Essex Senior League 2017/18 – Preview (6.10.17)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Intro by Scott W

The weekend comes round again, and with Saturday being ‘Non-League Day’, here are Peter’s and my thoughts on the Essex Senior League (ESL) fixtures to be played this weekend with four sides currently level on points at the summit.

Friday 6th October

Tower Hamlets v West Essex     |    Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter:  The weekend’s ESL action begins on Friday evening as Tower Hamlets host West Essex at Mile End and the hosts have seen their six-game winning run ended with two straight defeats, whilst visitors West Essex have four wins from their last six outings and have a pretty decent away record this season.  Based on this I have a feeling the visitors will sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Scott: Hamlets welcome West Essex to Mile End in their second home match in five days.  The hosts here have lost their last two league matches so will be looking for a reaction here. West Essex lost out at Woodford Town in midweek and whilst their attacking exploits are well-noted, it is their defending which needs to improve, especially against an in-form Hamlets forward line. I feel Hamlets will edge this encounter.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Saturday 7th October

Burnham Ramblers v Sporting Bengal Utd    |    Venue: Leslie Field

Peter: Ramblers come into this one after an incredible 6-2 win at Waltham Forest, which was only their second win in the league all season.  Sporting in contrast have lost their last two after going joint-top of the division having won the previous three games and have slipped a few places as a result. Got a feeling there may be goals in this one but also for the visitors to get more than the hosts and bounce back and get back on track.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 4

Scott: Sporting Bengal travel to Leslie Field to take on Burnham in this intriguing tie. Burnham are ‘riding on a high’ after an excellent win at Waltham Forest in midweek. Bengal have lost their last two league matches though if they can name their strongest XI then they will feel they have a good chance to get a result here. Though at the back, they will need to be watchful of the likes of Charlee Hughes for the hosts. Tough one to call this is, though I’m going for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Enfield 1893 v Barkingside   |    Venue: The Harlow Arena

Peter: Enfield come up against a Barkingside outfit who have only lost one in five with three wins in their last six league games.  The hosts have had a luckless season so far, having lost seven out of their nine league games.  However the two wins came at home to Redbridge and away to Basildon, two teams tied at the top right now, so this will prove a tough assignment for the visitors.  Got a feeling Enfield may pull this one off too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Barkingside travel to the 3G of the Harlow Arena to take on Enfield. This is the first of two encounters for these sides as they play each other in midweek in the Errington Challenge Cup. Enfield have lost their last three matches in all competitions though they have five goals in those encounters so are scoring, while Barkingside are harder to beat this season under Michael Walther and got a good win over Hackney Wick in midweek. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Hackney Wick v Clapton      |       Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: This is the first meeting between the two sides in what is now known as the Hackney derby, but the hosts have lost four of their last six games whilst the Tons recent record reads Won, Lost, Won, Lost and Won, so ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ springs to mind there.  However, backed by their noisy Ultras I feel the visitors will be roared to victory.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: The first ‘Spotted Dog’ derby match of the league season sees tenants Wick go up against Clapton. The hosts still haven’t won at home yet this term, while Clapton have been inconsistent at times, though did pull off a narrow win over Enfield in midweek. Factor in the return of Johnny Ashman (he played in the Enfield match in midweek) for Jonny Fowell’s side and the possible return of the Ultras for this ‘away’ encounter then that leads me to think it’ll be a win for the Tons.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3


