Essex Senior League Preview (3.2.18)


Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action as we enter the final three months of the season. Here are Peter’s and my thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):


Basildon Utd v Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: The Hive

Peter: The Bees have continued their magnificent form into 2018 and are hot on the heels of second placed FC Romania right now, but they welcome a Sawbo side who have also had a decent 2018 and are unbeaten in five right now.  Gonna be a tight one this but I reckon the Bees may just sneak this one by the odd goal.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott: The Bees welcome in-form Sawbridgeworth to the Hive. Marc Harrison’s edged out Ilford in midweek to keep the heat firmly on the top two. The hosts are unbeaten in eight matches now and take on a Sawbo side unbeaten in their last five outings as they look to climb above Woodford Town into the top half of the table. John Watters’ side battled hard to claim a point at Waltham Forest in midweek. Hard not to go for a home win here though Sawbo could pull off a surprise here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Burnham Ramblers v Waltham Forest | Venue: Leslie Field

Peter: Ramblers 2018 has been woeful, and it gets no easier for them as they welcome Forest to Leslie Field full of attacking intent in their ranks.  The Walthamstow based side are only a point above the drop zone and so nearly ended Sawbridgeworth’s unbeaten 2018 in midweek, and haven’t won in three games.  But against a defence who have conceded 24 in four games this year, it’s hard to see the visitors not getting the points here.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-2

Scott: Burnham welcome Forest to Leslie Field. Lee Hughes’ side need to address a four-match losing streak to avoid being pulled back into the relegation scrap and were comfortably beaten last weekend at Wakering. Forest were beaten by leaders Redbridge last weekend and drew at home to Sawbridgeworth in midweek and have lost a couple of players recently, with Mo Sagaf leaving for an extended trial with Ipswich Town’s U-23’s. Forest haven’t won in three matches either though this match may be a good one to claim points in as Qayum Shakoor’s side also need points to avoid dropping into the bottom four. Entertaining draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Enfield 1893 v Clapton   | Venue: The Harlow Arena

Peter: The hosts managed to grab their first win in 2018 with an important victory at Hackney Wick last time out, and they welcome a Tons side to Harlow who have won back to back league games recently.  Can Enfield build on that confidence boosting result at Wick, or will Clapton continue that winning run?  Well that is the million dollar question, but I reckon the visitors may take this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-2


Scott: Enfield entertain Clapton at the Harlow Arena after finally ending their long winless streak in midweek with victory at fellow strugglers Hackney Wick. Jon Fowell’s side are rather a different proposition to face though with three wins in their last five matches as they seek to gain ground on the top-five. I reckon this will be a battle and if the visitors aren’t up for that battle, they won’t get all the points though I suspect the Tons will prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Hackney Wick  v  Barkingside   | Venue: OSD
Peter: Wick suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Enfield in midweek, and they know wins are what they need now after falling further into the mire.  It won’t be easy though against an improved Barkingside outfit, and although ‘Sides form has been rather inconsistent of late, they should have enough to see off the bottom side at The Old Spotted Dog.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-3


Scott: Wick take on Barkingside in what is a key game for two of the league’s bottom six. The hosts announced a move to the London Marathon Community mini-stadium this week (adjacent to the Olympic Stadium) last week. League-wise though, they are winless in their last eight matches and are now six points adrift at the foot of the table. They badly need a win as they face a ‘Side outfit that have won two of their last five to start their own mission to climb the table (currently 16th). At present, the visitors seem to have more goals in them and that could prove to be the difference here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Ilford v Tower Hamlets   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The Foxes have been solid if not spectacular of late, whilst Hamlets after a good start to 2018 have tailed off somewhat and have suffered back to back defeats lately.  Got a feeling this will be a battle at Cricklefield and one that Ilford may sneak by the odd goal in three.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-1


