Essex Senior League Preview (26.1.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action, following a week where the weather heavily affected proceedings, leading to a number of postponments. Here are Peter and my thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):


Friday 26th January

Tower Hamlets v Barkingside | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Both sides have won, drawn and lost in their last three league games, so calling this one is a hard one.  Both have not won in two league games though so will be looking to put that right at Mile End on Friday evening.  I reckon this could end all-square.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Hamlets begin the weekend’s action as they entertain Barkingside at Mile End. The hosts have been one of many ESL sides to suffer inactivity due to recent postponements.  Two wins from their last six outings sees them still in 7th spot though are seven points off Clapton immediately above them in the table. Barkingside were stung late on at Oakside last weekend though that performance did show that there are signs the defence is tightening up though one win in their last seven matches highlights their need for points as they currently sit 17th, having had the midweek off due to the weather. There could be goals in this one as well though I reckon the hosts will edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Saturday 27th January

Clapton  v  Wadham Lodge   | Venue: Old Spotted Dog Stadium

Peter:  The Tons ended a run of two league defeats in-a-row by winning at Burnham Ramblers last time out, whilst Lodge haven’t won in five and have only taken two points from those games which has seen them slide into the bottom four.  I feel the hosts will get the job done here as they continue their quest to catch the top five.

Pete’s Prediction:  3 – 1


Scott: The Tons take on inconsistent Wadham at the OSD. Jon Fowell’s side welcomed back some influential players in last weekend’s win at Burnham though consistency is still much-needed as they remain 6th, five points away from the top five having played at least three more matches than the sides above them. Wadham’s match last weekend fell foul of the weather so they have had a mini-break from action. They are winless in their last five matches & are also in need of points as they are six points clear of bottom side Hackney Wick, in 18th spot. I feel that the Tons need to win these sorts of matches if they are to get back into the top-five this term and reckon they will do just that here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Great Wakering Rovers v Burnham Ramblers  | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: Rovers are in that top five and with a great chance of bouncing back to the Bostik North at the first time of asking.  They are in excellent form as well and welcome local rivals Burnham to Burroughs Park who are at the opposite end of the spectrum, having lost all three games in 2018 and have conceded 17 in those three games.  It all therefore points to a home win and that’s exactly what I feel will happen.

Peter’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: An intriguing encounter awaits at Burroughs Park as Wakering welcome Burnham. Wakering were among a clutch of sides to have their matches postponed last weekend, though have won five out of their last six ESL matches – with the only blemish being a home loss to Basildon last month. Iain O’Connell’s side are in 5th spot at present, nine points off leaders Redbridge, though GWR still have 17 games to play in the remaining three months of the campaign. Burnham have lost their last three on-the-trot in the league. They reside in 13th place, still needing some points to be safe in their remaining dozen matches. Lee Hughes’ side also saw influential forward Charlee Hughes depart for Bostik North side Bowers & Pitsea this week. We wish him well in his time at the Len Salmon Stadium. Back to the match itself and it’s hard to not see another Wakering victory here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Hullbridge Sports  v  Enfield 1893  | Venue: Lower Road

