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Essex Senior League: Imrul Gazi hoping Sporting Bengal United can keep fighting near top of the table

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 September 2017

Action from Sporting Bengal's clash with Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from Sporting Bengal's clash with Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards)

Archant

After battling relegation during the 2016/17 campaign, Bengal have enjoyed much more success this season

Imrul Gazi wants Sporting Bengal United to remain at the higher echelons of the Essex Senior League table after an excellent start to the term.

The east Londoners are second with 19 points from their first 10 league fixtures and level on points with the leaders West Essex, who have played two games less.

Bengal host mid-table Woodford Town on Saturday and Gazi has warned his team about why they can’t underestimate their opponents.

Gazi said: “This league is so funny. We beat Enfield earlier this month on a Wednesday and it was quite comfortable and then the following weekend they went to Basildon United and won 2-1, so it is so unpredictable.

“I have never known another division like it where anyone can beat anyone. With that in mind, you can never take any team for granted and you just have to hope your players do the things they can and hope it is enough to earn all three points.

“It is a long season and it is all about personnel at times and I am finding that out now, but hopefully we can keep this run going and keep on getting points.”

After hosting Woodford Town, Bengal face a tricky trip to Great Wakering Rovers next Tuesday (October 3).

The Mile End Stadium boss admits the initial target is to arrive before kick-off!

“Getting out of east London is a nightmare in itself when it comes to a mid-week game and the aim for us initially is to just get there on time,” admitted Gazi.

“In the past I have seen us get to places for 7.30pm because of the traffic and that obviously has an impact in terms of training and warming-up for the match.

“These are the challenges we face, and all the other clubs in the league do, so it is something we have to deal with.”

Bengal were knocked out of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy on Tuesday night after losing on penalties away to Hullbridge Sports.

Mahdi Khan equalised for the visitors after they fell behind, but they were left to rue two missed spot-kicks in normal time as the tie ended up 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Sports then held their nerve to progress 4-2 on penalties, but Gazi will hope his players can put that loss behind them at home to Woodford Town tomorrow.

He added: “There is a great spirit in the camp at the moment and we just want to try and stay near the top for as long as possible.

“Our first aim is to reach the magic 40-point total with relegation coming into play this season, but it might be less than that, so who knows.

“I think we just need to make sure we can’t go down and then once we have done that we can enjoy ourselves and see what happens.”

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