Essex Senior League Preview (ESL 9.3.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action following last weekend’s ‘blanket of postponements’ caused by the inclement weather. Below are Pete’s and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):

Saturday 10th March

Barkingside v Enfield 1893   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: Hosts Side are winless in four although have drawn three of those, whilst Enfield have won three on the spin and are almost up to mid-table after one defeat in their last six outings.  Fancy an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: In the first of the full ten-match programme this weekend, ‘Side welcome in-form Enfield 1893 to Cricklefield. The hosts are winless in their last four matches, sitting in 15th place and arguably need to improve on their present record of three home wins this term thus far. By contrast, The E’s have won their last three matches which has seen them rise to 13th prior to this weekend. Hard one to call here so I’m going for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Basildon Utd  v   Stansted  | Venue: The Hive

Peter: The Bees are continuing to have a great season and their form over the last six games has seen them win four and suffer only one defeat, whilst for visitors Stansted its one win in their last six with four losses as their great start to 2018 has hit a wall of sorts.  Expecting the hosts to get the job done here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Basildon welcome Stansted to the Hive, still ‘on a high’ after a hugely important win over Redbridge at Oakside in midweek. That win sees Marc Harrison’s side two points off the summit and with four wins in their last six matches, they are looking good ahead of the busy run-in. The Airportmen have lost their last four on-the-trot and although they are in 14th spot, the congested bottom-half means they are 4 points clear of the bottom four. Factor in that after this match, Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s team have only six matches remaining. Have to go home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Clapton v Hackney Wick  | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons are in great form lately with four wins and two losses in their last six, whilst Wick are still bottom and well adrift of the rest after five straight losses.  Despite the continued boycott from the Ultras, I don’t believe this will be an issue and the hosts will take the points in the OSD derby.

Pete’s Prediction: 4-0

Scott: The Tons take on Wick in the ‘Old Spotted Dog Derby’. Jon Fowell’s side have been defeated only once in their last five outings (and that was narrow loss to Takeley) and remain 6th, nine points ahead of Tower Hamlets & Ilford. Wick have lost their last five though haven’t been in action for a number of weeks due to postponements. They remain bottom, ten points adrift of nearest rivals Wadham so their hopes of avoiding the drop are fading. Have to be honest in that Clapton may add to their tenants’ woes here as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

FC Romania v Hullbridge Sports  | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: The hosts are unbeaten in their last six games with three wins and three draws, and they will be buoyed by their win at Ilford to reach the Brasted final at Easter.  They welcome a Hullbridge side who have just one win from six, although four of those are draws, and they were smashed at Takeley on Thursday evening in the Brasted Trophy.  Therefore I feel the hosts will most likely take the points.

Pete’s Prediction 3-0

Scott: Hullbridge travel to Theobalds Lane less than 48 hours after their 6 – 0 loss against Takeley in the Gordon Brasted Trophy (GBMT) Quarter-Finals. The hosts are proving hugely difficult to beat, although their have drawn three of their last six league matches. Ion Vintila’s men did convincingly get through to the GBMT Final at the expense of Ilford in midweek. The Wolves are also one of only two sides still unbeaten at home thus far this season.

Hullbridge are two points from safety and have drawn four of their last five matches. They come into this fixture with only three league wins away from home thus far. With the Wolves needing the points to maintain top spot, I can see this being a tough assignment for Darren Manning’s side.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Great Wakering Rovers v Waltham Forest   | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: Rovers are the most in-form team according to the form table over the last six games, and with five wins and a draw and 19 goals scored they will certainly prove tough for visitors Waltham Forest who have been very inconsistent lately and no wins in five outings.  Can’t really see beyond a home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: Wakering entertain Forest at Burroughs Park. GWR sit 2nd, a point off FC Romania at the summit. Iain O’Connell’s side have only conceded three goals in their last six league matches and they also possess the third-best defence in the league so far this season. Forest are winless in their last five matches, they sit 17th in the table, two points clear of the bottom four with seven matches left (including this one). Hard to see Wakering slipping up here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Redbridge v Southend Manor  | Venue:  Oakside

Peter: The Motormen have gone ‘off-the-boil’ in their last three outings, with no wins in three, however their two defeats were against their promotion rivals whereas with no disrespect to Southend Manor, they are not in the same league at the moment, who have suffered two straight losses and are nervously looking over their shoulders at the moment.  Think Redbridge will get back to winning ways in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott:  Manor travel to Oakside to take on a Redbridge battling to avoid a ‘mini-slump’ at present following their midweek home loss to Basildon. Interestingly, The Motormen have the worst goal difference (+33) of the top five sides at present, they sit 3rd at present. Both sides are winless in their last three outings, Manor currently sit 12th, seven points above the bottom four. This might be a good match for Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side and I reckon they will prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Sporting Bengal Utd v Burnham Ramblers  | Venue: Mile End

Peter: Massive game down at the bottom sees Sporting come into this one in poor form having lost five out of six lately, whilst Ramblers have lost all their games in 2018 and are in freefall.  Feel the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: This is arguably the ‘game of the day’ as two of the bottom 6 face-off at Mile End. Both sides are in poor form with Sporting tasting success once in their last six matches while Burnham have lost their last six in-a-row which has seen them slide to 19th, two points from safety. Sporting sit in 16th and I can see goals in what could be an attacking game here. Can’t seperate the sides either, draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Takeley  v Ilford | Venue: Station Road

Peter: Hosts Takeley have won four of their last six games and come into this one off the back of a 6-0 hammering of Hullbridge Sports in their Brasted Quarter Final in midweek.  Ilford on the other hand have had a mixed last half-dozen games, and were brushed aside by FC Romania in their midweek Brasted semi-final tie.  Going to go for a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Takeley take on inconsistent Ilford at Station Road after their big win in the GBMT Quarter-Final on Thursday night. For me, squad rotation will be a factor for the hosts given the numerous amount of fixtures they have to play in the coming weeks. Ilford remain 8th and are vying with Tower Hamlets and West Essex for a 7th-placed finish. Takeley may edge what I suspect may be a bruising battle here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

West Essex v Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: Both these teams got back to winning ways recently after mixed runs, however Hamlets have won their last two and will fancy a third straight win at Mayesbrook Park no doubt.  West Essex though are a dangerous side on their day, and I feel this is a hard one to call.  Sitting on the fence for this one, score draw.

Pete’s Prediction 2-2

Scott: West Essex welcome Hamlets to Mayesbrook Park. The Stags have won one match in their last six, and interestingly have only scored 19 goals in 13 home league games so far this term. Kwame Kwateng’s side currently sit 9th with 12 matches left. Hamlets have won their last two, sitting in 7th place, level on points with Ilford. Their away record isn’t great though with five wins in 14 away matches. I reckon there will be goals in this encounter and that could favour the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Woodford Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: Goffs Lane

Peter: Hosts Woodford have been rather solid of late and are in the top ten in the form table, and they welcome a Sawbo side who have had a decent 2018 so far and sit just two places below the hosts in the form guide.  Another tough one to call here so reckon this one could be a rather entertaining draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-3

Scott: Finally on Saturday, Woodford take on Sawbo at Goffs Lane in a battle of 10th v 11th in the table. The hosts have only lost one of their last six encounters in a decent ‘first’ season in the ESL. Sawbridgeworth have intruigingly lost only four away matches in 15 thus far this season. This is a tough game to call and I can’t really seperate these sides. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

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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