Trophy a welcome distraction for Barkingside and Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 October 2015

Barkingside manager Gus Gulfer (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Barkingside manager Gus Gulfer (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

Clubs look to put league troubles behind them with good run in cup

Redbridge joint managers Dave Ross and Ricky Eaton (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Redbridge joint managers Dave Ross and Ricky Eaton (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

With both Barkingside and Redbridge struggling to move up the Ryman North standings, the FA Trophy is likely to provide a welcome distraction with both in cup action this weekend.

Side will not be able to forget their league woes all that easily, though, as they travel to face divisional rivals Tilbury.

It means the fear of the unknown has been eradicated for Barkingside boss Gursel Gulfer.

And with £2,500 on offer for the victor of the preliminary round tie, Gulfer insists his team will be going all out to book their spot in the next round.

“It doesn’t bother me who we play from this league. No one in the Ryman North scares me and if they did, then I might as well stay at home,” he said.

Gulfer has been a busy man in recent weeks as he continues to add to his ever-growing squad at Cricklefield Stadium.

But the club have suffered something of an injury crisis at the back, with Danny Hayes the latest addition to a list that seems to be getting longer by the week.

Centre back in particular looks light for the club and Gulfer says he is working hard to bring in more players in that position.

“I’ve spoken to one centre back at East Grinstead, but they are unable to release him so we will have to put in a seven-day request,” added Gulfer.

“We have been speaking to another centre back as well and hopefully he will be signed up in time for Saturday.”

After a 4-0 loss at Cheshunt on Tuesday, Side were 18th after 12 games and could have dropped further last night. But despite their sluggish start this season, Gulfer insists they can still have a successful year.

“I’m still sure we’ll be all right this season, I’m not too downbeat yet. We’re still trying to improve the team and have a good little squad here,” he said.

“Centre back has been a problem for us ever since I took the job and I’m hopeful that we can shore it up soon. We’re on schedule with where I want us to be. My job is to finish fourth bottom, but I’d love to finish top of the bottom half.”

Redbridge face a trip to Arlesey Town as they look to progress to the FA Trophy first qualifying round.

The touchline looks set to be packed at Hitchin Road as, like the Motormen, the Blues have joint-managers in brothers Zema and Nathan Abbey.

After relegation to Southern League Division One Central last year, the Bedfordshire club have started poorly, with both of their wins coming on the road.

Meanwhile, Redbridge warmed up for the tie with an 11th straight defeat, losing 4-1 at Tilbury on Tuesday.

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