Hackney Wick 1 Sporting Bengal United 2
Errington Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Tuesday 23rd January
Freddy Tendon proved to be Captain Marvel as the Sporting Bengal skipper fired home the winner in the closing seconds, that broke Hackney Wick’s hearts, whilst booking a Semi Final showdown with Sawbridgeworth Town.
Hackney Wick belied their lowly League position by playing some nice passing football, which almost gave them the lead in the opening minute. On that occasion Shunsake Sasaki played a wonderful pass to Prince Yeboah who low shot missed the target by a whisker.
It didn’t take long for Sporting Bengal to reply with a useful cross from Steven Carvel reaching Eaia Embalo who fired his shot straight at the Wickers keeper. And the entertaining start continued, with the Wickers carving up another good opportunity in the 12th minute after some nice approach play culminated in Yeboah rattling off a powerful drive that smashed against the crossbar. A nice three man move involving Embalo, Codey Cameron and Ashaan Siddik split the Wickers defence but ended with Siddik putting too much power and not enough accuracy on his shot, which was blazed high over the bar. Stuart Brown-Smith did have to pull off a save to prevent Sporting Bengal taking the lead, when direct cross from Carvel landed at the feet of Embalo, but the shot was blocked by the Wickers stopper.
The good spell from Sporting Bengal continued with them almost taking the lead in the 25th minute after a defence-splitting pass reached Embalo who cannoned his shot wide. But the Wickers were dogged, dug in, stemmed the Sporting Bengal flow, then went up the other end and went close with a Stephen O’Hara freekick before Sasaki had a shot blocked by Tandon. Espirit was also called upon, as Yeboah chiselled another shot on the half hour that needed the Bengal Tigers keeper to show cat-like qualities as he got down quickly, spread himself and parried the shot away.
Hackney Wick took the lead in the 34th minute when Patrick Syzmon let fly from the right wing that appeared to deceive Espirit on route to landing in the bottom left hand corner of the net. But Sporting Bengal didn’t let their heads drop, going close to levelling up when Cameron turned quickly and fired a shot into the side-netting. Sporting Bengal drew level in the 42nd minute with a sizzling Siddik shot that gave Smith-Brown no chance as it whizzed past him.
The first half had been high tempo at times and the second half started in the same vein. The visitors almost took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Sergio Sidibie cut out a Sporting Bengal cross that very nearly ended up as an own goal, landing just an inch the wrong side of the post. David Vaughan then had a goal chalked off for offside inside the opening five minutes, as Sporting Bengal came out of the blocks quickly. The Wickers defence line was then tested by Vaughan, whose pass to Embalo was eventually hooked clear by Meer Ishanzadeh. Another deep cross from Vaughan was cleared by Sidibie, with Sasaki doing likewise for Hackney Wick that was cut out by Espirit. Sporting Bengal moved their defensive line up that prevented the Wickers creating much up front. The offside trap deployed by Bengal caught out the Wickers forwards a number of times, with Tandon also heading away a couple of crosses.
It was Sporting Bengal who were creating the most clear-cut chances with Cameron and Siddik both drilling shots wide. A Carvel freekick was touched on by Embalo before being cleared, then Sporting Bengal hit the woodwork themselves after a corner was headed onto the crossbar by Kamarl Duncan. At that stage the pendulum was definitely swinging in Sporting Bengal’s direction.
That soon was to change as Hackney Wick mustered a half-chance in the 80th minute through Stephen O’Hara. A deep cross from Kirk McPhearson was headed clear by Tandon, who then blocked an O’Hara shot. The closing ten minutes saw the Wickers going all-out to find the winning goal with Sporting Bengal finally managing to get the ball out of their half, and winning a corner in the final minute. From this Tandon was on hand to rifle home the last-gasp winner.
Hackney Wick: Stuart Brown-Smith, Patrick Syzmon, Charlie Gregory, Sergio Sidibie, Simpson Mpalampa (Capt), Ly Loong (Matteo King 81’), Jermain Nicholson (Meer Ishanzadeh 54’), Kirk McPhearson, Shunsake Sasaki (Simon Bamideli 68’), Stephen O’Hara, Prince Yeboah.
Scorer – Patrick Syzmon (34’)
Sporting Bengal United: Dwayne Espirit, Antony Murray-Bruce (David Vaughan 46’), Kamarl Duncan, David Tarawali, Freddy Tandon (Capt), Marcus Lansiquot, Codey Cameron, Ashaan Siddik, Eaia Embalo, Steven Carvel, Josh Adeji.
Scorers – Ashaan Siddik (42’), Freddy Tandon (90’)
Report by Scott Lanza