TWO ASSURED PERFORMANCES from Stepney FC saw the Reds power through to the final of the Inner London Football League TVL Cup.
Stepney began the knockout stages with a quarter final clash with joint League pacesetters SYA. A cagey performance from both teams saw Stepney edge the tie with a neat finish from the returning Jamal Rahman from a Russell Choudhury assist after good interplay between Mufi Uddin, Ruhul Alam and Zaheer Saleh.
Atiqur Rahman’s Weavers were up next and the 2016 champions – who had earlier beaten Bromley Legends 2-1 – tested utility man Sham Zaman in the early stages with two rasping drives – with one attempt agonisingly grazing the upright.
As Shane Baptiste caused havoc with his imposing runs down the right and with Muktadir Ali’s bursts of speed down the left flank, Stepney relaxed after the break to gain momentum.
With Tharik Hussain poised, Stepney centre back Russell Choudhury repeated his party piece and a powerful advance set up Harun Rashid who kept his cool to nonchalantly skip round the keeper and score his second goal in two weeks to clinch Emdad Rahman’s team’s place in the final.
Speaking after the win Stepney player manager Emdad Rahman said, “I’d like to send my commiserations to our opponents tonight. Both teams were a credit to the League. We knew we had to be patient and our tight score lines reflect that. The boys had to adapt their game and rein in their usual attacking flair, especially with a final at stake for both teams. I think we coped very well and our game management was excellent.”
The final sees Stepney meet London Tigers who beat Beaumont Masters 2-1 on penalties in their last eight clash and Abohani 1-0 in their semi final.