Essex Senior League & FA Cup Second Quali Round (ESL) – Preview (15.9.17)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Intro by Scott W

Hello and welcome to a joint-preview of the Essex Senior League action taking place this weekend. FC Romania and are the sole team remaining to carry the ‘ESL flag’ in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round as they seek a bumper pay-day of £4,500 on Sunday whilst there is a near-full ESL fixture programme featuring nine matches. Here are both our thoughts on this weekend’s fixtures:

Friday 15th September

Essex Senior League

Barkingside v Redbridge  |     Venue: Cricklefield

Scott: The ESL action kicks off on Friday as Barkingside welcome Redbridge to Cricklefield. Both sides are in mid-table at present though are also unpredictable. This is Barkingside’s third match in six days whilst the Motormen have had midweek off. That could have an impact on this encounter, though Redbridge’s recent improving form (having won their last their last three matches in league & cup) might just give them the edge here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Peter:  A potentially cracking contest awaits us at Cricklefield as former Oakside rivals Barkingside and Redbridge meet on Friday evening.  Both sides come into this game off the back of victories in the FA Vase too, Side defeated Southend Manor last Sunday whilst The Motormen powered past Brantham Atheltic, netting six goals in an hour.  Both will fancy winning this game but I feel it could end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1


Tower Hamlets  v   Wadham Lodge   |  Venue: Mile End Stadium

Scott: Hamlets also play on Friday night, as they entertain Wadham at Mile End. Both sides were in league action in midweek, Hamlets winning a feisty encounter at Sawbridgeworth, while Wadham lost at home to Hackney Wick. The hosts have won their last four matches on-the-spin and currently reside in the top ten. The form book would lean towards a home win and I happen to agree with that.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Peter:  The other Friday night game comes from Mile End as Tower Hamlets face Wadham Lodge in another derby in the East End.  Hamlets are on a four-game winning streak in all competitions whilst Lodge are bottom with just one win in seven league games.  I feel this game may be closer than people think but the hosts will most likely come away with the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Saturday 16th September

Essex Senior League

Basildon Utd   v   Enfield 1893      |   Venue: The Hive

Scott: In-form Basildon welcome Enfield to the Hive. These two sides are at opposite ends of the table at present. The Bees miserly defence have only conceded four goals in the side’s 100% run thus far in the league. Enfield lost out at Sporting Bengal in midweek and will likely have to be at their best to avoid a negative result here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter:  The Bees are six from six in the league so far this season and sit three points clear at the top after what has been a brilliant start for Marc Harrison as Basildon United manager.  Enfield, who promised much pre-season, have failed to deliver despite some good performances however five defeats from six and only three league goals to show was not the start they wanted.  The visitors almost gained a point at GWR on their last visit to South Essex but I feel the Bees may have enough to see off the Harlow-based side.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Clapton v Burnham Ramblers      |    Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Scott: Clapton welcome Burnham to the Old Spotted Dog Stadium. The hosts have had two weeks off whilst Burnham were held at Hullbridge in midweek in a pulsating encounter. Jon Fowell’s side have drawn their last two league matches and will look to improve on that here. Burnham will be looking to spring a surprise as recently performances have perhaps been better than their results. This one could really go either way though I’m going for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter: The Tons have only lost one of their five league games to date however three draws and only one win see them down in 17th spot.  They take on a side two places below them in the table and only two points behind although the visitors have played three games more although they would of been heartened by their 3-3 draw at Hullbridge in midweek after being 3-1 down with ten men.  The Tons won this fixture 7-0 on the very last day of last season to confirm their runners up spot but I don’t think it will be as one-sided this time round, although I do expect a Tons victory.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Great Wakering Rovers  v  Ilford    |   Venue: Burroughs Park

Scott: This tasty encounter sees the Foxes travel to Burroughs Park to face in-form Wakering. The hosts have won four out of their last five in all competitions and put six past Sporting Bengal last weekend in the FA Vase. Ilford have won their last three matches in all competitions, crucially without conceding a goal. That recent defensive record will come under some scrutiny here. If both sides are on-form on the day , this one could be a corker.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Peter:  This proves to be a decent battle at Burroughs Park as Rovers host Ilford and the hosts come into this one after ending Takeley’s 100% home record in all competitions in midweek whilst Ilford also tasted County Cup success, defeating their Cricklefield tenants Barkingside in a low-key contest in midweek.  It really depends what Ilford show up, it’s been a Jekyll and Hyde season for them so far, however I believe these are the type of games Allan Fenn and his players relish and I feel they will grab a point here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Southend Manor v West Essex       |   Venue: Southchurch Park