Scott: 7th takes on 8th in this encounter at Cricklefield. Both sides have struggled to obtain wins of late with Ilford managing three in their last nine matches and Hamlets winning two of their last eight encounters. Ilford won late-on over Wick last weekend though narrowly lost to Basildon in midweek while Hamlets lost out to Barkingside last weekend. Tough one to call this is, the Foxes may edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Southend Manor v Stansted | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: The hosts haven’t played for three weeks following postponements, whilst Stansted after nine straight defeats have turned their form around brilliantly, and although their unbeaten start to 2018 ended in heartbreak at Redbridge in midweek, they are moving in the right direction under the joint management of Paul Pittuck and Mark Benterman.  Manor did win their last outing in the league, but I feel the Airportmen will have enough to win this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-2


Scott: Manor take on in-form Stansted at Southchurch Park. The hosts have been inactive of late due to postponements though one win from their last six matches sees them in 12th place at present, though they do have games in hand. The Airportmen won against Sporting Bengal last weekend and really ran Redbridge close in midweek. One loss in their last five outings sees Stansted in 13th place, starting to edge away from the bottom-half scramble. If the visitors can maintain their recent form, they could take the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Sporting Bengal Utd v Great Wakering Rovers
| Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Sporting are in terrible form, with the same record as bottom side Wick over the last few games, and they welcome free scoring Rovers to Mile End fresh from their seven goal thrashing of Burnham Ramblers.  Hard to see anything other than a convincing away win here, I think it’s probably a question of how many GWR will score I’m afraid.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-4


Scott: Wakering are the visitors to Mile End to take on Sporting Bengal. Imrul Gazi’s side need points themselves after a run of seven matches without a win. Wakering have won six of their last seven outings and some of those have been big-scoring wins to boot. Wakering will no doubt realise wins of that nature will assist their goal difference and I reckon it could be another big win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3


Takeley  v  FC Romania   | Venue: Station Road

Peter: Wow what a game we could have at Station Road.  Both in the top five, both could potentially win promotion, and both are capable of winning this match up.  Takeley have won four of their last five where as FCR are unbeaten in the league since September, although I believe the hosts need the points more in this one.  I just have a feeling the visitors may not only shut out their opponents, but also take all three points too.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-2


Scott: Quite possibly the game of the weekend takes place at Station Road as Takeley take on promotion rivals FC Romania. Marc Das’ 5th-placed side have been affected by postponements of late so have 16 matches to play after this one. FC Romania won at Barkingside in midweek though it’s arguable that the onus is on the hosts as they need the points to keep in touch with the top four. FCR’s long unbeaten stretch will take some beating though and they may take a point here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

UPDATE: This match at Station Road has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


Wadham Lodge  v  Redbridge   | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Free falling Lodge are now second bottom after a terrible run of form, and they welcome possibly the worst side they could come up against in the shape of league leaders Redbridge, who netted for on this ground only last weekend against Lodge’s rivals Waltham Forest.  Cannot see anything other than a convincing away win.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-3

Scott: Redbridge make the trip to Kitchener Road for the second-successive weekend as they take on Wadham Lodge. These two sides are at opposite ends of the table so need points for different reasons. Wadham are winless in their last six and they sit second-bottom. Redbridge were given a fright by battling Stansted in midweek though eventually prevailed to maintain their long-standing winning run. We know Football can ‘serve up some odd results’ sometimes though I cannot see Wadham throwing a “spanner in the works of the Motormen” here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

UPDATE: This match at Kitchener Road has been postponed due to unforseen circumstances (Source: Redbridge FC)


West Essex v Woodford Town (2017)  |  Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: This could be a potentially entertaining encounter, with both sides keen to show attacking intent.  The hosts however are not in brilliant form, with three defeats in their last four, whilst Woodford on the other hand are unbeaten in five after a decent show of form recently.  However this has the potential to be a high scoring game, and I reckon the sides may share six goals.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-3

Scott: Finally this weekend, The Stags welcome Woodford to Mayesbrook Park. Kwame Kwateng’s side have not found wins easy to come by of late with two wins in their last six outings though they have also been affected by recent postponements. Woodford were held by Hullbridge in midweek though they are definitely a threat going forward. Dee Safer’s side have only lost two of their last seven matches though so the hosts are going to need to play well to grab all three points here. This could well be an entertaining affair.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


That’s your lot for the Preview this week. If you’d like to follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 & Scott: @ScottMHC14

Check back later this weekend to see our ESL results round-up’s on our respective blogs.




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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