Essex Senior League 2017/18 – Preview (Matchday Round 5)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Intro by Peter D

Its back to league action for the ESL this weekend, so here is a preview of the weekend’s fixtures:-

Friday 25th August 7.45pm KO

Tower Hamlets v Clapton      Venue: Mile End Stadium

Scott: Hamlets welcome Clapton and their vocal fans to Mile End Stadium. Both sides had contrasting results in the FA Cup last weekend and you get the feeling the hosts here will have to be near their best to stop Jon Fowell’s men picking up another victory here. That said, the Tons will not want to underestimate an improved Hamlets side so far this term, compared to last.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Peter:  Hamlets welcome Clapton to the Mile End Stadium for a Friday evening ESL encounter and the hosts will want to put on a better show than they did last weekend when they were thrashed at home by Takeley in the FA Cup.  They welcome a Tons side who caused an upset by knocking out Bostick North Norwich United last weekend at the Dog, and I feel the visitors may have a little more than the hosts in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0-2


Burnham Ramblers v Takeley            Venue: Leslie Field

Scott: Burnham welcome Marc Das’ side to Leslie Field. Despite Burnham’s hard-fought victory in the league last time out, this is an arguably a tougher challenge for Lee Hughes’ men. Takeley probably were not at their best in their narrow win at Southend Manor last time out in the league though managed a good FA Cup win last weekend. Hard to see anything but an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Peter:  Ramblers were without a game last weekend following their FA Cup exit in the previous round but their last league outing saw a home win over Ilford to lift them up off the bottom and up three places to 18th.  However they welcome a Takeley side who have won all six games in all competitions this season although they had to work hard to see off Southend Manor in their last league outing.  However a four goal win at Tower Hamlets at the weekend showed they were still a force and I feel they will have too much for the home side here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-3


Great Wakering Rovers v Enfield 1893        Venue: Burroughs Park

Scott: Enfield make the fairly long trip to Burroughs Park. There are signs that Matt Hanning’s side are starting to gel given their win in their last league match. Wakering are decent at home though and will undoubtedly look for another three points here. I reckon the hosts will edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter: Rovers come into this one off the back of a thumping win at bottom side Wadham Lodge last midweek although they had the weekend off due to not being in FA Cup action.  Enfield also had the weekend off for the same reason but in their last league game defeated Redbridge at the Harlow Arena so will no doubt give Wakering problems, and I feel they may come away with a point here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Hackney Wick v Basildon Utd            Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Scott: Basildon Utd travel to the Old Spotted Dog to take on Hackney Wick. Basildon narrowly exited the FA Cup last weekend though they did win in the Essex Senior Cup in midweek. Wick have conceded six goals in their last two matches and need to address that against a side who have only conceded one goal in their three league matches thus far, although this is Basildon’s first away match of the campaign. My gut says away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Peter:  After a decent start their first senior season as a club, Hackney Wick have lost three on the spin in all competitions as reality of Senior Football begins to bite.  A change of management didn’t help them in their last league outing, losing at home to Sporting Bengal United, and they come up against a Basildon side who have a 100% record in the league so far, although they lost their first game at the weekend to Great Yarmouth Town in the FA Cup.  They did bounce back to defeat Redbridge at Oakside on Tuesday though in the BBC Essex Senior Cup and I feel they will pick up another win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2


Hullbridge Sports  v  Stansted              Venue: Lower Road

Scott: Stansted travel to Lower Road to meet Hullbridge. Hullbridge exited the FA Cup on penalties in midweek and this is their third match in seven days. By contrast, Paul Pittuck’s side have had ten days off and will look to build on their win in their last league match. I think this will be a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Peter:  Sports come into this one after a huge disappointment when losing to St Margaretsbury on penalties on Tuesday evening in the FA Cup replay at Lower Road, and they welcome a Stansted side who weren’t in action at the weekend but won their last league outing at Crofters against local rivals Sawbridgeworth Town.  Two similar teams here so probably will end up a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1


