Stepney retain ILFL Premier Division title

Stepney FC have been crowned Inner London Football League champions for a second successive season

Stepney FC were crowned Inner London Football League champions for a second successive season on Sunday following a 3-1 win over local rivals Mohammedan SC at Weavers Fields.

The victory ensured that the Stepney outfit finished the campaign three points clear of East Seven and retained their Premier Division crown, the club's fourth ILFL title in the last six years.

Stepney vice chairman Forid Ahmed said: "I would like to congratulate the team and would particularly like to thank the manager, Zakir Hussain, for the hard work he has put in this season despite the injuries to a number of key players."

Prolific striker Jahed Khan put Stepney on their way on Sunday, lobbing home the opening goal midway through the first half despite being tugged back by a Mohammedan defender.

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And Stepney appeared to be cruising to the title when Mustafa Shahid doubled the lead minutes before half-time, tapping in from close range following a great turn and cross by Khan.

Yet nerves appeared to affect the league leaders after the break and Mohammedan gradually secured a foothold in the match before pulling a goal back to set up a tense finale.

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Stepney finally killed the game off with five minutes remaining when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and captain Forhan Uddin smashed his shot into the top corner, sparking jubilant celebration among the large band of Stepney fans.

The title triumph keeps Stepney on course for the a second successive double, with the side set to play Bromley in the ILFL Cup final on April 8 at Mile End Stadium (7pm) in a bid to repeat last year's memorable success.

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