revealed although frustrating, it was the right decision to call off their game against Rovers at Mayesbrook Park on Saturday.

“It’s very frustrating, but there is nothing you can do, as I think that’s the first time a game at Barking has been off since I’ve been there.

“I understand it because there was some frozen parts and if we did manage to recover it, we would have had to put hours of work in and potentially ruin the pitch, so it was probably the best decision.”

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