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Barking boss Gardner has pin-pointed Romford as their toughest match

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 February 2018

Barking striker Izzy Bademosi heads for goal against Bury Town (Pic; Terry Gilbert)

Barking striker Izzy Bademosi heads for goal against Bury Town (Pic; Terry Gilbert)

Archant

Barking manager Justin Gardner has pin-pointed Romford as their toughest match of the season.

The Blues travel to struggling Boro at Ship Lane on Saturday (3pm) as they look to extend their four-game unbeaten run.

Gardner’s men currently sit eighth in the Bostik North table, but they will not be expecting an easy ride against Paul Martin’s men.

“As I say to anyone Romford is the toughest game of the season for me, always has been and always will be,” said Gardner.

“They have nothing to lose and it’s the only game we go into as favourites and are expected to win.

“I would rather play Hornchurch, Bowers & Pitsea or Canvey Island any day of the week.”

The former Aveley and Billericay Town manager praised Romford and how they operate without a budget.

“They have fewer resources than us and I think we probably have the second least in the league,” Gardner said.

“I spoke to a player this week who is earning £450 a week in this league, my resources are £550 a week for the whole team, Romford and ‘Magic’ have nothing to work with.

“If he keeps them up this season it will be the greatest achievement as the finances in the league are ridiculous this year.”

Boro captain Michael Finneran left to join Grays Athletic this week but Gardner praised the move to bring in Aaron Waters from Tilbury.

“They lost their captain to Grays this week, but then signed Aaron Waters, who is more experienced,” Gardner said.

He also praised their opponents work rate and admits his Barking side must match it or they will come unstuck this weekend.

“Their winger Jonathan Nzengo, who has eight goals this season, is a livewire on his day,” he added.

“No disrespect to Romford and their players but it doesn’t matter who ‘Magic’ plays or picks – they’ll always give 110 per cent for him.

“We must prepare like we would any other game, we must match their work rate, otherwise we’ll lose the match.”

The Blues signed striker Kemo Darboe from Bostik South outfit VCD Athletic this week after experienced front man Martin Tuohy left the club to join Canvey Island.

Darboe scored on his debut as the Blues won 3-1 at home to Bury Town on the weekend.

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