Essex Senior League: Barkingside manager Gursel Gulfer hopes David Laird can repeat hat-trick heroics against Sporting Bengal United
PUBLISHED: 16:00 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 April 2017
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Side forward hit a treble in a win at Bengal in January
When Barkingside beat Sporting Bengal United in the Essex Senior League in January, they were indebted to a David Laird hat-trick and boss Gursel Gulfer is hoping for more of the same on Monday.
The two teams meet again under the lights at Cricklefield as Side look to do the double against the Mile End Stadium club.
And Barkingside boss Gulfer is confident Laird can trouble the Bengal defence once more as the hosts look to shore up their place in the top half.
“David is a good player and with Luke With suspended for the rest of the season, we need him to be our focal point in attack,” said the Side manager.
“We missed Luke against Haringey, but David has had a really good season for us this year.
“He’s found his love for the game again here and he’s also lost weight too since the start of the season.”
Laird’s third goal against Sporting in January was particularly crucial, coming in the 90th minute to snatch all three points for Side.
It is unsurprising, then, to learn that Gulfer is expecting another stern test this weekend having been pushed all the way by United previously.
But he believes his Side team, who are unbeaten in eight league games, have enough about them to get the win.
“It will be a tough game and we won’t be taking Sporting Bengal lightly,” added the Barkingside boss.
“They’ve improved in recent weeks, but we are still on a good run of form and we haven’t lost many recently.
“Overall this season, we’ve dropped points in 21 games and I think we should have won at least half of those given our recent form.”
Barkingside head into the game off the back of a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to bottom club Haringey & Waltham last weekend.
Side took the lead three minutes into the second half through Jason Fontaine
“There is no frustration from that game, simply because it was so dire in terms of the quality,” he said.
“The positive is that we were able to keep our unbeaten run going and we’re learning now how not to be beaten.”