Essex Senior League 2017/18 – Preview (13.10.17)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Intro by Scott W

The ESL full fixture programme returns this weekend after a multitude of Cup & League action in midweek, chiefly the beginning of the newly-renamed Errington Challenge Cup. Below are Peter’s & my thoughts on this weekend’s ESL action.


Saturday 14th October

Barkingside v Ilford    |    Venue: Cricklefield

Peter:  It’s the big Cricklefield derby on Saturday as ‘Side take their turn to ‘host’ against Ilford.  The two teams met earlier in the season in the cup and saw Ilford run out with a slender 1-0 victory.  Side though have only won one of their last four games whilst Ilford have won their last two but form normally means nothing in these types of games, and I reckon it’s too tight to call so predicting a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott:  The ‘Cricklefield derby’ sees tenants Barkingside welcome Ilford. Michael Walther’s side edged past Enfield on spot-kicks in the opening match of the Errington Challenge Cup on Monday night though league-wise they’ve won one out of their last four matches. Ilford continued their mini-revival with a good win over Takeley last weekend. I reckon this one will be a tough encounter for both sides though I have a feeling the Foxes will edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Clapton v Great Wakering Rovers    |    Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons have won their last two games but welcome one of the most in-form sides in the division right now in Great Wakering Rovers to the Old Spotted Dog.  The visitors currently sit top of the league on goal difference and will be looking to keep it that way with victory here although against a tough Clapton side that will always be a hard thing to do. Think I will plump for a draw here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 Scott: GWR travel to the Old Spotted Dog to take on an inconsistent Clapton side. Clapton are ‘on the rise’ though as a huge crowd of nearly 800 saw them prevail in their ‘away’ win over Hackney Wick at the OSD last weekend. Jon Fowell’s side have only lost one of their last five matches in all competitions. Wakering though are still in excellent form though and haven’t conceded a single goal in their last four league matches, which it’s no surprise to say that they’ve won all four, given that defensive record. The defensive record may go though it is hard to not back a Wakering win as more often than not they get results and it’s no surprise really given their form that they are currently joint-top.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Hullbridge Sports v Hackney Wick    |    Venue: Lower Road

Peter: Sports are enduring a very poor run of form which has seen them fail to win a league game for nearly two months and they welcome a side who have lost five of their last six in the league, so both sides badly need the points in this one.  Both sit in the bottom four two, so three points in this game would be a great lift for whoever earns it.  However I feel this one could also end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Two of the league’s current bottom four meet at Lower Road. Sports have lost their last three league matches, two of them being heavy losses to Redbridge & FC Romania and conceding twelve goals in the process. Wick have had a tough week off-the-pitch though on it they’ve lost five of their last six league matches and won’t find it easy here either. If the hosts can have good day defensively (bit of a big if at present) then I think they will edge this match given all that the visitors have had to deal with recently.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Redbridge v Sporting Bengal Utd      |       Venue: Oakside

Peter: The Motormen are the best side in the division right now on form, having won six straight league games, and it surely would have been seven had their game at Southend Manor not been abandoned last weekend.  Sporting on the other hand have gone well off-the-boil, having lost three straight league games to slip from joint top to eighth, and I feel it may be four defeats in a row as Redbridge will have too much for them on the day.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Motormen welcome an inconsistent Sporting Bengal side to Oakside. Bengal have lost their last three league matches, shipping ten goals in that time. The hosts are unbeaten in their last seven league matches and will take some stopping here as they seek to join those sides at the top of the division. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 1


Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Southend Manor   |     Venue: Crofters End

Peter: The Robins have been solid of late, three draws in a row and only one defeat in five, however they welcome a Manor side full of confidence after their win at Braintree Town in midweek in the County Cup, as well as two straight wins in the league.  Think I’m gonna have to go for a draw in this one as well.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Manor travel to Crofters End to take on Sawbridgeworth. John Watters’ side have drawn their last three league matches though could have won one of those had they been more clinical in front of goal. Stuart Marshall’s Manor picked up an excellent win over Braintree Town at Cressing Road in the Essex Senior Cup in midweek so will be on a high from that triumph. They will be in for a battle here though as both sides seek to move away from a potentially-precarious league position. Tough one to call though I think Town might sneak it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Stansted v Waltham Forest     |    Venue: Hargrave Park

