Essex Senior League: Sporting Bengal United set for toughest test yet when they visit Waltham Forest insists manager Imrul Gazi
PUBLISHED: 15:30 28 September 2016
Mile End club had excellent 5-1 win over Sawbridgeworth Town in FA Vase last weekend and will hope to build on that result this evening
Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi believes Waltham Forest will prove to be their toughest test to date tonight.
The two clubs do battle in the Essex Senior League this evening – one of two fixtures in the division.
Forest are fourth in the table with 21 points from their eight games and just one defeat to their name.
Bengal, meanwhile, are second from bottom but have only played five times in the league after a huge amount of success in the FA Vase and FA Cup.
Gazi said: “Waltham Forest are another team with a big budget and expecting big things.
“They’ve won seven out of eight so it is our biggest challenge to date. Looking at their results and resources it going to be tough, but let’s see how we get on.”
Saturday’s cup clash in east London with Sawbridgeworth Town was expected to be a difficult encounter.
The Robins had defeat Bengal 5-1 in the league just 10 days earlier, but it was a different story this time around.
Shiblu Miah, Ashaan Siddik and Abdi Samad were on target to put Gazi’s men three up at half time.
Although the visitors scored twice late on, Bengal managed to hold on and make the first round.
Gazi added: “Sawbridgeworth would have been expecting to turn us over again, but we had players missing last time.
“We knew it would be a different game and I just wanted to see a reaction from the boys after the 5-1.
“I wanted to see more pride and for 80 per cent of the game we were the better side and just needed to finish it off.
“We did in the first half and could have had five or six really, but we got a man sent off and lost our shape completely.
“They did what we expected and pumped the ball forward and scored two goals, but we were always in control.”
Unfortunately it would prove to be centre back Chris Ratambwa’s last at Bengal after he moved on following the match.
Gazi accepted it was something he was going to have to get used to and discussed his current squad and the players not available to him.
“On our day, if I have my strongest XI, I’m confident we can give anybody a game,” said the Bengal manager.
“I still don’t have my first choice goalkeeper Dwayne Esprit available. He is not back for another couple of weeks.
“And I’ve lost my centre back Chris to a club that will be paying him which I don’t mind – that’s part and parcel of football.
“We’re looking for another centre back now and this is a learning curve for me because players will come and go.”