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Essex Senior League: Imrul Gazi hails experienced Sporting Bengal defenders after draw with FC Romania

PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 February 2017

An FC Romania player on the attack against Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards)

An FC Romania player on the attack against Sporting Bengal (pic Tim Edwards)

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Bengal were hoping to build on point with clash against Barkingside, but the match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch

A Sporting Bengal player is tackled by an FC Romania rival (pic Tim Edwards)A Sporting Bengal player is tackled by an FC Romania rival (pic Tim Edwards)

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi praised defensive duo Freddy Tandon and Mark Wheeler after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with FC Romania in the Essex Senior League.

The Mile End Stadium club produced an impressive display to pick up a point against the top four side.

Wheeler and Steve Carvell netted in the first half to put Bengal 2-1 up and it helped them claim a deserved draw.

“I had a bit more experience on Saturday because my captain Freddy Tandon and Mark Wheeler were back,” said Gazi.

“As long as I have one of them available then I’m confident because they are both leaders for us.

“Freddy has a few knocks and is close to 30, so it is all about managing him, but it was good to have him on Saturday.

“Naivety has cost us in defence recently, so with Mark and Freddy available it made us a lot stronger.”

Even though Bengal were pleased to hold FC Romania to a draw, Gazi admitted they could have won in the end.

Aerial action from Sporting Bengal's clash with FC Romania at Mile End Stadium (pic Tim Edwards)Aerial action from Sporting Bengal's clash with FC Romania at Mile End Stadium (pic Tim Edwards)

The hosts dominated the final 10 minutes at Mile End, but couldn’t force a late winner against the Hertfordshire club.

“We were 2-1 up at half time and in the second half we had a system of how we were going to play,” said Gazi.

“There was a method and it worked because we hit them on the counter attack so many times and we could have won.

“We had three clear cut chances in the final 10 minutes and again it was us not taking our opportunities.

“I was disappointed we didn’t get all three points, but at the same time pleased we held on and got a draw.

“Against the big teams recently we have struggled to see the game out, so it was good to not lose against FC Romania.”

Bengal were looking to build on their point at Barkingside last night, but the match was postponed.

Gazi knew it was likely to fall foul of the weather having seen the rain lash down in the build up to the game.

He added: “I expected it to be off because I live in the Ilford area and it had been pretty bad all through the night.

“Jimmy Flanaghan called me around 3.30pm to let me know it was off and it wasn’t a surprise, but the right thing to do.

“It is frustrating because we had a decent squad available and we fancied our chances, but there was nothing we could do.”

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