Bengal Take The Points
In awful condition Sporting Bengal took the 3 points in a 2-1 victory , our goal came through Bryan Kyungu.
The weekend’s Essex Senior League tie took me to Oakside to see Redbridge face Sporting Bengal Utd. It is in some ways hard to fathom the difference between the home side of this term, as opposed to last term though I wanted to see for myself how they would fare against a Bengal side that is in the top ten. The hosts were rather depleted with the likes of Sam Baffour, Vinny Murphy, Larry Asare and Remi Nelson all unavailable with Glody Nsamu and Terrell Miller as full-backs, Daniel Smith and Quincy Egjebale at centre-back with a front two of ex-FC Romania forward Vladut Sighiartau and Michael Ogboin. The visitors were also hampered by availability and illness with Ibrahim Ugradar in goal and a front three of Steven Carvell, Jason Ngandu and ironically enough, former Motormen forward Reside Coxi-Sebastiao. Jay Knight, Bobby Redwood and Adil Haque were all on a strong bench for Imrul Gazi’s side.
To give you an indication of just how gloomy it was, the floodlights were on before kick-off. Both sides had half-chances right from the get-go as Steven Carvell struck wide for the visitors, from winger Codey Cameron’s cushioned pass. At the other end, Redbridge winger Muyiwa Osenie fizzed a low shot across goal though that crucial final touch eluded his team-mates. The hosts did break the dead-lock after only five minutes as a looping header by midfielder Bryan Kyungu found the corner. It should be said that the rain was already lashing down and making conditions tricky to say the least, but more on that later.
Sporting had two more chances soon after the goal, as a defensive howler let in Carvell who blazed his effort wide of a grateful home goalkeeper Lewis Greene, scrambling back into position to cover his errant defenders. Soon after, Reside Coxi-Sebastiao pinged a shot into the side-netting as well – the danger-signs were there. Right on the quarter-hour, the visitors were level and what a cracker of a goal it was. Carvell, with the outside of his boot, curled a sumptuous curler into the top corner – another one for ‘the personal collection’ I suspect.
Much to their credit, the Motormen did not let that set-back get to them, with winger Samuel Phillips providing a real outlet with his crossing, pace and trickery. Sporting were indebted to goalkeeper Ibrahim Ugradar who pulled off a really good save to deny home forward Vladut Sighiartau’s powerful effort on 20 minutes. The custodian then made further good saves to deny fellow forward Michael Ogboin when he was one-on-one and then Sighiartau again.
The visitors, perhaps realising they could have been behind, poured forward again and from a free-kick four minutes before the interval, Carvell sent over a wickedly dipping free-kick which Greene had to tip over the crossbar. Add to that efforts from Cameron and stand-in full-back David Vaughan which needed the intervention of Greene and boss Imrul Gazi will have been wondering how his side were not ahead.
He didn’t have to wait long. A minute before the break, a Bengal counter-attack started by a long ball by the adept Ashaan Siddik was met by forward Jason Ngandu who set about on a powerful run and then beat Greene one-on-one although the goalkeeper did get a half-block on it but it wasn’t enough to stop the net from rippling.
Half-Time: Redbridge 1 – 2 Sporting Bengal
The second-half was somewhat lighter in terms of chances as the conditions continued to make their mark, with driving rain and a freezing wind. ‘No picnic’ for the players & officials I can say though credit to both sides as it was a searing test of their desire and energy levels. The hosts did struggle to create chances at times as the visiting defence show how improved they are this term. with captain Kamarl Duncan and full-back David Vaughan particularly impressive.
What I will add though is that the hosts showed no lack of ‘bottle’ or spirit whatsoever and Kyungu really tried to orchestrate moves forward as well on a surface that was getting ever-harder to play cohesively on. Sporting arguably finished the match strongly though Cameron’s header and substitute Bobby Redwood’s curling effort failed to beat Greene.
In Fairness, home centre-back Quincy Egjebale and full-back Terrell Miller had good games as they did hamper the onslaught of a once-again quick and slick attacking Bengal side. Bengal will undoubtedly be pleased with the points today, though they really had to work hard for them and if they were more clinical then it could’ve been four or five in the ‘onion bag’ for them today. Again, credit to both teams for the work rate and drive they both showed for the hardy souls who came out to attend this match.
Full-Time: Redbridge 1 – 2 Sporting Bengal Utd
report by Scott Waple