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Barkingside assistant Leon Lewis expects tough test against neighbours Ilford

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 October 2017

Barkingside manager Michael Walther (left) and assistant Leon Lewis (centre)

Barkingside manager Michael Walther (left) and assistant Leon Lewis (centre)

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Barkingside assistant manager Leon Lewis expects a tough test against neighbours and rivals Ilford this weekend.

Michael Walther’s men host the Foxes at Cricklefield Stadium, which the teams share, on Saturday and will be looking to get their league form back on track after winning one in their last four matches.

“We’re expecting a tough game on Saturday,” said Lewis. “Rival matches are always heated, we’ll try not to get caught up in that. I’ll be telling the lads to play the game not the occasion.”

Lewis revealed they know what Allan Fenn’s men have to offer, but the main focus is themselves and he also expects a bumper crowd, adding: “We know a bit about them but we’ll be focusing on ourselves and how we play.

“I’m sure the fan base will be bigger than usual due to the occasion as well.”

Barkingside suffered a 3-1 defeat to Enfield at the Harlow Arena on Saturday.

The visitors took an early lead on two minutes through Jayden Mitchell-Brown but saw the hosts level seven minutes later through Dan Jones before Trivanhu netted on 16 minutes to put the home side ahead.

Seven minutes before the break it was three for the hosts when O’Brien netted.

“There were some positives and egatives, but we’ll sit down and study the match in order to see what we can learn from it,” said Lewis.

The two sides met again on Monday evening in the Errington Challenge Cup and drew 2-2, with Barkingside winning 4-3 on penalties.

The hosts got off to a flying start as striker Charlie Little netted the opener in the first 25 seconds of the match and it looked like it could have been a repeat of the weekend’s match as Jones netted an equaliser 22 minutes later.

Tony Cookey put his side back in front just after the break, but it wasn’t enough as Josh Sykes equalised in the 64th minute to take the game to a shoot-out and Lewis admitted it was great for his side to respond.

“I’m pleased with the way the team responded as quick as they did and hopefully we can keep up the momentum against our Crickelfield rivals,” he said.


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