Essex Senior League Preview (19.1.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action. Recent leaders Redbridge are joint-top with FC Romania at present and start off the action on Friday night. Here are Peter’s and my thoughts on all the fixtures this time around:

Friday 19th January

Redbridge v Barkingside | Venue: Oakside

Peter: These two often throw up some interesting games when they meet, and this game comes at a time where Redbridge haven’t played this year whilst the visitors have had a decent start to the new year.   This could mean the hosts are rusty and Side could take advantage of that maybe?  However, the Motormen lost top spot to FC Romania in midweek so will be looking to regain this for at least 24 hours.  Gonna be a tight one and I reckon this could end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Redbridge welcome Barkingside to Oakside. The hosts have been out of action recently, though are still on a impressive winning run in the league and in the ESL, are unbeaten at Oakside. ‘Side are unbeaten in their last two matches after ended their long winless streak in the league. It won’t ‘win any prizes’ though have to go for home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Saturday 20th January

Burnham Ramblers v Clapton | Venue: Leslie Field

Peter: Ramblers have had an awful start to 2018, losing both games and conceding fourteen goals in those two outings.  Clapton have also had a poor start to the year but recovered to reach a Semi-final in midweek so will be confident of another win here. Think an away win is probably on the cards.

Pete’s Prediction:  0-2

Scott: Two of the league’s inconsistent sides square up at Leslie Field. Ramblers have lost their last two (v Barkingside & Takeley) heavily and in all have conceded 25 goals in their last six matches. They take on a Clapton side who are finding goals hard to come by of late, having scored nine in their last six matches. So something has to give really you feel in this encounter in what is a heck of a match to call. Am going to plump for a narrow win for the Tons.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Enfield 1893 v Basildon Utd  | Venue: The Harlow Arena

Peter: The hosts haven’t had the best of it over the last few weeks and are second-bottom in the division.  They will take some heart from their performance against a strong Barnet side in midweek but they come up against a pretty decent outfit in Basildon United who will be looking to bounce back from defeat in midweek, however they put seven past Wick in their last league outing so pose a threat for sure.  Think their could be goals in this one and reckon the Bees will come out on top.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-4

Scott: The Bees travel to the Harlow Arena to take on struggling Enfield. The hosts currently sit in the bottom two, four points ahead of bottom side Hackney Wick after seeing their winless run extend to six matches. They lost to improving Sawbridgeworth last weekend. By stark contrast, Basildon have won five out of their last six league outings, drawing the other one though they did exit the Gordon Brasted Trophy in midweek in a narrow loss at Clapton. Last weekend, Marc Harrison’s men thumped bottom side Wick 7-0 and you wouldn’t bet against the visitors having another success here as they seek to keep the pressure on the top two.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Hackney Wick v Takeley | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: Wick are going through a tough time lately, and after their thrashing at Basildon last time out saw manager and assistant depart.  They now welcome a side who netted nine in their last league game and recently won 4-0 against Wick at the same ground, so not what the hosts would of wanted for sure.  Wick need points now but I can’t see them getting any here as Takeley will prove too strong I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 0-4

Scott: Hackney Wick welcome Takeley to the OSD. The hosts sit four points adrift at the foot of the table, having lost five out of their last six matches and parted company with boss Tony Ievoli & his management team this week. Factor in that they are the lowest scorers in the division so far this term with 30 goals from 26 matches. They take on goal-hungry Takeley, who battered Burnham 9-0 at Station Road last weekend and have won four of their last six league encounters. Marc Das’ side are five points behind joint-leaders FC Romania & Redbridge before this weekend’s action and it would be a surprise if they slipped up here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Ilford v Great Wakering Rovers  | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: This could be a good one at Cricklefield as an in form Foxes host title and promotion challengers Rovers.  The hosts have defeated Sporting Bengal United and West Essex in their last two outings and will be looking for a third win on the bounce to potentially leap up two places in the division, whilst Wakering need the points to keep the pressure on the leaders.  Gonna plump for a draw here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Ilford welcome Wakering to Cricklefield. The Foxes have had a good week with wins over Sporting Bengal at Mile End last weekend followed by a battling home win over West Essex in midweek. The lower part of the top-half of the table is tightening up with only five points seperating Tower Hamlets in 7th and Woodford Town in tenth place. Allan Fenn & Billy Cove’s men currently sit 9th, and have lost only three home league matches so far this term.

