Barking boss Gardner over the moon to progress in Velocity Trophy
PUBLISHED: 11:00 28 November 2019
Barking manager Justin Gardner was over the moon to progress into the knock-out stages of the Velocity Trophy despite losing 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out to Romford.
They played out a goalless draw before the shoot-out in a match where both outfit rotated their squads to hand player's chances especially the Blues who left out seven regulars at Mayesbrook Park.
Gardner's men finished the group stages with four wins and one penalty shoot-out loss to progress into the next round where they will face Isthmian Premier outfit Cheshunt.
"I'm happy because I've managed to utilise the squad, I left seven players out today (Wednesday), so for me it couldn't have gone any better apart from winning.
"We've progressed in the cup and I've managed to rest people that have been playing a lot of minutes as we have a big league game on Saturday.
"I'm over the moon."
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The former Billericay Town manager revealed it was good for him to see a number of different players feature as he believes they will all be needed this campaign as they remain in a number of cup competitions.
"I'm happy with the squad, we've got competition all over, and for a small club like Barking to be able to leave seven players out and still put a team out to compete against a team with the budget of Romford's is fantastic.
"There were three or four players that needed minutes and there is a few that have been playing really well.
"As I said to the boys, we're going to need the whole squad as we're still in three cups, and obviously we're doing quite well in the league now so we need everyone pulling their weight.
"The people that played today done well and have given me a headache for Saturday."
Winger Junior Dadson was forced off through injury in the match and replaced by defender Joe Bruce in the 29th minute while Shermandin Artmeladze started the match following a long injury lay-off.
"The only bad thing from the game was will Dadson be fit for Saturday, but the plus on that is Sheri is back from his hamstring injury, he got through 45 even though the physio said he should only play 20.
"He has come through that fine so he can always step in if Dadson is not available."