Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Mile End Stadium
2021-22 Season: Match 35
Saturday 23rd October 2021 – 3pm KO
S Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Sawbo: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Fine comeback by Bengal denies Sawbo an important win at Mile End
Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 2 Sawbridgeworth Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match saw a return to Mile End Stadium to see a big match at the bottom of the table, as bottom two sides Sporting Bengal Utd and Sawbridgeworth Town faced each other. Bengal are now under the management of Shipon Miah and he named Kevin Rrushi in goal, with a defence of Nazrul Ahmed, George Turner, Ehizojie Onoabhagbe and the returning Kamarl Duncan, who impressed in his previous spell at the club. Redon Abazi and Arinze Ossai led the forward line here, with support from the flanks from Oshun Lewis and Joshua Carr. Tariq Fowler skippered the side, with goal-scoring forward Gianfranco Mici on the bench here, alongside fellow forwards Shiblu Miah and Oscar Onuorah. Sawbridgeworth are jointly-managed by Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon these days and Jimmy Parker was their goalkeeper, with a defensive unit of Rowan Dorling, Lewis Wicker, Billy Stewart and captain Cory Rider. They had a forward three of Teddy Hall, Harry Davison and Morgan Arnold, with experience on the bench in Prince Alozie, Daryl Doolan and James Falaise, who joined the club this week.
The match got underway with a early effort from home full-back George Turner from 35 yards which went narrowly over visiting custodian Jimmy Parker’s crossbar on three minutes. Sawbridgeworth responded well with forward Harry Davison flashing a strike wide of goal, before strike partner Teddy Hall had a chance denied by Bengal stopper Kevin Rrushi. The visitors were finding their fovus going forward, with full-back Rowan Dorling and midfielder Grant Webb combining well down the right in a move which ended with forward Morgan Arnold slotting narrowly wide of Rrushi’s left-side post.
At this point in proceedings, Sawbo were having more of the ball and constructing more chances with it as well. Hall sent in a powerful strike from thirty yards which sailed wide of the far post. Fortunately for Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon’s side, they did make the most of good period midway through the half. Davison was played in well and he finished well with a low strike into the right corner. As we hurtled towards the interval, Sporting had to defend deep at times, but they were led well by Kamarl Duncan, who denied the opposition several times through good positioning and strong clearances.
Bengal stopper Kevin Rrushi was called into action again on 32 minutes and he denied another effort from Teddy Hall from close range. Sawbo were unable to get themselves clear in this match and conceded more possession in the last ten minutes of the half , which allowed Shipon Miah’s side a couple of promising moves, involving Oshun Lewis and Redon Abazi in the channels. Unfortunately for the hosts, their final ball was missing which meant they didn’t test Sawbo ‘keeper Parker on a regular basis.
Half-Time: Sporting Bengal 0 – 1 Sawbridgeworth Town
The visiting forwards still kept up the initative after the break, as Bengal brought all three of their substitutes on before the hour mark. Gianfranco Mici came on at the start of the second half and you sensed he would give Sawbo a different challenge, gathering the ball from deep and dribbling on past players. Sawbo did have another glimmer of a chance through Davison but the effort was gathered by Rrushi. The visitors certainly needed a second goal and on 56 minutes, it turned up in some style with midfielder Billy Purdy’s powerful strike finding the left corner from 25 yards with Rrushi beaten.
The scale of the task for Bengal got harder as centre-back Duncan had to hobble off on the hour, meaning they had to play the last third of the match with ten men. Even so, the momentum started to come for the home side, as Gianfranco Mici capped off a decent move with a well-struck strike that fizzed off the right-side post with Parker beaten. Sawbridgeworth responded as they hit the woodwork on 71 minutes, with Davison unlucky to see a fine curling drive come back off the goal frame.
The substitutes for Bengal were having an impact with Mici’s driving runs proving hard to stop for the visiting defence, and Oscar Onuorah was also stretching the Sawbo backline down the left channel. This was probably Bengal’s best phase of the match and they soon halved the deficit. With eleven minutes remaining, substitute Shiblu Miah ended a decent counter-attack with a fine strike high into the net to really add to Sawbo’s nerves.
All of a sudden, it was Sawbo’s turn to feel the pressure and it affected them going forward, with some decent approach play scuppered by them unable to find that telling final pass. Bengal did complete a rousing comeback four minutes from time as Onuorah struck home into the left corner after finding a half-yard of space past the tiring visiting defence. It was a frenetic end to the match but neither side could pinch a winner in the several minutes of added time played, so it ended in an entertaining draw.
Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 2 Sawbridgeworth Town
In summary, this was a tense encounter which was understandable given both sides badly needed the points as they the bottom two sides in the division. There was some neat play from both sides though Sawbridgeworth will be disappointed that they couldn’t see the match out, having been two goals ahead with fifteen minutes remaining. Bengal though will be happy to have got something out of the match, although their defensive vulnerability remains and that may prove costly as the season goes on. All in all, this was a good match to watch.
In terms of stand-out performances here, we’ll start with Sawbo. The front three of Harry Davison, Teddy Hall and Morgan Arnold caused problems for the home defence with good movement, pace and in Davison’s case, good finishing as well. I also thought midfielder Grant Webb had a decent match as well, asisting in building his side’s attacking moves. For Bengal, full-back George Turner had a good game, showing good intent to get forward and start forward moves from the left channel and defended well too. Centre-back Kamarl Duncan had an excellent game, making several fine interceptions and really kept his team in the game, before he had to hobble off on the hour mark. Also, winger Joshua Carr showed good movement and pace and substitute Gianfranco Mici lifted the team after his introduction, showing good dribbling, movement and pace.
Best wishes to both teams for rthe rest of the season.
Sporting Bengal Utd | Manager: Shipon Miah | Assistant: Rui Costa
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Kevin Rrushi (GK), 2 Nazrul Ahmed, 3 George Turner, 4 Kamarl Duncan, 5 Ehizojie Onoabhagbe, 6 Djibril Cante, 7 Oshun Lewis (16 Oscar Onuorah 54′), 8 Tariq Fowler (Capt), 9 Redon Abazi (15 Shiblu Miah 57′), 10 Arinze Ossai (14 Gianfranco Mici 46′), 11 Joshua Carr
Goal-scorers: Shiblu Miah [79′], Oscar Onuorah [86′]
Booked: Cante | Subs Not Used: Omobdi, Ntueba
Sawbridgeworth Town | Joint-Managers: Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jimmy Parker (GK), 2 Rowan Dorling, 3 Lewis Wicker, 17 Billy Stewart, 5 Cory Rider (Capt), 4 Billy Purdy, 7 Grant Webb, 8 Jake Skeet, 9 Teddy Hall (14 Daryl Doolan 75′), 10 Harry Davison (19 Jack Walker 84′)), 11 Morgan Arnold
Goal-scorers: Harry Davison [24′], Billy Purdy [56′]
Booked: Dorling | Sub Not Used: Potoczek, Alozie, Falaise
Referee: Joseph Sach
Assistants: John Caunt & Kebba Malcolm-Mayenda