Bengal determined to make 2019 a record-breaking year – just like they did in 2018!

Sporting Bengal boss Imrul Gazi (pic Tim Edwards)

Sporting Bengal boss Imrul Gazi (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Sporting Bengal United will look to get off to a strong start in 2019 and continue their rich vein of form from the year just ended.

Bengal are set to welcome West Essex to the Mile End Stadium on Saturday as they return to Essex Senior League action in the hope of continuing to chase down the league’s front-runners.

Manager Imrul Gazi and his side currently sit seventh in the league table – 14 points behind leaders Stansted with two games in hand.

And they will be full of confidence after progressing into the quarter-finals of the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy thanks to a 4-2 victory over Harlow Town Reserves at the weekend.

Goals from Kaleem Luthra, Bobby Redwood, Jason Ngandu and the returning Steven Carvell helped Bengal eliminate The Hawks second string at The Harlow Arena on Friday evening.

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Tim Strike and Romain DoRogerio notched the Harlow replies but they meant very little in the end.

Gazi said: “Really pleased to finish the year with a win, especially with the last-minute changes we’ve had to make with the back four.

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“Not a bad first half of the season – top seven and in two quarter finals as we go into 2019.

“I definitely would have taken that back in August.”

Bengal will now most likely meet neighbours and Mile End Stadium ground-sharers Tower Hamlets in the quarter-final of the new competition.

The east London club also announced Zatash Ali as their December player of the month.

A statement said: “He’s been ever present this season and in a very indifferent December he’s been Mr Reliable.

“He has had to adapt his game for the sake of the team at times and at such a young age is one of our senior players.”

Bengal achieved their highest Essex Senior League points total at the end of the 2017/18 season, along with their best-ever finish but they look set to go above and beyond that this term.

They now face a busy January with six league fixtures as they look to keep pace with the top six sides in the division.

Although they did lose key players Jay Knight and Carvell to Bostik North side Basildon United at the end of last year.

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