London APSA and Sporting Bengal meet in first Essex Senior League fixture
London APSA and Sporting Bengal, two teams which have been standard bearers of the Asian football community in east London for a number of years, meet for their first ever Essex Senior League fixture against each other this evening (28 September) at Clapton FC’s Old Spotted Dog Ground.
The two teams have come a long way in their relatively short histories, and have met in the Asian League, the Asian Championships and the FA Cup previously.
London APSA hail from Newham and are the older of the two clubs, having established in 1993.
Three years later, Sporting Bengal arrived on the scene in Tower Hamlets. In a unique set-up, the team is made up of the best players from the Bangladesh Football Association UK (BFAUK) league which is home to nearly 30 teams in the borough.
This season has begun in a positive way for both sides in the Essex Senior League. After four games each, APSA are on nine points and Bengal have seven, while both have made it through to the first round proper of the FA Vase following victories at the weekend.
Former Wycombe Wanderers striker Shahed Ahmed, said: “I’m very excited and feel privileged to be captain of Sporting Bengal in such a big game. It seems after many years of inconsistency with players that both teams have finally got their best squads so I feel the time is right for this game. There is a real buzz in both camps and confidence is high.”
APSA skipper Urfat Hussain reiterated Ahmed’s sentiments, saying: “I’ve played for APSA for a long time, going back to the Asian League days where our two clubs would battle it out. The atmosphere is tense at the start and rises steadily to a crescendo when goals go in.”
Tickets for the fixture have been lowered to just £2.50.