Barking boss Gardner always confident his side would seal Romford victory

James Folkes, Charlie MacDonald and Daniel McCullock congratulate the scorer Elliot Omozusi

James Folkes, Charlie MacDonald and Daniel McCullock congratulate the scorer Elliot Omozusi - Credit: Terry Gilbert

Barking manager Justin Gardner always felt confident his side would be able to seal the victory as they beat local rivals Romford 3-2. 

A brace from George Purcell and a beautiful strike from Charlie MacDonald sealed the three points for the Blues despite Romford going 2-0 up thanks to Billy Hayes and Usoman Tunkara at Mayesbrook Park.   

“I was letting them know at half-time that we were really shocking first-half and I said to them it reminded me of the Ilford game where I didn’t think they had more quality than us, but I did think they had more work rate, being clever and trying to capitalise on any mistake that we made. 

“They set themselves out quite well first-half their management team, so credit to them, and I just said to them we’ve got to match what they’re doing and be as cute as them. Move the ball quicker. 

“I felt first-half it was too slow, too laboured, and if we move it quickly they’re not going to be able to live with our clever players at the top end of the pitch. 

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“When we came out second-half, I thought Jesus Christ, they’ve not took anything on board as Romford scored straight away to make it 2-0. 

“What I started to notice is that a lot of the Romford players were starting to get cramp and they look like they were tiring. I was quite calm at that stage as I know how fit my players are and how hard I worked them in pre-season. 

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“Once we got one, I did think we’d get an equaliser, then we got that, and then I asked the referee how long was left and I thought we can win this. 

“What a goal to finish it from Charlie MacDonald, outstanding. That goal would grace the Premier League. Volley touch top bins through the laces, fantastic, and also credit to George Purcell. I don’t think he had a great game today (Monday), but he’s came away with two goals and got us back in it.” 

The match was stopped early in the 91st minute after an accidental collision left Romford goalkeeper Carlos Simeon requiring treatment on a head injury with the paramedics and ambulance being called out.   

“That’s something you don’t want to see in football, I would like to wish the goalkeeper at Romford a speedy recovery, and hope that all of his loved one are around him. It’s a nasty head injury.  

“What I wish for him is first and foremost that he is healthy, secondly if we see him back on the football pitch, and if it’s against us we’ll be giving him a massive round of applause. 

“It was an accident. I wish him a speedy recovery.” 

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