Pitch issues won’t hit Barkingside’s promotion plan
THE PLAYING surface at Oakside is set for much-needed maintenance work in the summer, but Barkingside manager Tony Fenn is confident the troublesome pitch will not hamper his side’s promotion bid.
Side climbed to sixth in the Essex Senior League with a 2-1 win over Burnham Ramblers on Saturday and they have now won three of their last four games.
Alf Dickinson gave Fenn’s team the lead midway through the first half, but Danny Pitts levelled from the penalty spot after 74 minutes.
The game looked destined for a draw until Danny Saborache’s 94th minute penalty handed Side maximum points.
Barkingside’s momentum was halted after Monday night’s game with Mauritius Sports was postponed and tonight’s (Thursday) planned clash with Barking is also off, but the Side boss is confident his team will not suffer as a result of problems with their home surface.
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“The pitch is in a bit of a state at the moment, but realistically we could do with a rest anyway as we have had lots of games in the last month,” said Fenn.
“It’s given the players a chance to freshen up, so I’m not worried. Unless we’re playing three times a week come the end of the season it shouldn’t be a problem, we have a strong squad and they are more than capable of coping.
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“We are always trying to better ourselves and the Ryman League is of a better standard, so our target is still promotion.
“There are plans in place in the summer to improve the pitch. They are going to improve the drainage system.
“It’s a bit of a funny one, the pitch was built after the war using some of the rubble and if we get heavy rain some of the stone starts to come through. It needs improving as it’s a bit of a hindrance at the moment.”
Barkingside will hope the pitch improves sufficiently for Saturday’s game with Bowers & Pitsea to go ahead.
They then host Sawbridgeworth Town on Monday night, before making the trip for a return match with Bowers & Pitsea on Wednesday, but Fenn insists his team are just taking things game by game.
“I am not looking too far ahead, we just take each match as it comes,” he said.
“Bowers aren’t a bad side, but they’ve not had the best run and are maybe a bit lower down than they should be.
“They beat us 2-0 in the Essex Cup, so they’ll give us a tough couple of games.
“There are no easy games in the Essex Senior League and we’ve got to be on our toes. We’re looking to win our home games take a point away with maybe a few bonus wins here and there.”