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Tower Hamlets and Sporting Bengal United seek more highs this year after encouraging 2017

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 January 2018

Tower Hamlets and Sporting Bengal United in action at the Mile End Stadium (pic: Tim Edwards)

Tower Hamlets and Sporting Bengal United in action at the Mile End Stadium (pic: Tim Edwards)

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In an article from our ‘Year in Sport’ pull-out, we look back on how our Mile End Stadium clubs fared in 2017 and what the next 12 months holds for them

Sporting Bengal boss Imrul Gazi (pic Tim Edwards)Sporting Bengal boss Imrul Gazi (pic Tim Edwards)

Sporting Bengal United and Tower Hamlets made progress in the Essex Senior League in 2017 and both clubs will aim to stay on track over the next 12 months.

Imrul Gazi’s Bengal enjoyed a strong finish to last season which resulted in them placing 19th in the table and ending up a whole 19 points better off than bottom club Haringey & Waltham.

Sporting’s impressive run made sure they took the bragging rights at the Mile End Stadium as they finished one spot above their local rivals and 15 points better off.

And Gazi saw his talented team build on their fine end to the 2016/17 campaign by beginning the new term with a bang.

The east London club were second in the Essex Senior League table in September after winning three games in a row on two separate occasions during the opening months of the season.

Bengal haven’t been able to keep up that excellent form, but they are only just outside of the top half, which is a big improvement on their efforts in recent years.

Meanwhile, the Errington League Challenge Cup provides Gazi with a chance to lead his team into a final, which would be another sign of the clear progress the club is making under their hard-working manager.

Tower Hamlets can also look back on 2017 with fondness after making plenty of strides over the past 12 months.

Tower Hamlets joint boss Ade Abayomi (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)Tower Hamlets joint boss Ade Abayomi (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

A difficult end to last season saw Ade Abayomi’s men finish in 20th and only four points above bottom club Haringey & Waltham, but the return of AJ Ashanike last summer gave them the lift they needed.

Joint managers Ashanike and Abayomi have overseen some real highs during this campaign as Hamlets managed to reach the second round of the FA Vase after a penalty shoot-out success at Halstead Town and a 10-1 thrashing of Little Oakley.

Hamlets were unable to go any further, but they have not only enjoyed highs in the cups this season as they have thrashed Waltham Forest (5-0), Woodford Town (6-1) and Stansted (5-2) in the league.

They have also defeated rivals Sporting on two occasions for local bragging rights and remain in the upper echelons of the table heading into the final few months of the season.

Promotion is out of reach for this campaign, but it seems the good times are coming back for Hamlets and Bengal.

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