Scott: Manor welcome West Essex to Southchurch Park. The hosts have lost their last four matches in league & cup and although they’ve only played four league matches thus far, they do need to get their season started. West Essex have won two and lost two of their last four matches in all competitions though have started the season well. Stuart Marshall’s side will need to play well in both boxes to get a win here. I’m thinking this one will end honours even.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Peter:  Manor welcome high-flying West Essex to their Southchurch Park Arena home looking to try and kick start their season which has been pretty disappointing so far. However, Manor have only played four games so a run of positive results will see them climb the table for sure however they come up against a West Essex side who have been awesome away from home and will surely prove a more than tough assignment for the hosts.  I reckon the contest will end all-square but it could go either way too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Stansted v Woodford Town (2017)     |   Venue: Hargrave Park

Scott: The Airportmen welcome Woodford Town to Hargrave Park. The hosts went out of the FA Vase last weekend, though responded by achieving a creditable draw at FC Romania in midweek. Woodford sit in mid-table at present though are winless in their last three matches. Woodford have had two weeks off and that might help the hosts. I’m going to plump for a narrow home win in this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter:  The Airportmen play their first home league match of the season against a Woodford side who were beaten heavily at home by an out of form Waltham Forest and with Stansted holding FC Romania to a goalless draw in midweek this will certainly give them confidence going into this one although their home loss to Wodson Park last weekend was a disaster so they will not want a repeat of that.  I do feel the hosts will prevail here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Takeley v Hackney Wick          |   Venue: Station Road

Scott: Takeley welcome Wick to Station Road. Marc Das’ side have gone out of the FA Cup and the Essex Senior Cup in the last fortnight and I would think they’ll be looking for a reaction here. Wick had lost their last four ESL matches prior to a midweek success at Wadham Lodge. Their opponents here are bidding to keep up their 100% start to the campaign and I reckon they will do just that.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Peter:  It will be interesting to see how Takeley bounce back from their first home defeat of the season in midweek however they are still five from five in the league and have the chance to go top on goal difference with a victory here.  Wick would of been heartened after their come from behind win at Wadham Lodge in midweek, their first win since the opening day, but the Station Road outfit are a totally different ‘kettle of fish’ and I feel will ultimately prove too strong for the visiting side.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Waltham Forest v Sporting Bengal Utd    |   Venue:  Kitchener Road

Scott: Forest welcome Sporting Bengal to Kitchener Road. The home side here won well at Woodford Town in midweek. Meanwhile, Bengal have won four of their last six matches in all competitions and currently are in the top six. My gut feeling says that Imrul Gazi’s side will triumph here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Peter:  Forest have had a largely poor season although it improved slightly in midweek with when they came from behind to stick four past Woodford Town, this after three straight defeats with a goal.  Sporting Bengal managed to record a positive result in midweek themselves by beating Enfield at Mile End, which saw Imrul Gazi’s side into sixth spot.  Could be goals in this one and I feel it may end all square too.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 3


Sunday 17th September

The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round

FC Romania v Hayes & Yeading Utd  (1pm KO)  |  Venue: Theobalds Lane

Scott:  FC Romania welcome Step 4 Hayes & Yeading to Theobalds Lane. The hosts were shut out by Stansted in the ESL in midweek, whilst Hayes & Yeading won their last encounter in the Evo-Stik South East division last weekend. This will be a good test of FC Romania’s future ambitions though this is unquestionably a step up against the former National League side.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Peter:  FCR welcome Evo Stik Southern East side Hayes & Yeading United to Theobalds Lane for a big FA Cup tie and with a great chance of a ‘cupset’.  The hosts are in pretty good form this season and although they failed to score in their last game they had netted 26 goals in their nine previous games this season in all competitions.  Hayes have picked up slightly with two wins in their last three in the league but their away form hasn’t been great although they have only conceded eight in five league games so they are fairly solid.  Such a hard one to predict but I think it may end in a replay next week.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2


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

You can follow Scott W on Twitter: @ScottMHC14

If you’d like to catch up on last week’s FA Vase action involving ESL sides, click here:

If you’d like to catch up on the last weekend of all-ESL action, click here:


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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