Bengal manager impressed with Ashanike’s work at rivals Hamlets
- Credit: Archant
The two Mile End Stadium clubs will do battle this evening in a 7.45pm kick-off in the Essex Senior League
Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi has talked up the work of rival boss AJ Ashanike at Tower Hamlets ahead of tonight’s derby clash in the Essex Senior League.
The two clubs both play at the Mile End Stadium and this evening will be the first grudge match of the campaign.
Last season Bengal claimed bragging rights in the league by finishing above Hamlets by a single point with the east London rivals coming 10th and 11th respectively.
Ashanike’s men triumphed in both derbies, however, winning 1-0 on December 9 in the home meeting before coming out victorious in the away encounter on September 2 by a 3-2 scoreline.
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It means Gazi has revenge on his mind tonight, but he also made a point of hailing the job his opposite number does at Hamlets.
He said: “We will be in the away changing room for the Mile End derby, which is always a strange feeling.
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“They have not had the best start to the season, but by all accounts AJ has them playing some good football and looks to be giving youngsters a chance, which is very similar to what we are trying to do here at Sporting Bengal.
“Form obviously goes out of the window in this derby and they will no doubt look to cause an upset, but we will be looking to pick up maximum points following the disappointment of last season’s results.
“My squad is still running thin, but on the positive I’m expecting one or two to return over the next two weeks or so.
“Considering the injuries we have had over the last few weeks, I can only be proud of where we are at the moment and long may this continue.”
Even with various personnel missing on Saturday at Walthamstow, Bengal managed to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games following a 1-1 draw.
Stand-in captain Kamarl Duncan opened the scoring in the first half and the away side held onto their advantage until half time.
Walthamstow levelled in the second period, however, to claim a share of the spoils, but Bengal will seek a return to winning ways tonight.