London Two North East: Steve Barfoot confident Romford & Gidea Park can beat rivals Old Cooperians to stay up
PUBLISHED: 15:00 20 April 2018
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Only a win will ensure the Crow Lane club avoid relegation, but they are positive about their chances after last weekend’s solid outing
Steve Barfoot is pleased Romford & Gidea Park hold their destiny in their own hands, but has now urged the team to deliver when it matters this weekend.
Most London Two North East clubs finished their season last Saturday, but there are two more fixtures still to be completed.
Park travel to local rivals Old Cooperians tomorrow (Saturday) knowing only a win will ensure they have beaten the drop.
It is a situation nobody at the Crow Lane club expected heading into 2018, but with one match left relegation is a real possibility.
Barfoot said: “We know what we need to do. The job is simple. We have to win the game, so let’s hope we can. We have trained well this week and the boys are up for it, so everyone is looking forward to Saturday’s match.”
There is no love lost between Park and Coopers, with the latter left frustrated when their fixture didn’t take place on March 17.
Barfoot and Jordan Wigham’s team didn’t feel the pitch was safe enough and so the fixture was postponed for a second time.
Given the sun is now shining, it will finally go ahead on Saturday and everyone at the two clubs is aware of what is at stake.
Old Cooperians would no doubt relish the chance to take Romford down to London Three level next season, but Barfoot is confident his team can handle the pressure.
He added: “We know they will be trying to send us down and we understand that. It is their last home game of the season and last game, so of course they will want to win it.
“But if we can leave everything out there and stick to the game plan, I’m confident we can get the job done.”
A win at local rivals Woodford last weekend would have been enough to guarantee survival for Park this season.
The hosts needed a victory to stay up themselves and a tense, but exciting encounter occurred at Highams.
In the end, Woodford triumphed 40-38 despite a brace from Ian Semain and further tries by Micky James, Jack Irvine and Pete O’Brien.
Winger Irvine also kicked two conversions and three penalties and Barfoot saw plenty of positives, adding: “The scoreline suggested it was an exciting game and it was.
“It was a really good game to watch. The boys stepped up and did what we asked and we managed to take two points.
“Woodford played well and they needed to win to stay up, but I felt we could have won it if we didn’t make certain mistakes. I can’t knock the boys, though, they left everything out on the pitch.”