Peter: This is a huge six-pointer down the bottom of the league and arguably as big as their recent FA Vase tie at Lower Road.  And if the game is anything like that one was it will be one hectic afternoon for sure.  Sports came out on top in that one and with Enfield badly out-of-form right now expect the same outcome in this game too.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Hullbridge entertain Enfield at Lower Road in a battle of two of the league’s bottom-three. Darren Manning’s side have had a week off following their midweek match being postponed. They will want to banish the memories of a heavy loss at Sawbridgeworth last time out though two defeats in their last six does signify some progress being made. Third-bottom Sports also have at least a game in hand over the sides around them. Enfield return to Lower Road, the site of the two sides’ battle in the FA Vase earlier in the season after a winless streak which sits at seven matches now. Following a heavy loss at home to Basildon last weekend, the E’s have conceded 17 goals in their last six encounters. That needs to change if they are to get results you feel. Rather like the FA Vase tie, I reckon there are goals in this one, though again the hosts may just pinch a hard-fought encounter.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Ilford   v   Hackney Wick  | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The Foxes saw their two-match winning run come to an end last time out and have also seen their star striker James Peagram leave as well, however they have plenty of quality in the squad and come up against a struggling Wick side who badly need wins to pull themselves out of danger.  However, I reckon the hosts will grab victory in this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Ilford take on Wick at Cricklefield. The Foxes haven’t had the best week, losing star forward James Peagram on Monday and then were defeated at Stansted the following day. With two victories in their last seven matches, successes are still not easy to come by for Allan Fenn & Billy Cove’s men. That said, they still sit in 9th spot, four points ahead of Woodford Town in 10th. Wick were edged out in extra-time by Sporting Bengal in the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek though a run of five defeats in their last six league matches sees them bottom of the table, four points adrift. It’s debatable that both sides need the points here, though I’m going for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Southend Manor v Basildon Utd  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: Another local derby this weekend sees Manor host The Bees at Southchurch Park, and the hosts would love a result against their rivals and having ended their winless run last time out will be happier coming into this one.  Basildon though are flying and are in contention for promotion into the Bostik League, and signalled their intent by signing James Peagram and Jordan Cox to strengthen a already quality outfit.  Feel that the visitors’ extra quality will prove the difference.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: The Bees travel to Southcurch Park to take on mid-table Manor. Adam Peek’s side have been inactive of late due to postponements and therefore have games in hand compared to most of the sides around them. They welcome a Basildon side who sit third & are ‘on a high’ with six wins in their last seven matches. Marc Harrison’s men will be further buoyed for their tilt at promotion by the signings this week of goal-king James Peagram from Ilford and Jordan Cox, who won the NL South title with Maidenhead Utd last season. Manor’s poor home record of three wins in 12  ESL matches thus far doesn’t bode so well for them, and I suspect the Bees will prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

UPDATE: This match has been postponed. (Source: Basildon Utd on Twitter)


Stansted   v   Sporting Bengal Utd    | Venue: Hargrave Park

Peter: The Airportmen are unbeaten since the turn of the year and have taken seven points from nine in the process and they look to continue their recovery against Sporting Bengal United at Hargrave Park.  The visitors’ league form has been poor of late but they did reach the semi finals of the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek so will take some confidence from that.  However, I reckon the hosts will grab another three points here.

Peter’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Bengal are the visitors to Hargrave Park as they take on resurgent Stansted. Paul Pittuck’s side are unbeaten in their last three matches after a good win over Ilford in midweek. They are now 15th, three points clear of the bottom four. Imrul Gazi’s side reached the Semi-Finals of the Errington Cup in midweek though are winless in their last five league matches. They sit 14th, two points clear of their opponents here though they only have three wins from 14 matches away from home thus far. You wouldn’t be surprised if the hosts picked up the win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Takeley v West Essex   |  Venue: Station Road

Peter:  The hosts have won four out of their last five and are playing well right now, whilst West Essex have lost three out of four and are winless in four too, so on paper you’d say a home win is a banker.  Football is not won on paper though and West Essex will no doubt pose the hosts problems in this one, but I feel it’s one the hosts will win.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Takeley entertain West Essex after a mini-break, due to the weather. Marc Das’ side are in good form (4 wins in their last six) and are in 4th place, 4 points behind Basildon with a game more to play than the Bees. The Stags have also been inactive though need to address a four-match winless run in the league though they have a good away record thus far of seven wins in 14 matches so far. They sit 8th but are in danger of being caught by Ilford & Woodford just below them. The hosts realistically can’t afford to slip up here and will need to play well to get the win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Waltham Forest  v   Redbridge    | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: This is an intriguing tie at Kitchener Road as Forest, with three wins from their last five games, take on league leaders Redbridge who just keep on winning.  Forest did beat the Motormen in the Cup earlier in the season so do have previous, but I feel this time around the visitors will take the points as they just do not know how to lose.

Peter’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Forest have the uneviable task of ‘derailing the Redbridge train’ at Kitchener Road. Qayum Shakoor’s side have been out of action this week due to the weather and have only lost once in their last six matches. That run has helped them to 16th spot, two points clear of the bottom four. The Motormen strengthened their coaching team this week with the arrival of ex-Wadham boss Marc Farrell. Although all three of Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s team’s defeats this season have come away from Oakside, they find a way to win, as they showed again (just) in last weekend’s triumph at Oakside. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


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 Peter’s ESL site: and here on my blog by Sunday. That’s your lot for this week. Cheerio & thanks for reading.


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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