Ilford v Sawbridgeworth Town           Venue: Cricklefield

Scott: The Foxes welcome Sawbridgeworth to Cricklefield. Ilford went out of the FA Cup in midweek and boss Allan Fenn will undoubtedly be looking for a reaction in this match. Both sides have been inconsistent thus far really in the league and Ilford will need to keep it tight in defence against John Watters’ side. My instinct says draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Peter:  The Foxes will be a wounded animal following their heavy defeat at Haverhill Borough in their cup replay in midweek and after losing at Burnham Ramblers in their last league game too definitely need the three points here to get back on track.  The same could be said about Sawbridgeworth Town who recently lost one half of the Watters management team when Mark decided to step down, and John will no doubt want to see his team perform like they did in the draw at Redbridge and the win over Hackney Wick on  a more consistent basis.  Got this one down as a draw though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Redbridge  v    FC Romania       Venue: Oakside

Scott: Redbridge welcome FC Romania to Oakside. Both these teams are in contrasting form, with Redbridge needing to settle and Romania unbeaten, having scored 13 goals in just three league matches. If both sides get their forward line going, this could be a heck of a match, though the Motormen will have to upset the form book to win this one. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Peter:  The Motormen come into this one after three straight defeats in all competitions and they welcome a side who are still unbeaten this campaign and have a 100% record in the ESL.  If the visitors play well I can only see one winner here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-3


Southend Manor  v   Sporting Bengal Utd      Venue:  Southchurch Park

Scott: Manor welcome Sporting Bengal to Southchurch Park. Manor have been unfortunate recently in the manner of their results, whilst Bengal went to Hackney Wick and won last time out in the league. Bengal won this exact fixture last season and it’s a tough one to predict who’ll prevail here. Manor do need to score more to assist their better defence so far this term. I’m going for an entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Peter:  The hosts have suffered two agonising late defeats at home in the last week, pushing Takeley all the way and losing to a 90th minute goal, and then seeing Gorleston net a 93rd minute winner in their cup tie at the weekend.  Sporting managed to pick up their first win of the season last time out with victory at Hackney Wick, but I feel Manor will be hungry for victory and will grab the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1


Waltham Forest v Wadham Lodge       Venue: Kitchener Road

Scott: It’s the ‘Kitchener Road’ derby as both teams meet at their ‘home’ ground. Unfortunately, they occupy the bottom two positions in the league at this juncture as well. James Falaise’s Wadham side have the joint-worst defence thus far, though Lodge have played a game more than their opponents here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a scrappy encounter though Forest may have the edge here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter: The first Walthamstow derby at Kitchener Road takes place and sees the two sides come into this one as the bottom two in the division after both sides have failed to win so far this season.  Forest have picked up one point from their three games whilst Lodge have lost all four in what has been a disastrous start to their campaign.  The hosts for this fixture do look more useful so far despite their winless start and so I feel they will grab their first win of the season here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0


Woodford Town (2017) v Barkingside       Venue: Goffs Lane

Scott: Barkingside travel to Goffs Lane to take on Woodford at Goffs Lane. Both teams have had a ‘mini-break’ from action of late though Woodford did claim a creditable draw at Clapton last time out. Barkingside’s new squad are still to really settle into some consistent form you feel given their results in all competitions. This one really could go either way, though I’ll go with a score draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Peter:  This is a rather intriguing fixture at Goffs Lane with the hosts having one won, drawn one and lost one in the league, whilst Barkingside began with two wins before suffering defeat against West Essex at home, this after another heavy home loss to Stowmarket Town in the FA Cup.  Hard one to call this one, both teams can be dangerous on their day so plucking for a point each here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and on his website at

You can follow Scott W on Twitter: @ScottMHC14


Author: survivor16b

I'm a Mental Health survivor (been surviving for years) & campaigner. I also like Music & Sport. This blog is centred on all things Non-League Football, mainly Match Reports of matches I've seen (mainly Essex Senior League (ESL) but also other Leagues) though it also houses the regular round-up's of the ESL action plus the Essex Olympian League divisions regularly. It also has the odd post about the scary world that we're all in, talking from a Mental Health perspective. Thank you for reading.

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