Essex Senior League: Imrul Gazi staying positive despite Sporting Bengal United's opening day loss to Takeley
PUBLISHED: 16:30 01 August 2017
Mile End Stadium boss full of praise for Station Road club and backs them to be in race for promotion this season
Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi is staying positive despite seeing his team lose on the opening day of the Essex Senior League season.
The east Londoners went down 2-0 at Takeley with Stuart Zanone converting a third-minute penalty and Mitchell Das scoring after quarter of an hour.
It was the worst possible start for Bengal, but Gazi was satisfied with certain aspects of their play against a side he expects to challenge for promotion.
He said: “We played well against a good team and one that I fully expect to be up there at the end of the season.
“They are organised and have added some new players along with ones they previously had and look stronger this time around.
“I fully expect them to be pushing for promotion and in the top three or four, but we could take a lot of positives from the game.”
After a terrible opening 15 minutes, Bengal settled and began to produce the football they were renown for last season.
But much to Gazi’s surprise, they failed to create many opportunities despite having plenty of possession.
“We conceded a penalty inside the first couple of minutes, which made it an uphill task, but it was a blatant spot-kick,” said the Bengal boss.
“After that we did well, but the referee was poor and we should have been awarded a free kick before the second goal.
“It was a blatant foul on our centre back, but he gave a corner and we then defended poorly at the back post and they scored.
“We did have a lot of possession, but unusually for us we didn’t create a lot, so I couldn’t really complain about the result.”
Bengal will look to bounce back this evening when they visit Mayesbrook Park to face West Essex, who won 3-1 at Sawbridgeworth Town on Saturday.
It was an excellent victory, but Gazi is determined for his squad to get off the mark in the division tonight.
He added: “West Essex are a team on the up and they achieved a great result at the weekend away to Sawbridgeworth.
“I know they have signed a couple of experienced players and have a new goalkeeper in Jack Francis, who was at Barkingside last season.
“They will be aiming to improve and will probably be looking to finish around mid-table I would imagine.
“For us, the key is to get a clean sheet and then we’ll go from there and maybe nick something in the end.
“I always find the longer the game stays goalless the better we become, so we want a good defensive performance tonight.”