Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League – subject to weather, which caused further postponements in midweek. With Peter having a week off due to other commitments, here are my thoughts on all seven fixtures set for this weekend:
Saturday 17th February
Barkingside v Southend Manor | Venue: Cricklefield
Scott: Barkingside welcome Manor to Cricklefield. Both sides have been affected by postponements in recent weeks though both are in decent form. ‘Side have won two of their last six, sitting 15th prior to this weekend. Manor have a similar recent record, though won at Sporting Bengal last weekend despite sustaining injuries to one or two key players. Tough one to call though Barkingside’s improving defence may be an important driver for a win here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Clapton v Takeley | Venue: Old Spotted Dog
Scott: Takeley are once again ‘on the road’ as they visit the OSD to take on Clapton. The hosts won at Stansted last weekend, recording their fourth straight win while Takeley narrowly lost to Wakering in their last match. The visitors have six games in hand on their hosts here though need to pick up wins to get back in the promotion shake-up. Clapton also saw 20-goal forward Jeff Cobblah leave to join Bostik North promotion hopefuls Bowers & Pitsea this week. I reckon Takeley will do the job here.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Enfield 1893 v Stansted | Venue: The Harlow Arena
Scott: This fascinating tie sees two sides who have picked up wins of late clash at the Harlow Arena. Enfield surprised Sawbo to win at Crofters last weekend while Stansted’s decent recent run sees them in 13th. After two wins in their last four, Matt Hanning’s side need to continue this run to steer clear of the bottom four. Another hard one to predict though Stansted may be fired up to edge this one.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3
Great Wakering Rovers v Redbridge | Venue: Burroughs Park
Scott: Wakering welcome Redbridge in what is their second match against a promotion rival in 8 days, after their midweek trip to FC Romania was postponed. We can’t forget the reverse fixture recently where GWR ended the Motormen’s unbeaten home record, which coincidentally was the visitors’ last league outing. Wakering edged Takeley last weekend and will go top with a win here. Will Redbridge be rusty after ten days out of action? Very hard to predict this one, it might disappoint a few though I’ll go for a draw.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2
Hullbridge Sports v Tower Hamlets | Venue: Lower Road
Scott: Hullbridge entertain Hamlets at Lower Road. The hosts have seen both of their home matches postponed in the last week. On-the-pitch, Sports have at least two matches in hand on the sides around them though points are what they need. Hamlets are winless in their last four matches and have had two weeks off. This could be another tight match in difficult conditions, I’ll go home win.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Sawbridgeworth Town v Ilford | Venue: Crofters End
Scott: Ilford travel to Crofters End to take on Sawbridgeworth. Allan Fenn & Billy Cove’s side are another outfit that have been inactive for two weeks league-wise. Sawbo have lost their last two matches and while they sit in 11th place, they are seven points above the bottom four. Ilford sit 7th and will look to open a gap between them and the sides below them, even though those sides have played less games. The Foxes have only lost one of their last six outings. This one could be another battle.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 0
Wadham Lodge v Waltham Forest | Venue: Kitchener Road
Scott: Finally, we have the Kitchener Road derby which is also arguably ‘a six-pointer’ at the bottom as well. Wadham are winless in their last six outings, though for various reasons have been out of action recently. They are seven points from safety in 20th spot. Forest held FC Romania last weekend and a run of one win in their last six matches sees them in 17th, two points above the bottom four. I’ll go for a Forest victory here.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3
Check back here for my round-up of ESL action on Sunday, plus Pete’s blog as well for his round-up late on Saturday evening.