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Essex Senior League: London Bari boss Chris Davis can see why Barking are top

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 March 2017

Steve Willis heads goalwards for Barking at London Bari (pic Terry Gilbert)

Steve Willis heads goalwards for Barking at London Bari (pic Terry Gilbert)

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Joel Appiah put Old Spotted Dog outfit in front against leaders, but the Blues hit back to remain on course for promotion

Barking's Billy Rix on the attack (pic Terry Gilbert)Barking's Billy Rix on the attack (pic Terry Gilbert)

London Bari manager Chris Davis can completely understand why Barking are top of the Essex Senior League table and favourites to claim the title.

The two clubs did battle at the Old Spotted Dog on Saturday and it was the leaders who claimed a 2-1 win.

Joel Appiah put Bari ahead, but Barking fought back to score twice and remain 16 points clear at the top.

“We have been hot and cold for a while, but I think we have gone past our stage of being poor,” said Davis.

“From the start of January to the end of February we had been performing badly, but since the Hullbridge Sports match we have been consistent.

“We had an off-day against Wadham Lodge, but I believe we can go into every other game with hope now.

Barking's Joe Pearman on the attack against London Bari (pic Terry Gilbert)Barking's Joe Pearman on the attack against London Bari (pic Terry Gilbert)

“I think maybe a win or definitely a draw would have been a fair result for us against Barking because of the way we approached the game.

“We had at least four chances where we had shots on target and the goalkeeper has saved or they’ve made last ditch tackles.

“I thought we deserved something from the match, but I said to the Barking people at the end; the reason they won the game is the reason they are top of the league.”

Bari’s manager revealed last month that they had a number of teenagers currently in the first-team.

Their lack of experience resulted in a couple of heavy defeats, but Davis believes they have learnt a lot recently.

And he is hoping the squad can now stay together, so they can enjoy more success next season.

London Bari keeper Josh Strizovic is airborne as a Barking attempt flies wide (pic Terry Gilbert)London Bari keeper Josh Strizovic is airborne as a Barking attempt flies wide (pic Terry Gilbert)

“We played really well against Barking and managed the game properly, so we deserved to get something out of the match,” said Davis.

“It does give us hope for next season and it seems the players are now starting to understand what is required from them.

“The intensity of the game was really high and that is something we haven’t experienced too much.

“We were going into half time with the lead and they got one back through a set-piece just before the break.

“They then scored a goal early in the second half from another set-piece, but I don’t think they had any other shot on target after.

“They had plenty of shots over the crossbar and wide, but our goalkeeper hasn’t had another save to make.”

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