Sporting Bengal have to settle for point

Sporting Bengal United manager Anwar Uddin (pic: Tim Edwards).

Sporting Bengal United manager Anwar Uddin (pic: Tim Edwards). - Credit: Archant

Essex Senior League: Sporting Bengal 1 Stansted 1

A late Stansted equaliser left Sporting Bengal slightly crushed in a tightly fought fixture at Mile End Stadium.

Abdisamad Mohamed broke the deadlock after 15 minutes with a clinical finish, but David Ratcliffe equalised five minutes from time to earn The Airportmen a deserved share of the spoils.

The visitors created the first chance of the game with Ratcliffe having a far post shot tipped marginally round the post.

Sporting reacted with Javier Rivera playing a well-weighted pass to Joswar Gonzalez who fired a fierce shot towards the near post, but Reece Paine smothered the ball into his chest.

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The home side took the lead after Rivera played a defence-splitting through ball into the path of Mohamed who initially miscontrolled the ball, but composed himself and tucked the ball to the keeper’s right.

The Airportmen responded when Samuel Ashford expertly dribbled past the Bengal full-back and cut the ball back to Christopher Gibbs whose shot was easily saved.

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Bengal came close to doubling their lead when Taj Hussein was unfortunate not to guide a venomous Sadiq Ahmed cross goalwards.

But Stansted dominated possession after the restart, only to find the hosts in determined mood as they stood strong and defended tenaciously.

The first opportunity of the second half came through Matthew Wedlake who was unable to divert a deflected Ashford cross into an empty net.

With Stansted enjoying the upper hand, Sporting Bengal countered with Teo Borozam on the left flank after Hussein won an excellent tackle, but Borozam unfortunately slipped.

Sporting countered again, this time with Gonzalez whose shot ended narrowly wide after substitute Prince William beat a defender with some exquisite trickery.

In the last 10 minutes the away side dominated the game and came to close to scoring a deserved equaliser, but Lewis Lockyer made a reaction save from a Gibbs shot at close range.

Stansted finally got their equaliser on 85 minutes, though, after the Sporting Bengal keeper skewed his clearance and Ratcliffe calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner.

The visitors were unfortunate not to pinch all three points after Ratcliffe was left one-on-one with Lockyer with a minute to go.

Lockyer made himself big to save Ratcliffe’s shot and ensure Bengal ended up with some reward for their efforts.

Stansted had more than enough chances in the last 15 minutes to win the game, but Bengal always looked a threat on the counter attack and could have won the game themselves if they had found the correct pass.

Sporting Bengal: Lockyer, Jogee, Ahmed, Singh, Meikle, Adeyemi, Hussain, Rivera, Mohamed (William 67), Gonzalez (Teladjati 79), Borozam. Unused subs: Kartif, Rahie, Pahman.

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