Essex Senior League: Barkingside boss Gursel Gulfer confident of success at Basildon United even without Luke With

PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 September 2016

Barkingside manager Gursel Gulfer (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Barkingside manager Gursel Gulfer (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Side manager says he still has enough talent to down Bees with key striker suspended

Barkingside boss Gursel Gulfer says he may have to alter his style of play against Basildon United in the Essex Senior League on Saturday with Luke With set to start a two-game ban.

The tall striker was sent off for the second time this season after picking up two yellow cards against Waltham Forest last month.

Because it was his second dismissal, it means With will mean two games rather than the standard one-match ban that usual follows a sending off for two bookable offences.

It leaves Gulfer with a bit of a selection dilemma ahead of the trip to the Stuart Bingham Stadium on Saturday, with Basildon’s ground named in honour of the 2015 World Snooker Champion.

But the Side boss is confident his team will still have enough quality to pocket a victory over last season’s runners-up.

“With Luke out, we’ll probably change to a 4-5-1 formation which means we should keep the ball well and we want to keep it for longer periods,” said Gulfer.

“Even without Luke, we’ve still got some good players in the squad to cause Basildon probelms.

“Luke is a bit fiery, but he is a gentle giant in my eyes. He has let us down a little with his dismissals, though, and when he’s on the pitch we always have a chance.”

Including the trip to Basildon, Barkingside’s next four games all come against teams who finished in the top eight of the division last season, with the match against Ilford on September 19 their only home fixture in that time.

Side are on the road to Wadham Lodge next Wednesday before visiting London Bari on September 17, and Gulfer knows the Cricklefields club face an important run of games.

“All of our next four games are big games and we’re targeting four wins from them,” he added.

“As I’ve said all along, if we can be in and around the top five of the table by Christmas, I’ll be happy.

“I’ll be honest and admit I thought this league would be easier than it’s been, but there are a lot of strong sides in the division this year.”

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