Barking are a decent side and I’m not being fooled by their league position in recent weeks and inconsistency seems to be the problem for both sides, says Sittingbourne boss Darren Blackburn

Friday 30th October 2020

SITTINGBOURNE manager Darren Blackburn says his side will give it their all to beat Barking in The FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round tomorrow.

The Brickies are sitting in the bottom three in the Isthmian League South East Division table with four points from their five league outings, while Justin Gardner’s side are in fourteenth-place in the Isthmian League South Central Division table with seven points from six games.

“We’re looking forward to a break away from the league and the excitement that comes with a cup game,” said Blackburn.

“Fans told me last week, it’s the furthest the club has been in the competition for many years, so it would be great to make progress into one more round for them.

“I was interested in a couple of Barking’s players during the summer and watched numerous videos on them but at the time other options came along and I just decided to go with those, so at least I know a little about one or two.

“Barking are a decent side and I’m not being fooled by their league position in recent weeks. They’ve had a similar start to the season to us looking at results and their league position, inconsistency seems to be the problem for both sides and we’re both at the same league status, hence they’re aren’t really any favourites going into this one.

“They’ve had a couple of wins on the bounce and a great result on paper last time out in the league, so it’ll be another tough game and we’ll need to be at our best. We’ll need to compete as I know we can and then we’ll see where that takes us.

“We lost two players to injury in the game last week, Johan Caney-Bryan has an ankle injury and Jimmy Witt has a hairline fracture in his foot, so we may be a little light on numbers, but we have enough to cope.

“Our preparation hasn't been great this week, we were on the wrong end of a very debatable penalty decision last Saturday and unfortunately due to the Hythe game not being fulfilled last minute, we didn't train on Tuesday and we only get an hour on Thursday evenings. They'll be no excuses come Saturday though, the lads need to be up for this and raise their game and be more consistent, stick together and believe in one another, it's a cup game so anything can happen.

“We'll give it our all and hopefully do the club and the fans proud again.”

Barking beat Waltham Abbey 3-0 on their new artificial pitch at Mayesbrook Park last weekend, while Sittingbourne went down to a 3-2 home defeat to Whyteleafe and their game at Hythe Town on Tuesday night was postponed due to one Hythe player getting a positive Covid-19 test at his workplace.

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Barking v Sittingbourne
The Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
Saturday 31 October 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Mayesbrook Park, Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, Essex RM8 2JR