I think if we get our top 11-12 players out on the pitch we can give anyone a game, says Bearsted assistant manager Andy Gardiner
BEARSTED assistant manager Andy Gardiner says his side can challenge if they can keep their main players on the pitch.
The injury-hit Bears were dumped out of the Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup in the Second Round on Monday night.
They were playing well and deserved their 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes courtesy of goals from Lucian Scarlat and an own-goal from Mudiaga Wanogho, who gave hosts Sporting Club Thamesmead a lifeline by scoring just 107 seconds later.
Lee Hill’s side put in a much better performance in the second half, grabbing the victory courtesy of goals from Ismail Ismail and Josh Patrick’s 21st goal of the season.
It was a shock, considering that Sporting Club Thamesmead went into the game in eleventh-place in the First Division table, while Kevin Stevens’ side were in the top six in the Premier.
“We are what we are, we’re not a big club with a big budget, said Gardiner.
“We went on a bad run but the last couple of games we’ve played teams in and around us and we’ve beaten them and that’s what we have to do.”
Bearsted are only four points adrift of league leaders Sevenoaks Town but Micky Collins’ side have six games in hand.
“I’m not saying we can beat Sevenoaks or Crowborough, I think if we get our top 11-12 players out on the pitch we can give anyone a game,” said Gardiner.
“It’s just difficult sometimes with injuries. We haven’t got a big squad but the quality in depth is very difficult to get when you’ve got no budget, we have to get what we can.”
Bearsted travel to fourteenth-placed Erith Town on Saturday and Gardiner is keen for his side to bounce back from their shock defeat at Bayliss Avenue.
“They’ve had a few decent results lately haven’t they so they’re picking up,” he said.
“I looked at the results on Saturday, some even went the opposite way to what I thought. I think we’re good enough to beat most teams when we’ve got our first 11, 12, 13 players out but when we’ve got a few injuries and we’ve got people coming back from injuries, yes we can struggle.”
Dockers manager Adam Woodward saw his side avoid slipping up on a potential banana skin as Erith Town came away from First Division side Erith & Belvedere with a 2-0 win in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round last Sunday.
“We’ll go out like any other game we go into and prepare. Our scout will go and do his research on them and we’ll have a report in and we’ll work on how they play and how we can try to get three points,” said Woodward.
“I think we’re in a false position. For a club to have six centre halves out at one stage, we’ve still got a long lost of injuries.
“These boys have stuck together, they’re working hard for one another. We’ve had some good wins recently away from home and we’ll just keep trying and trying and see how far up we can finish up the league.”
Erith Town have picked up 19 points from their 14 games and are 13 points clear of the relegation zone, currently occupied by struggling Medway outfits Rochester United and Hollands & Blair.
Visit Erith Town’s website: www.erithtown.co.uk
Visit Bearsted’s website: www.bearstedfc.co.uk
Erith Town v Bearsted
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 2nd December 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN