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Barking boss Gardner says confidence is high ahead of clash with leaders Hanwell

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 December 2019

Sherri Artmeladze turns away from an opponent (pic Terry Gilbert)

Sherri Artmeladze turns away from an opponent (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner insists they're confident heading into their clash with league leaders Hanwell Town this weekend.

Jack Hayes clears the ball (pic Terry Gilbert)Jack Hayes clears the ball (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will make the trip to Reynolds Field on Saturday as they look to cause an upset and extend their five-game winning run in the Isthmian League South Central.

The Geordies have only lost once so far this season while picking up nine wins and five draws to leave them sitting top by three points.

"I think they've only lost once all season if I'm not mistaken, so it's going to be a hard game," Gardner said.

"I've heard they've got a nice pitch so hopefully that will suit us but it's going to be a real test as I think the last time we played a team right at the top was Westfield.

"We're confident at the moment. As much as we'll be preparing and worrying about them, I'm sure they'll be preparing and worrying about us."

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Gardner says the amount of goals they've scored this season should also give them confidence against any team they face.

"We've scored almost 60 goals already," he added. "I'd like us to go about our business quietly, but unfortunately when you're scoring goals that stands out.

"We're plodding along nicely, so long may it continue."

Barking will be hoping attacker Junior Dadson will be back to full fitness after remaining on the bench for their 2-1 victory at Chipstead last weekend with a knock he picked up in a Velocity Trophy clash last midweek.

Shermandin Artmeladze stepped in to replace him and Gardner believes that just shows the strength in depth among the small squad they have on the books.

"All over the pitch, it's a small squad in terms of 18 players, but two or three players can play three or four positions so it makes us like 20-22 players really," he said.

"We've been calling on under-23s as well which is good. Dadson was on the bench Saturday, there was no chance of playing. If we needed a goal, though, we could have risked him.

"Sheri is still rusty, it's going to take him a few weeks to get back to his best, but he got through 75 minutes."

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