Early blitz sets up Sporting Bengal success

Sporting Bengal beat Essex Senior League new boys West Essex at Mile End Stadium (pic: Emdad Rahman)

Sporting Bengal beat Essex Senior League new boys West Essex at Mile End Stadium (pic: Emdad Rahman) - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets return empty-handed from latest trip

Sporting Bengal 3 West Essex 1

Sporting Bengal United defied their league form and position as a blistering 16-minute spell saw them power towards Essex Senior League victory over West Essex at Mile End Stadium.

The pulsating start was the springboard for confident victory against the league’s new boys, who are six places above them in the table.

Only six minutes had been played when Kudus Olowe’s quick feet in a tight position and crisp finish from a tight angle opened the scoring.


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Chris Ratambwa doubled the advantage on 13 minutes with a tap-in as West Essex failed to clear a corner and Sporting all but secured the points as a poor clearance from a quickly taken free-kick fell to Tony Tandon, who took the ball in his stride to sidefoot home an excellent shot from just inside the box to make it 3-0 with only 16 minutes gone.

West Essex could not cope with Sporting’s strength as Imrul Gazi’s men besieged the visiting goal.

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But the tide subsided after the first 20 minutes and the visitors were allowed a foothold back in the game, making the occasional foray into the home half.

Sporting looked powerful and dangerous still, with numerous counter attacking moves as the ball was sprayed the length of the field with precise passing and crisp control.

The second half was played at a more subdued pace, but there was plenty of drama and Sporting were denied a fourth goal by an offside flag.

With 89 minutes on the clock the hard working Matt Ford earned a last-minute penalty for West Essex and Joe Lefley planted a left-footed spot-kick past Denzil Kobia.

And the Sporting keeper was on full alert as a late corner saw him fingertip a goalbound effort onto the underside of the crossbar.

Sporting boss Imrul Gazi said: “They were a much-needed three points. It was disappointing to concede late, but this is a morale-boosting win.

“The players have been outstanding with their commitment throughout and the win is thoroughly deserved.

“Hopefully this timely win will be the bedrock for a surge up the table for us. We now focus on the FA Vase.”

***

Sawbridgeworth 2 Tower Hamlets 1

Ten-man Tower Hamlets returned empty handed from Crofters End after a slender defeat.

Having earned a point from a 1-1 draw at Takeley in midweek, Ade Abayomi’s side headed north again.

But they fell behind after only three minutes as Gavin Cockman put the home side ahead, before Joel Ramos levelled things up once more.

Joe Biscoe came to the rescue for Hamlets as he saved a penalty before the interval, but they were reduced to 10 men on 65 minutes when Samuel Olanipekun was given his marching orders.

Sawbridgeworth regained the lead 12 minutes later through substitute Ronnie Bird as Hamlets fell to their fifth league defeat in eight outings this season.

Hamlets return to action on Wednesday when they visit Eton Manor.

Tower Hamlets; Biscoe, Joao, S Sheymz, Abayomi, Olanipekun, Oreniake, Rowe, Madrado, Pedro, Djop, Ramos. Subs: Bambo, Akunlabi, Sumithran, Bailey, Adama Bamba.

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