Hullbridge Sports v FC Romania         |        Venue: Lower Road

Peter: Both these sides find themselves in the lower half of the form table after difficult runs, but the Romanians did end Takeley’s 100% start to the season when they beat them in midweek, whilst Hullbridge find themselves in the bottom four after a poor start to their campaign, and last weekend’s 6-1 thrashing at Redbridge wouldn’t of helped their confidence.  Expecting the visitors to do the job here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Hullbridge take on FC Romania at Lower Road. The hosts have had the midweek off though will want to vanquish the memories of a heavy loss to Redbridge last weekend. Sports will also hope that injuries & have abated somewhat as the Wolves come to town having ended Takeley’s unbeaten start to the season in midweek. Hard to see anything else but an FCR win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Ilford v Takeley     |    Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: It will be interesting to see how Takeley react to losing their 100% league record after losing in midweek, and they come up against a tough-spirited Ilford at Cricklefield who themselves recorded a comeback win at Mile End on Monday.  However I do feel the visitors will bounce back and grab their eighth league win of the campaign.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Ilford welcome Takeley to Cricklefield in what is a sure-fire test of their recent mini-revival. In my opinion, the hosts are still seeking the consistency to get in the top-ten and stay there as you’re just not sure ‘which Ilford’ will turn up though they did record a narrow win at Tower Hamlets on Monday night. Takeley will want to react to their narrow loss at FC Romania in midweek as well, though they did defeat Clapton last weekend. This is another tough one to call though I’ll go with a score draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1


Sawbridgeworth Town v Woodford Town (2017)  |   Venue: Crofters End

Peter: The Robins are another side who have had a surprisingly difficult campaign although the loss of Gavin Cockman to Bowers & Pitsea plus changes in the management structure may have take their time to settle perhaps, and they welcome to Crofters a team who have beaten Sporting Bengal United and West Essex in their last two games so will certainly pose a big threat to the hosts.  However Sawbo put in a good showing in a 0-0 draw with Basildon last time out so reckon they could get a point here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Woodford travel to Sawbridgeworth on the back of two good wins over Sporting Bengal and West Essex. I saw Sawbridgeworth last weekend and although up top they could’ve done with being more clinical, they battled very hard with a depleted side and they’ll need to do the same here against a Woodford side that have scored seven goals in their last three matches, though are still somewhat inconsistent as they won three of their last seven league matches. The visitors are also yet to taste defeat away from home. Hard-fought draw here I reckon.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Southend Manor v Redbridge    |   Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter:  Two in-form teams clash at Southchurch Park as Manor host the Motormen.  The hosts have won their last two outings and may just be turning the corner whilst Redbridge are on a six-game winning streak in the league, finally finding the form many expected them to show prior to the season began.  Difficult one to call here but I reckon Redbridge may just have the edge up front and will sneak this one I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: One of the fixtures of the day takes place at Southchurch Park. Manor have finally got their season ‘up and running’ with wins over Waltham Forest and Stansted over the last week. Though they host an in-form Redbridge side that have won their last six ESL matches, scoring 21 goals in the process. At the risk of stating the obvious, Manor will need to be at their best defensively to shut out the likes of Brian Moses and Calvin Poku in attack for the Motormen. Although we’ve already seen some ‘upsets’ this term, I still reckon it’ll be an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Stansted v Basildon Utd  |    Venue: Hargrave Park

Peter: Stansted followed up two straight wins by being humbled 0-4 at home by Southend Manor in midweek, which summed up their season so far.  Basildon United on the other hand began with six straight wins although a defeat and a draw in their last three games put a stop to that, however they defeated Tower Hamlets 3-0 at home and got a creditable point at Crofters in midweek with a few missing so will be happy with their form still.  Fancy an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Basildon travel to Hargrave Park for another away-day after a decent point at Sawbridgeworth in midweek. The hosts have had a mixed week, triumphing at Hackney Wick last weekend before a disappointing loss at home to Suthend Manor in midweek. The Bees are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions and have only conceded six goals in nine league outings thus far. It won’t be a easy encounter for them though I‘ll go for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Waltham Forest v Great Wakering Rovers   |   Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Forest have the second worst defence in the last six league games and they shipped six at home to bottom side Burnham Ramblers in midweek in an astonishing second half collapse which saw them concede four in thirteen minutes.  And they welcome league leaders Great Wakering Rovers to their Kitchener Road ground with the visitors having won six of their last seven games, including a resounding 4-0 win at home to FC Romania last weekend.  You never really know what you’re gonna get with Forest, but I just can’t see anything other than a comfortable away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 4

Scott: Forest welcome Wakering to Kitchener Road. The hosts have won two of their last six league matches, conceding 19 goals in that time and endured a heavy loss to Burnham in midweek. Wakering by contrast have won their last three league matches, scoring eight goals without reply. Those three matches have all been at Burroughs Park though Iain O’Connell’s well-drilled unit will take some stopping here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2


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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