Gulfer confident Hornchurch will find Barkingside tougher

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 November 2015

Barkingside manager Gus Gulfer looks on at Cricklefield Stadium (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Barkingside manager Gus Gulfer looks on at Cricklefield Stadium (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Side prepare to host Urchins after encouraging display in Essex Senior Cup this week

Barkingside may have lost 9-0 and 5-1 to Hornchurch already this season, but manager Gursel Gulfer is certain when they face each other again this weekend that the final result will be a lot closer.

Side will welcome the Urchins to Cricklefield Stadium for a crucial match in the Ryman North.

They have poor form against the visitors, but the heavier loss in the Ryman League Cup earlier this season did feature a Barkingside team full of reserves and trialists.

And in the four-goal reverse at Bridge Avenue in September, Gulfer’s men had lots of chances, but just failed to take them.

When the two sides meet for the third time on Saturday, a much closer encounter is expected with the home side confident about their chances.

“The last time we played them we lost 5-1, but it was never a 5-1 game,” said Gulfer.

“At 3-1 we had chances and I don’t think it will finish 5-1 again on Saturday. It will be a lot tougher for Hornchurch.

“I’m optimistic about our chances. I’m happy, we may be 20th in the table, but I believe the squad we have this season is better than what was here last year.”

Barkingside enter this weekend’s match with confidence after coming close to causing a cup shock against Chelmsford City on Monday.

Side and the National League South outfit drew 1-1 in the Essex Senior Cup tie after a goal from Tyrone Scarlett and penalties were required to separate them.

Unfortunately, the Clarets edged the shoot-out 5-3 to progress into the fourth round, but Gulfer could take plenty of positives from the match.

He added: “Playing Chelmsford might have done us a favour because hopefully we can think we just played a side two divisions above us and only went out on penalties, so what have we got to be scared of in our league?

“We have got a hard rest of the month coming up because we play Hornchurch, Aveley and then Thurrock, but all three of those games are at our home ground.

“They won’t want to come here because you can’t play football at Cricklefield, so that is going to be a real leveller for us.”

Barkingside needed a strong performance against Chelmsford after disappointing their manager at Bury Town last weekend.

Side made the long trip to Ram Meadow, but things didn’t go to plan and they eventually returned home following a 4-1 defeat.

“We got there, went in the dressing room and it was honestly like a sauna,” added Gulfer.

“I think they did it on purpose, so I was complaining, but we went out on to the pitch and we were asleep.

“After 20 minutes we were two goals down and at half time I said to the boys ‘put that 45 minutes behind us because it is probably the worst performance we have put in since I have been at the club’.

“But two minutes after kicking-off for the second half we conceded a penalty.

“We managed to concede another after that so we were 4-0 down, but after pulling one back we were magnificent for the remaining 25 minutes.”

Kaymar Salmon managed to grab a consolation goal for Barkingside, but overall it was a frustrating afternoon.

Gulfer added: “I said after the match we have to forget about the Bury defeat now and put it right on Monday against Chelmsford and that is exactly what we did.”

A repeat performance this weekend and Side and their boss will be even more positive.

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