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Stepney beat Tigers to kick off ILFL Winter League 

Muhammad Ismael

THE GAME OF THE DAY saw Summer League runners up Stepney FC face champions London Tigers in a mouthwatering opening day fixture in the first round of games in the Inner London Football League Premier Division. 

Before kick off Stepney posed for photos in their new kit provided by charity partner Human Relief Foundation.

Tigers started the game as favourites, but the early exchanges saw the champions pegged back into their own half. The early pressure paid off as a superbly executed snap shot from Sham Zaman drew first blood and handed Stepney the lead.

With no changes at the interval, Stepney reverted to soaking up the pressure. The tactic paid off and a foray into the opposition half saw Jamal Rahman fouled for a penalty – which was neatly dispatched by Mufi Uddin.

Minutes later another quick move on the break saw Mufi break clear and as the Stepney hitman ghosted past Kamruz Zaman he was upended with the goal in his sights. Zaman was instantly red carded for his efforts.

New boys Harun Rashid, Jamal Rahman and Shane Baptiste with Emdad Rahman

Stepney were boosted with new blood as Shane Baptiste, Harun Rashid and Jamal Rahman joined the team and with Amin Chowdhury returning to the squad after almost a year out through injury. With Rashid injured, Baptiste and Rahman started –and put in impeccable performances as Stepney cruised home.

Stepney Manager Emdad Rahman commented, “London Tigers are a force in this league – and they haven’t won every campaign bar one through luck. It was painful losing the title to them on goal difference on the last day of TVL10, but hopefully that experience will fuel our future ambitions. They are fearsome opponents, but tonight we excelled throughout. Well done to the debutants Shane and Jamal on their seamless transition into the team.”

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