Barking boss Gardner expecting tough encounter against Dynan’s South Park

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 March 2020

Barking manager Justin Gardner is expecting a tough test against opposite number Martin Dynan when they face South Park this weekend.

The Blues are set to welcome The Sparks to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday as they return to action after having their fixture at Chertsey Town postponed last weekend due to a waterlogged pitch following Storm Jorge.

And Gardner knows it will be tougher than a standard fixture due to knowing Park manager Dynan and his players very well.

"As all games are it's going to be a difficult encounter, especially as we know their manager and team very well, and they know us well," Gardner said.

"All of South Park's games recently, whether they've won or lost, have only had one or two goals in it and have been real tight affairs.

"When we played them last time their new manager had only just taken over but actually wasn't present at the game as he had prior engagements, so it wasn't really his team.

"I'm sure he will be keen to show us this is his team and it will be a stern test for us."

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The former Aveley manager knows tactics will be crucial for this contest and whoever get them right will most likely come out on top.

"It's all about who get their tactics right and what players turn up," he added.

"I'd rather play against people I don't know anything about as you just turn up and concentrate on what you need to do, whereas when you know the opposition you've got to be respectful of what they can do."

Gardner also revealed he expected last weekend's clash to be postponed so was prepared as they played a friendly against Canvey Island which they lost 5-1.

He said: "To be fair it was to be expected. I had already planned a few days ahead that it wasn't going to be on and no problem with that as only four games across the Isthmian League were on at our level.

"It was no surprise, but it's frustrating as now we've got to travel 60 miles on a Tuesday evening.

"We haven't got too many midweek, just the two from cancellations, unless we have any more, but it does give the home team an advantage as we have to travel to them on a Tuesday night, so we all have to take some time off which some might not.

"It's part and parcel of this level of football, though."

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