Barkingside manager Matt Frew admits this weekend’s Ryman North home fixture with Cray Wanderers is a game they dare not lose.
Side halted a run of two defeats with a point against Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday.
Frew has spoken about the importance of that fixture, but now believes the clash with the Wands is even bigger.
“It is a game we can’t afford to lose,” he said. “It is a game we really need to win as well. A point wouldn’t be bad, but a win is a must.
“We really need three points and we need to make home advantage count. I said Maldon is a massive game to the boys in the changing rooms, but Cray is even bigger now and it will be tough.
“We need to be picking up points against the teams in and around us in the table.”
Side also host local rivals Romford at Cricklefield on Monday night (December 8).
Whenever Barkingside take on Boro it is always a strange clash for both teams with a strong bond formed between the clubs.
Frew added: “They are four points clear of us in the table. It might sound strange the Barkingside manager saying it, but I don’t ever want to see Romford lose.
“I don’t want them to go down, I want them to do well, so it is a weird one when we go up against each other.
“When we play them it is probably the only time I want to see them get beat.
“I have never beaten Paul Martin as a manager so we do owe them one, especially as they defeated us twice last season. The boys will be up for it and it will be a battle.
“I am looking forward to Cray on Saturday and Romford, but obviously we have to deal with the weekend game first.”
It was mixed emotions for Frew last Saturday as they were held by Maldon.
Joe Bricknell put Side ahead from the spot after 13 minutes, but Alex Anderson smashed in from a tight angle to ensure it ended all square.
The Jammers played the whole of the second half with 10 men, before having another player sent off late on.
Frew was disappointed, adding: “I felt it was two points dropped, but I can’t be too downhearted because it is a point we didn’t have before.
“We had a couple of chances, but we couldn’t find that final ball so it was frustrating.
“It was an improvement on the last few weeks, though. Maldon have good players too, who will be earning a decent wage, so my boys can be proud of themselves.”