Essex Senior League
Venue: Mile End Stadium
2018-19 Season – Match 37
Saturday 1st December 2018 – 3pm KO
Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Leyton Ath: Maroon Shirts, Maroon Shorts, Maroon Socks
Profligate Bengal are held by battling Leyton at Mile End
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend’s Essex Senior League match took me to Mile End to see Sporting Bengal Utd face a Leyton Athletic side that have started to show a bit more resolve under new boss Eli Benoit. The conditions were rather damp and they had a further lashing of rain to gift away but more on that later.
For the hosts, new signing Reece Hewitt lined up on the right flank while Steven Carvell and Jay Knight made up the front two with playmaker Ashaan Siddik supporting and David Vaughan on the left wing. Leyton have lost goalkeeper James Scammell to Romford so Jay Walsh was between the sticks here plus a front three of Mario Gjini, Jason Brown and Lance Ledgister with both Londono brothers (Chris & Daniel) on the bench.
Sporting edged the opening salvos of this encounter, as David Vaughan tested the Ath defence though his centre evaded both the visiting stopper Walsh and his team-mates in the six-yard box. The hosts then saw their first clear-cut chance go awry as from talisman Steven Carvell’s super low ball in, Vaughan contrived to lob a strike well over the woodwork.
In the next part of the first half, both sides traded chances as midfielder Misha Djemaili fizzed a strike wide for the visitors before Carvell saw his powerful strike crash into the woodwork from the edge of the penalty area. Leyton winger Rujorn Tuitt was threatening down the left with his pace and trickery which the home defence did struggle to contain. On the stroke of 20 minutes, Tuitt struck a 20-yard effort over the bar as you wondered who would strike first.
We soon got an answer. Just before the half-hour, Sporting led as Carvell’s seaching cross found Jay Knight who directed a fine header across goal. Eli Benoit’s side was far from out of the game though as both Tuitt and Emmanuel Oluwole both couldn’t find a way past home goalkeeper Mahood Suleyman. As half-time rapidly approached, Carvell couldn’t make the most of a one-on-one chance as his shot was well-denied by Walsh and Vaughan couldn’t tuck home the rebound.
Half-Time: Sporting Bengal 1 – 0 Leyton Ath
The weather started to have a slight impact after the break as the rain increasingly fell down on an already wet surface. Leyton ‘keeper Walsh was fortunate that a misjudged clearance didn’t enter the reach of Vaughan in the area merely a minute after the break. Djemaili called Suleyman into action again eleven minutes into the half as his low drive forced a decent save by the home custodian.
If I was being totally honest, there were phases of the second half which were scrappy as both sides remain competitive, Leyton showing resolve in battling hard to contain the hosts whilst also having creative outlets themselves through Tuitt and forward Mario Gjini, who had been giving the hosts a tricky afternoon with his pace. Indeed, Gjini levelled things up here with 18 minutes to play as his low shot found the corner, whilst well-poised in the area.
Sporting rallied and created a number of chances though Walsh denied substitutes Adil Haque and Reside Coxi-Sebastiao as well as Knight late on plus Carvell drive another effort wide as the hosts just couldn’t restore their advantage. Leyton did finish strongly as well going forward as the game got increasingly stretched though neither side could get that decisive winner.
Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd 1 – 1 Leyton Athletic
Bengal will know they had an ‘off-day’ here, particuarly in their finishing though some of their play was indicative of how they have done this seasion so far. Leyton worked hard and defended arguably better than they have in other matches this term and goalkeeper Jay Walsh did well to deny the opposition of a number of occasions. A point apiece it is though on another day it could well have been a different story.
Finally, I’d like to say thank you to Sporting boss Imrul Gazi and to the club for the kind welcome they extended to me this afternoon, prior to kick-off.
Sporting Bengal | Manager: Imrul Gazi
Mahood Suleyman (GK), Rakib Choudhury, Jon Watson (Raul Gazi 7′), Joshua Adeji, Kamarl Duncan (Capt), Chris Greenslade, Reece Hewitt (Adil Haque 64′), Ashaan Siddik, Jay Knight, Steven Carvell, David Vaughan (Reside Coxi-Sebastiao 47′)
Goal-scorer: Jay Knight [28′]
Booked: Haque, Greenslade | Subs Not Used: Islam, Tandon
Leyton Athletic | Player-Manager: Eli Benoit
Jay Walsh (GK), John Lye, Harry Rixon, Emmanuel Oluwole (Daniel Londono 57′), Junior Miller, Cory Rider (Capt), Rujorn Tuitt, Misha Djemaili (Chris Londono 77′), Mario Gjini, Jason Brown, Lance Ledgister (D’Neil Bryan 62′)
Goal-scorer: Mario Gjini [72′]
Booked: C Londono | Sub Not Used: Samangwa