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Goalkeepers were stars of the show says Barking boss Gardner

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 October 2019

Montel Joseph helps the ball over the crossbar (pic Terry Gilbert)

Montel Joseph helps the ball over the crossbar (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Barking manager Justin Gardner praised both sides' goalkeepers as the stars of the show as they drew 0-0 with Margate in the FA Trophy.

Joseph Tupper keeps out Michael Dixon (pic Terry Gilbert)Joseph Tupper keeps out Michael Dixon (pic Terry Gilbert)

The Blues will now have to make the trip down to Hartsdown Park on Tuesday evening for a replay of their first round qualifying tie.

But the boss was pleased with his squad's strong efforts to hold the Isthmian Premier Division outfit.

"It's a really good result against an Isthmian Premier team that are managed by a manager I rate really highly in Jay Saunders.

"He not so long ago was linked with a League Two job when he was at Maidstone, so to come up against him and test my wits against him was pleasing.

Montel Joseph makes one of many excellent saves (pic Terry Gilbert)Montel Joseph makes one of many excellent saves (pic Terry Gilbert)

"I think we more than held our own and in actual fact we probably had the better chances in terms of chances created.

"I think both goalkeepers were the stars of the show, their goalkeeper pulled off two or three outstanding saves, that he had no right to save and Montel made two great saves as well to prevent them from scoring."

The former Aveley boss was quick to praise his team's defensive effort but feels it's now even more of an uphill task.

"It was a day for defence and as a whole we defended really well as a team and we created chances so it was a pleasing performance.

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"The only reason we went away disappointed was because we didn't take our chances to kill the game off on Saturday as in hindsight it was our best opportunity to win the tie.

"Even though they were favourites going into the game we had the advantage of it being our home ground.

"Now we've got to go to Margate which is an 80-mile trip and we'll struggle to get everyone there from work, so our chances of winning the tie are probably gone now, and I think it is now a real mammoth task."

He added: "If it was on a Saturday we'd have more of a chance but just getting there on a Tuesday for any of us is going to be a struggle.

"Our preparations could be hampered.

"We'll go there and give our all like we always do, and hope we catch Margate on a bad day."

Gardner knows Saunders will expect more from his Margate side in the replay.

"I listened to an interview from Jay on Saturday and he thinks his team can't play as poor as he felt they did on Saturday.

"I don't think he was having a pop at us, he praised us, but he is expecting his team with well established to see off a small team like Barking.

"He'll be pretty confident of getting a response from his players."

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