Fa Vase 17-18: 1st Quali R (ESL sides) Preview

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Intro by Scott W

This weekend, the Buildbase FA Vase returns and many ESL sides are in action in the First Qualifying Round. Which teams will prevail and bag £550 in prize money? Here are Peter’s and my thoughts on this weekend’s ties…

Friday 8th September

Tower Hamlets v Hackney Wick     Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: It’s an East London derby to kick off proceedings on Friday at Mile End as Tower Hamlets hosts Hackney Wick in an all Essex Senior League contest. The hosts have won their last two, scoring eight whilst Wick are making their debut in the competition but have lost four out of six league games and are not in great form. However this is Cup football and a derby so form rarely counts, however I can see the hosts prevailing here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Hamlets play their second home match in just three days as they welcome Hackney Wick to Mile End. Hamlets have won two of their last four league matches, whilst Wick have lost their last four in the league. Hamlets’ thumping win over Waltham Forest in midweek will boost their confidence and if they can maintain their consistency here, I reckon it’ll be the home side that prevails as the visitors have struggled at the back recently.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0


Saturday 9th September

Basildon Utd v St Margaretsbury      Venue: The Hive

Peter: The Bees are certainly buzzing this season having won all six of their league games so far and they welcome a St Margaretsbury side to The Hive who have dumped Burnham Ramblers and Hullbridge Sports out of the FA Cup already this season so will be no pushovers. However, I can see the hosts winning this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Basildon welcome St Margaretsbury to the Hive. The visitors have a good recent record against ESL sides in cup competitions, seeing off Burnham & Hullbridge in the FA Cup already this season. The Bees might well be a different proposition though, given their 100% record in the ESL so far this term and that Basildon are the home side here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Framlingham Town v Waltham Forest     Venue: Badingham Road

Peter: Ironically, the other Walthamstow side Wadham Lodge made the trip to Framlingham in the FA Cup this season, and ended by knocking them out in a replay. Forest have only won one out of seven in the league this campaign and we’re thumped at Mile End by Tower Hamlets last time out so confidence won’t be high. Unsure how they will do here although the hosts have won four of their six league games and are unbeaten at step six level and they will fancy a shot a step five Forest. Gonna go for a draw I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Forest travel to Suffolk on the back of a disappointing result in midweek. They will have another challenge here against Mel Aldis’ side who defeated fellow Kitchener Road side Wadham Lodge in the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round earlier this term. Forest will need to bounce back well and Framlingham will look to continue their cup adventures this term. I think Framlingham may edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Great Wakering Rovers v Sporting Bengal Utd     Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: An intriguing tie awaits at Burroughs Park as GWR hosts SBU with both sides having fairly decent starts to the season. Both lost last time out though, Wakering at Basildon whilst Sporting saw a three match winning streak ended by Mile End rivals Tower Hamlets. Both sides could win this tie but I reckon the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Bengal travel to face Wakering in what is a really interesting tie at Burroughs Park. Wakering are among the early pace-setters in the league though got knocked out of the FA Cup in the Extra Prelim Round so will want a better run in the FA Vase this term. Bengal have started the season quite well themselves though Imrul Gazi’s men will have to be near their best at the back to deal with the likes of Bradley Nobbs and Neil Richmond in attack for GWR. That said, if the hosts have an ‘off-day’, Bengal have enough about them to be a goal-threat as well so I’m going go for a hard-fought draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Hadleigh Utd v Wadham Lodge      Venue: Tinkers Lane

Peter: Lodge travel to Suffolk to take on Hadleigh United and having won their first game of the season last time out will want to build on this with a positive outcome in Suffolk however it’s a tough place to go as Sporting Bengal United found out in the FA Cup and I feel the hosts will progress here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Scott: Wadham make the long trip to Suffolk to take on Hadleigh. Hadleigh have been inconsistent in the Thurlow Nunn ECL Premier thus far though Wadham only picked up their first ESL win last weekend. I do feel the hosts have the edge in this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0


