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Barkingside boss Matt Frew has told his players they must score first when they entertain Barking in the Essex Senior League Cup on Monday.

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The Oakside outfit hold a healthy 3-1 lead from the first leg of the quarter-final tie against their local rivals, but Barking have won all four games without conceding a goal since that first meeting, with Mick O’Shea having replaced former boss Alan Dickens.

And Frew admits the visitors will pose a real threat if they open the scoring.

He said: “The team that scores first will go on to win – that first goal is crucial.

“If Barking score first, their tails will be up and they will be back in it. I’ll be sending my team out to attack and get the first goal.

“We won’t be thinking of sitting back to protect our lead because we want to win the game.”

Barkingside are in fine form themselves, with Monday’s 3-1 home win against Bowers & Pitsea extending their unbeaten run to six games.

George Shelvey scored with a simple tap-in to give the visitors a fifth-minute lead.

But Barkingside hit back on 11 minutes when Dave Cooper met Paul Kavanagh’s free-kick at the back post and the home side went in front on the half-hour mark when Luke With scored with a firm drive.

Extended

Mark Steadman extended the lead four minutes into the second half when he headed home from Kavanagh’s corner.

The visitors fought hard, but Barkingside held out – and their manager was delighted with the outcome.

Frew said: “I feared that it might be one of those nights, but the boys brushed themselves down and we bounced back.

“Bowers pegged us back in the final half-hour, but we defended well and the three points puts us in a nice position.”

Sixth-placed Barkingside are just four points behind leaders Great Wakering Rovers with a game in hand.

And Frew believes the single promotion spot is up for grabs.

He added: “It’s there for anyone. We’ve just got to keep our consistency. We’ve also got the best defensive record in the division, which is very pleasing.”

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