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Sporting Bengal United v Romford Preview

Sporting Bengal United v Romford Preview

Michael Woods23 Feb - 08:42
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Mile End Stadium trip for Boro, Women’s Cup tie now at Noak Hill

Romford make the short trip to the Mile End Stadium tomorrow to face Sporting Bengal United in what will be only the second ever meeting between the teams. This will be Boro’s first away league game of 2024; the last away league fixture was at FC Clacton in mid-December.

With the weather continuing to be wet, please keep an eye on social media, including the new WhatsApp channel, for news of any pitch inspection. A game was played at the stadium on Wednesday evening when Bengal’s co-tenants Tower Hamlets played Hoddesdon Town, and the pitch was described by the visitors as “horrible” and a “tough surface.”

The only previous occasion on which Romford have met Sporting Bengal was in September at Mayesbrook Park when a very eventful game ended 3-3 with Hasan Nalbant scoring twice and Michael Turner once.

Sporting Bengal were promoted from the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South at the end of last season. Having finished fourth in the table, Bengal beat Wormley Rovers and Stanway Pegasus in the Play-Offs to return to the Essex Senior League at the first attempt after their relegation at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Formed in 1996 with the aim of addressing the under-representation of Asians in football, Sporting Bengal initially played in the London Intermediate League before joining the Kent League in 2003, where they remained until 2011. They then transferred to the Essex Senior League, where their best finish was eighth place in in 2018-19.

This Season:

Currently fourth in the table with 47 points from 27 games (two points fewer than Boro from one more game), Sporting Bengal began the season with wins at Great Wakering Rovers and Ilford (where they came from 2-0 down to win 4-2) and after suffering their first defeat (at Tilbury) then lost just once in their next ten games. Their recent form has shown something of a decline in their fortunes with just one win in their last six, a 5-1 beating of bottom of the table Coggeshall Town.

A number of former Romford players have featured for Bengal this season including Steve Carvell (who has been with the club for a number of seasons, both before and after his time with Boro), Christian Adu-Gyamfi, Sheri Artmeladze (top scorer again this season with 19 goals to date), and Chaka Barnett.

Home Ground and How To Get There:

Sporting Bengal’s home ground is The Mile End Stadium The club give the address as Rhodeswell Road, E14 7TW, and advise that for sat nav directions, "Copperfield Road" brings you closest to the Stadium entrance.

By public transport, Mile End Station on the Central and District Lines is just over half a mile away. There is no service on the Elizabeth Line this weekend however, nor on the London Overground between Romford and Upminster.

Romford have only ever played at The Mile End Stadium twice before, the last time being back in 2008. On both previous visits, Boro played Beaumont Athletic, winning 8-1 and 5-0. Those Boro supporters who were there for those games, or the more recent FA Youth Cup in 2018 against Tower Hamlets, will remember that there is no cover apart from the main stand, which provides an elevated view of the pitch across the athletics track, and – if the game is not sufficiently interesting – the office blocks in Canary Wharf.

A visitor to the stadium in July 2023 commented that there was no tea bar and when Romford last played at The Mile End Stadium, catering and refreshment facilities consisted of a vending machine in the lobby

Other Boro teams in action this weekend:

The weather put paid to the games involving Romford Reserves and Romford Women last weekend. Boro’s reserves are away to Billericay Town in the Len Cordell Memorial Trophy tonight with a 7.45pm kick-off, and on Sunday Romford’s Women make a third attempt to play Colchester United in the League Cup. After two postponements at Rookery Hill, this game has been switched to the 3G pitch at the Noak Hill Sports Complex, Noak Hill Road, RM3 7YA. Kick-off will be at 2pm and the game will go to penalties if the scores are level after 90 minutes.

Other Essex Senior League games this weekend:

Friday 23rd February:
Woodford Town v Little Oakley

Saturday 24th February:
FC Clacton v Buckhurst Hill 2pm
Takeley v Athletic Newham 2pm
White Ensign v Stanway Rovers 2pm
Barking v Ilford
Coggeshall Town v Hullbridge Sports
Halstead Town v West Essex
Saffron Walden Town v Great Wakering Rovers

Further reading