Ilford v Cornard Utd       Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The Foxes welcome a Cornard United side to Cricklefield who have only one point from six league games in Thurlow Nunn One, and sit bottom of that league, and with a step advantage as well, the hosts are clear favourites to progress. Obviously it doesn’t always follow however I feel the home side will secure a comfortable victory.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: Ilford welcome Thurlow Nunn ECL D1 side Cornard to Cricklefield. The Foxes have won two of their last three ESL matches and you feel they are starting to find their rhythm now. Step 6 side Cornard are bottom of their division with one win in six matches though in a one-off cup tie, you never know. I would still think that Ilford should prevail here though.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Redbridge  v  Brantham Athletic        Venue: Oakside

Peter: This proves to be a tough assignment for The Motormen as they welcome a decent Brantham Athletic outfit to Oakside although both teams have similar records in their respective leagues. It has to be said that the Thurlow Nunn Premier is a much tougher league so this could sway the favourites tag towards the visitors. But you can rarely back the visitors when the game is at Oakside against a decent Redbridge outfit and I think they may just squeeze through.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Redbridge welcome fellow Step 5 side Brantham to Oakside. Both sides are currently in mid-table in their respective divisions. The Motormen need to have won their last two league matches though are looking for some consistency and an FA Vase run would surely aid that. The visitors though have won three of the last four league matches, scoring 13 goals in the process so the Redbridge backline will need to be ‘on it’ in this one. I think this one may be a high-scoring encounter, though it is hard to separate the sides here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 3


Saffron Walden Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town   Venue: Catons Lane

Peter: This is a tough one for The Robins as they travel to Catons Lane for a match against local Thurlow Nunn Premier side Saffron Walden Town. The hosts have good Cup pedigree and with a strong crowd behind them will be a tough side to beat. Sawbridgeworth have also not had the greatest start to their season either although victory at home to Waltham Forest in their last game will have given them a boost but don’t see them getting anything here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Thurlow Nunn ECL Premier side Saffron Walden welcome fellow Step 5 side Sawbridgeworth to Catons Lane. With both sides in mid-table in their respective divisions, this could be a tough contest though Sawbridgeworth have yet to entirely ‘find their mojo’ yet this season and this would be some place to find it. Home advantage could count for a bit here and mainly for that reason, I’m going for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Stansted v Wodson Park                     Venue: Hargrave Park

Peter: Hosts Stansted play their first game at home this season and they welcome Step Six side Wodson Park to Hargrave Park. The visitors sit mid-table in the Spartan South Midlands One whilst Stansted are in the bottom half of the Essex Senior League. Stansted have got a decent squad though and may be too much for the visitors in the end.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Scott: Step 6 Wodson Park make the fairly short trip to Hargrave Park. Stansted are a side in transition still you feel and although the visitors are a step below the ESL side, the hosts will want to continue to improve in what is their first home match of the season.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Sunday 10th September

Barkingside v Southend Manor      Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: Side come into this Vase tie against fellow ESL outfit Southend Manor off the back of hitting six at Lower Road against Hullbridge Sports whilst Manor haven’t played a competitive fixture for nearly two weeks and only have four points from their four games. Got a feeling the hosts will continue their decent form with another win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott:  Barkingside welcome Stuart Marshall’s Manor side to Cricklefield on Sunday. ‘Side definitely found their rhythm last weekend in a big win at Hullbridge, whilst Manor have lost two out of their last three league matches and here they will need what seems to plague them a bit: getting goals. If both sides are on form, this all-ESL tie could be a cracker.

Scott’s Prediction:  2 – 2


Enfield 1893 v Haverhill Borough            Venue: The Harlow Arena

Peter: These two met in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup and Haverhill ran out 2-1 winners in a game Enfield dominated by all accounts. Borough also disposed of Ilford in a reply before losing 8-0 at home last weekend to Southern Premier side Kings Langley. The hosts have only one win to their name all season and lost to Wadham Lodge last time out however I feel they may gain revenge over the Suffolk side in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Finally, Enfield welcome ECL Premier side Haverhill Borough to the Harlow Arena. The hosts haven’t ‘found their feet’ thus far in the ESL and I feel defensively they’ll need to be on their game against a Borough side that has won two of their five matches so far in a very competitive division. Hard to separate the sides though Borough may nick it.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and on his website at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl 

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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