Peter: The Airportmen’s last six games have yielded three wins and three defeats, whilst Forest have lost three straight matches in the division, although they did thrash Woodford Town in the Errington Cup in midweek to give themselves some confidence.  Stansted haven’t been brilliant at home and I think Forest may nick something here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Forest travel to Hargrave Park to meet Stansted in an interesting mid-table clash. Paul Pittuck’s side has won three of their last six league matches and recently the Airportmen have a good record against sides in & around them in the table. Forest are one place behind their hosts in the table, though five points separates them. Forest picked up an excellent win at Woodford in Cup action in midweek though in the league only one win in their last five matches leaves them at risk of being caught by the sides below them. I think there will be goals in this one though the visitors are the more susceptible at the back so this might favour a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Takeley  v   Enfield 1893  |   Venue: Station Road

Peter: Dassy’s Takeley side got back to winning ways with victory at struggling Lodge on Wednesday after two straight defeats previously to that saw questions beginning to be asked of the Station Road side.  They need to be very wary of Enfield too, despite the visitors lowly league position, and with the Harlow-based side having beaten Barkingside last weekend, they will certainly ask questions of the high flying hosts.  However I feel Takeley will grab the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Takeley welcome Enfield 1893 to Station Road as Marc Das’ side look to build another good run of results. Following a ‘mini-blip’ they got a good win at Wadham Lodge in midweek. Enfield’s poor recent league run ended with a home win over Barkingside last weekend though they went out of the Errington Challenge Cup to the same opposition on penalties on Monday night. The hosts are another side that can grind out results and I suspect they’ll bank another three points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Tower Hamlets v FC Romania    |   Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter:  Hamlets routed West Essex at home last time out to get back to winning ways after two straight defeats, making it seven wins in nine games.  FC Romania have won their last two after a tricky period but their crushing win at Hullbridge, especially the second half, will give them cause for optimism.  I feel that this one could go in favour of the visitors.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Hamlets welcome FCR to Mile End. Last season, it’s more than likely you’d have said ‘away win’ in this fixture though this term you cannot be so cavalier in your thinking, down in no small part to the resurgent hosts so far this term. Hamlets have won two and lost two in their last four league matches though in-form forward Curtis Pond has certainly got his fair share of goals thus far for Ade Abayomi & AJ Ashinike’s side. The Wolves have an identical record to their hosts in the last four league matches (won two, lost two) though I have a feeling this one could end up honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Wadham Lodge v West Essex   |    Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Bottom side Lodge welcome West Essex to Kitchener Road looking to try and grab something from the game after losing six of their last seven in the league.  West Essex had been flying and found themselves top after four straight wins, however two defeats on the spin have seen the Mayesbrook Park side drop to fifth, and the midweek mauling at the hands of Basildon United in the Errington Cup wouldn’t have helped their confidence.  However, they should have enough to dispose of a struggling Lodge side.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Bottom side Wadham entertain West Essex at Kitchener Road. Although the results indicate one win from their last seven league matches for the hosts, it does seem that Wadham are starting to turn the corner in terms of performances after a very poor start to the campaign. West Essex have lost their last three in all competitions, conceding ten goals without reply in those three matches which is unusual for Kwame Kwateng’s side. Consequently, this might be a ‘good’ time for Wadham to play them and although both sides have leaky defences, I’m going for a score draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Woodford Town (2017)  v  Basildon Utd   |   Venue: Goffs Lane

Peter: Two in-form sides meet at Goffs Lane on Saturday with the Bees trying to overhaul Great Wakering Rovers at the top.  Woodford though are three games unbeaten and were minutes away from winning three straight in the league although they were thrashed at home in the Errington Cup by Waltham Forest in midweek.  The Bees are also unbeaten in three league games but thrashed West Essex in their midweek Errington Cup clash and I feel they will grab the points here too.

Pete’s Prediction:  0 – 2

Scott: Finally on Saturday, the Bees travel to Goffs Lane to take on Woodford Town. The hosts have had an upturn in form in their last four matches in all competitions, only losing once and that was in the Errington Challenge Cup to Waltham Forest in midweek. Basildon were also prevailed in the Cup with a big win over West Essex. In the league, the Bees’ unbeaten run now stands at three matches. Woodford may breach the visitors’ near-impregnable defence (they haven’t conceded a goal in their last five matches in all competitions) though I still reckon Marc Harrison’s side will pick up another three points to bolster what’s been a near-remarkable start to the campaign for them.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 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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