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Barking boss Gardner claims Guernsey are unknown side ahead of big FA Trophy date

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 October 2019

Michael Dixon shields the ball

Michael Dixon shields the ball

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Barking manager Justin Gardner has admitted Guernsey are an unknown ahead of their FA Trophy clash.

Jordan Peart attacks (pic Terry Gilbert)Jordan Peart attacks (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will welcome The Green Lions to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday for an early kick-off (1.30pm) in their preliminary round tie.

There is £2,250 up for grabs in prize money as well as a place in the first qualifying round, but the losers will still bag £750.

"They beat VCD Athletic 3-1 in the league and they're in good form as I think they're in the play-off places at the moment," said Gardner.

"By no means is it going to be easy as you're basically playing against a country because there is no one around them and any players they sign are not going to go to another club.

"I've never played against Guernsey, don't know much about them, but I will get a report on them. The things I've heard so far about them is good, but they're an unknown, and I'm not sure if they will have had us watched."

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Gardner says an early kick-off could potentially play into their opponent's hands as it is an usual time for away matches to be played for them due to the travel.

"It's a 1.30pm kick-off so that will play in their hands as they're used to playing in those early kick-offs when they come over," he added.

"We're going to have to be mentally strong and prepared to adapt to the situation. We're at home and apart from Waltham Abbey, we're undefeated at home, even Waltham Abbey was an individual error, there is nothing we can do about that."

Guernsey have former Southampton midfielder Matt Le Tissier as club chairman and general manager and will be determined to progress and extend their five-game unbeaten run.

But Gardner is pleased with the make up of his squad now after recent changes, adding: "When I signed Junior Dadson this is what I knew I was going to get, he's not doing anything that is surprising me, and to be honest I don't even think he's fully fit yet.

"He's in good form, so long may it continue. It's just a shame as if he was fully fit at the start of the season I'm sure we would've picked up more results.

"It's not just him, though, as Michael Dixon has come in and been massive for us, Sheri (Artmeladze) as well. Johnny Ashman has been outstanding for us and then we have the unsung heroes like Abs Seymour and Sam Owusu who put their bodies on the line for the team."

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