Wakering are in good touch themselves, with only one loss in six matches, with the other five being victories, including last weekend’s rout of Tower Hamlets at Burroughs Park. The ESL’s top-five are breaking away somewhat as GWR sit 5th, eight points ahead of 6th-placed Clapton. The hosts will need to be at their best here to win this one, and GWR have only lost two away league matches thus far this term. Another toughie to predict, though will go away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Sawbridgeworth Town v FC Romania  | Venue: Crofters End

Peter: The Robins are in cracking form in 2018, three wins from four, and they take on an FCR side who were held by Stansted in midweek however they did climb to the top of the table with that point and have also won three out of four in 2018, so this proves to be a pretty decent clash at Crofters.  Another draw I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: A fascinating tie awaits here at Crofters End. Sawbridgeworth are finally making their way up the table, with four wins in their last six outings. Surely key to that has been a meaner defence of late compared to earlier this campaign (with six goals conceded in their last six league matches). John Watters’ side sit 12th now, just four points off the top ten. In-form FC Romania are the visitors here, having seen their winning run ended at Hargrave Park as Stansted held them to a goal-less draw in midweek. The Wolves have only tasted defeat three times in the league so far this term and it’s hard to see that happening here given Sawbo’s indifferent home record this season. That said, I reckon the hosts may get a point here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Sporting Bengal Utd v Waltham Forest    | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Two sides in need of a boost after not starting the year too well, Bengal have lost all three games so far whilst Forest started the year well with victory over Clapton however two frustrating losses at FC Romania have set them back a touch.  Still I’d rather be in Forest’s shoes right now and I believe they will take victory at Mile End.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: Sporting Bengal entertain Forest at Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side have lost their last three on-the-spin in the league, with defeat at Woodford Town in midweek. The hosts here have only scored seven goals in the their last six matches which sees them in 14th place though are five points above the bottom six. Forest are also ‘looking over their shoulders’ at the relegation scrap as they are a place behind Bengal and three points worse off. Qayum Shakoor’s side saw their recent unbeaten league run end at FC Romania last weekend to compound their poor away league record so far this term. Both sides need the points here though Forest may edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Wadham Lodge v Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Lodge have gone backwards since the departure of Marc Farrell a few weeks ago and have slipped back into the bottom four on goal difference, whilst Hamlets began the year well but have slipped back in their last two outings, and with their last game being a 6-1 hammering at GWR they will want to get back to winnings ways.  Got a feeling this could well be a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Tower Hamlets make the trip to Walthamstow to take on Wadham. The hosts are winless in their last five matches now after a narrow loss to Southend Manor last weekend. this recent barren run has seen them slide back into the bottom four. They take on a Hamlets side that isn’t in great form with two wins & three defeats from their last six league matches. They still sit in 7th place though, level on points with West Essex and four points behind Clapton. Joint-manager AJ Ashinike’s side will need to tighten up defensively after a heavy defeat last weekend at Wakering. Even so, I’m going for a away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

West Essex v Southend Manor  | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: Hosts West Essex will want to try and get back to winning ways after they have started 2018 with just one point from nine, although that point did come away at Basildon United.  Manor themselves got a vital win at Lodge last time out and will look to build on this victory but will have to defend well against a West Essex side who create plenty, but can they convert them in this game?  I reckon they will have enough to defeat the visitors but it will be close.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: The Stags welcome Manor to Mayesbrook Park. The hosts have had a bad week with losses to Hullbridge at home last week and at Ilford in midweek. That said, they are in a respectable 8th place in the table though are being caught by the teams immediately below them (Ilford and Woodford Town). Manor ended their recent winless run with a eventful win at Wadham last weekend though they are still pourous at the back having conceded 20 goals in their last six league matches. In terms of respective records so far this term, Manor have a good away league record having won exactly half of their matches away from Southchurch Park. West Essex don’t have a great home record though they will seek to partly correct that here. I have a feeling there’ll be goals in this one, going go for a home win in an entertaining match.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

 

Woodford Town (2017) v Stansted   |  Venue: Goffs Lane

Peter: The hosts followed up two draws at the start of 2018 with victory over Sporting Bengal United last time out, whilst the visitors have thrashed Clapton and held FC Romania so far this year as they ended a run of nine straight defeats previously, so both are in solid form.  Hard one to predict this one so yet again I am plumping for a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: The last tie of the weekend sees two sides who have both had good weeks meet at Goffs Lane.  Dee Safer’s side defeated Bengal in midweek to go unbeaten in their last four league matches as they look to establish a creditable top-ten run. Stansted followed up a really good win at Clapton last weekend with a shut-out draw at home to FC Romania in midweek. Interestingly, of all the sides currently in the bottom half of the table, the Airportmen have the joint-best defence away from home (with Sawbridgeworth Town). That defence will be tested though I’m going go for a battling draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980

If you’d like to follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottMHC14

Also, you can check out how the sides did this weekend with our respective round-ups on here on Peter’s site: www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl/  and here on my blog by Sunday. That’s your lot for this week. Bye for now & thanks for reading.

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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 but also other Leagues) though it also houses the regular round-up's of Bostik (Isthmian) League Division North action most weeks, plus semi-regular ones on the Bostik Premier Division & others. 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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