Tower Hamlets and Sporting Bengal in stalemate
PUBLISHED: 12:58 04 October 2016
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Tower Hamlets 0 Sporting Bengal 0
Tower Hamlets and Sporting Bengal played out a goalless draw at their joint Mile End Stadium home last night, with the East End derby proving a tale of two halves.
Host Hamlets had much the better of the first half, but Bengal came back stronger in the second and looked the most threatening, almost unlocking a rigid defence.
Both sides had opportunities to take the three points and will be ruing their missed chances, with Tower Hamlets having the pick of them.
Hamlets entered the contest on a string of three consecutive league defeats and with Bengal’s memories of victory over West Essex three weeks ago fading, each side were licking its wounds and looking for a victory to spring board their flustering seasons so far.
Both teams are having problems at the back, each conceding on average of more than two goals a game, so with the defensive frailties, a high scoring affair looked in store.
The pre-match prediction seemed to be coming to fruition when, after just five minutes, debutant centre-back Mark Wheeler miscontrolled the ball while trying to play out from the back, gifting Joel Ramos a clear run at goal.
But onrushing Bengal keeper Denzel Kobia made himself big and Ramos could only strike it at him, squandering a golden opportunity and on reflection the best in the match.
Hamlets continued to press on in the game, combining a passing style with chipped passess into the space behind Bengal’s defence which caused a few jitters in the backline.
But just as they were really settling into the match, Hamlets almost gifted the visitors the lead.
Carl Duggas-During’s heavy touch whilst attempting to clear a long ball looked destined to fall at Codey Cameron’s feet, but the keeper’s despairing tackle, which many thought was a foul, saved his blushes.
Before the first period was over, Bengal would give a glimpse of their attacking prowess that would punctuate the following half.
Central midfielder William Rocha, a stand-out performer in the match, provided a great cross to striker Bobby Redwood, who was denied by a heroic block from defender Jairo Pedro.
In the second half Redwood appeared to take a leaf out of the Hamlets forward’s book and was constantly looking to make runs off the last defender, as Ashaan Siddik and Rocha almost guided the him through, to no avail.
Hamlets on the other hand looked out of steam and out of ideas, but had a brief period of excitement when the Bengal defence made a mess of a clearance in the box.
Despite having a fair amount of the ball, they couldn’t find their rhythm or killer instinct.
In the 63rd minute, an overhead kick attempt forced a save from the Hamlets’ keeper, with the ball falling to Cameron, but his shot was cleared off the line.
This begun a period of real Bengal pressure with Siddik making some eye-catching runs, but it failed to produce any clear-cut chances for the side who were propping up the table before the night began.
Tower Hamlets had one last chance to win it late on from a corner, as a far post header bounced agonisingly across the six-yard box, but it seemed that it was destined the match would end goalless.
The result took Sporting Bengal off the bottom of the Essex Senior League table and left Tower Hamlets still in 19th place.
Both outfits will be looking to propel themselves out of the bottom four in the coming weeks and Bengal also have an eye on manufacturing a winning run in the FA Vase.