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Bengal boss Gazi 'can't begrudge' Hamlets bragging rights

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 February 2019

Action from the Mile End Stadium derby between Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the Mile End Stadium derby between Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards)

Archant

Saturday's Mile End Stadium derby produced six goals and plenty of drama

Imrul Gazi paid tribute to Sporting Bengal United’s rivals Tower Hamlets after last weekend’s Mile End Stadium derby.

Six goals were produced in the Essex Senior League encounter and AJ Ashanike’s ‘visitors’ claimed the bragging rights with a 4-2 win.

Bengal were hoping to complete a double over Hamlets, but failed to produce their best and were punished as a result.

“It was the first time in a long while our defence was simply not good,” Gazi said. “No one showered themselves in glory.

“Aside from one or two, everyone was below-par really and you cannot have that, especially in a derby game.

“You can’t begrudge Tower Hamlets the win and they are a good young team, so full credit to them.”

Wale Odedoyin’s double put the away side in control at the break with Luke With’s goal making it 3-0 to Ashanike’s men at half time.

Charles Gregory did reduce the deficit for Bengal from the penalty spot, but Flavio Jumo made it 4-1 to wrap the points up for the visitors.

Kamarl Duncan scored a consolation for the home team late on, yet they were left to reflect on what might have been.

Gazi added: “It was a game where Tower Hamlets took their chances and we didn’t unfortunately.

“Once again in the derby we just seemed to be flat and we were second to every ball, but the performance didn’t deserve to be 3-0 down at half time.

“We improved slightly after the break, so there are some positives to take, but it is never nice to lose to your rivals.”

Bengal’s main issue in 2019 has been taking their opportunities, with Jay Knight’s return to Redbridge in December affecting them badly.

The lack of consistent goalscorer up top means defender Duncan remains the club’s leading marksman.

“Before they scored, we were on top and had created two or three good chances, but since losing Jay Knight we haven’t identified a striker to replace him,” Gazi said.

“We just can’t kill teams off and it says a lot that our centre back, who scored on Saturday, has 12 goals this season and is our top goalscorer.”

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