Barkingside aiming to show they can hold a lead
PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 October 2015
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Gulfer says team won’t throw away winning position at Witham
Barkingside boss Gursel Gulfer is confident his team will be able to hang on should they take the lead at Witham Town on Saturday after two capitulations in a week.
At home to Maldon & Tiptree, Side held a two-goal lead heading into stoppage time, before drawing 2-2.
Less than two days later, Gulfer’s men were back in action at Cricklefield Stadium and were looking comfortable when leading 3-0 against Cheshunt heading into the final five minutes.
But again they threw away a winning position in a crazy end to the match where Cheshunt even missed a chance to win.
While Barkingside are still three points and four places above the relegation zone early into the season, moments like these could come back to haunt teams.
Gulfer is likely to be working his men hard this weekend for the trip to Spa Road to ensure they do not throw away another lead.
And the Barkingside manager admits throwing away comfortable leads in quick succession is a new scenario for him, despite a long career in the game.
“I’ve never experienced this before as player or a manaager. You never know what might happen in football, but that’s why we love it,” he said.
“The players are fuming after the last week, but I keep telling them they have to move on and forget about it.
“On the bright side, we haven’t lost in our last two league games, but we know we should be further up the table than we are.
“We are still near the bottom, but we are gaining a lot of friends for the way we are playing and I’m happy with the displays. I know I’ve got a good squad here.”
Saturday’s opponents Witham have been struggling in the Ryman North following their relegation last season.
They head into this weekend’s match just one point and one place behind Barkingside as both teams look to pull themselves up the standings.
And while the season is just over two months old, Gulfer believes the outcome of this fixture could be crucial come the end of the campaign.
“I think it could be a six-pointer for both teams on Saturday because both will be looking to finish around mid-table,” he added.
“Witham lost a lot of players in the summer and aren’t the force they were a few years ago when they won promotion to the Ryman Premier.
“We won’t take them lightly and I’m confident we can take a win that will give us confidence heading into out game at Great Wakering Rovers on Tuesday.
“I’m expecting by this time next week we have two more wins to our name and that we have moved up the table.”
For Barkingside to achieve that target, Gulfer will be hoping his team can hang on to leads better than they have been.
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