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Barkingside ready for final test

Barkingside manager Matt Frew (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO) Barkingside manager Matt Frew (pic: George Phillipou/TGSPHOTO)

Dan Mobbs
Monday, August 4, 2014
4:00 PM

Grays visit in last pre-season friendly

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Barkingside’s pre-season concludes with the visit of Ryman Premier Division side Grays Athletic tonight (Monday) in a game in which the pitch could play its part according to manager Matt Frew.

Preparations for this evening’s game were hampered at the weekend after Barkingside’s game at Takeley was abandoned at half-time after the home side’s goalkeeper dislocated his knee in a freak accident.

Frew’s side were 6-0 up prior to the horrific incident and that form, coupled with a weather-affected pitch at Crickelfield, could work in their favour against opposition from the tier above.

“It’s going to be very tough because they have got some good individual players,” said Frew.

“They’re in the league above and I know a few of their players and the manager Jody Brown, so it will be interesting.

“They’re probably used to playing on flat carpet pitches, but Cricklefield at the moment is very dry and a little bit bumpy in areas.

“You can get down and play on it, but it’s not the flattest. Both teams have got to play on it, though, so it will be interesting to see how they adapt to the conditions.

“Obviously we’re used to playing on it, but for me it’s just another game in preparation for August 9 and it’s all about getting match fitness.”

A brace apiece from Steve Carvell and Jason Fontaine, followed by goals from Mo Medine and Danny Callaway, helped Barkingside to an authoritative lead at Essex Senior League Takeley before the game was abandoned moments before the break.

“I thought it was going to be one of our toughest friendlies to date,” said Frew. “I watched Takeley a number of times last season and I knew they’ve got some good players.

“I think the quality and fitness levels were above Takeley and we scored some fantastic goals and the boys ticked all the boxes. It was pleasing to watch them in the first half.”

The unfortunate injury to Takeley’s keeper halted the Sky Blues’ fitness preparations ahead of the season’s kick-off on Saturday, but Frew’s concern lay with the stricken goalkeeper.

“It was horrible really as it was 30 seconds away from the half-time whistle,” he added.

“The ball went into the box from a corner and my centre-half has gone in to win the ball with the keeper and it was the way he came down – there was no contact. It was a freak injury.

“It’s sad to see it and I don’t like to see that happen to any player.”

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