Written by Peter D & Scott W
Hello & welcome to this week’s Preview piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action & we’re hoping for a full fixture programme this weekend!
Below are Pete’s and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):
Friday 23rd March
West Essex v Waltham Forest | Venue: Mayesbrook Park
Peter: Both these sides have seen four defeats in their last six, however the hosts have won the other two whilst Forest haven’t, drawing the other two games. Forest are in a precarious position in fifth bottom, only a point above the bottom four, and with only six games left need to start winning sooner rather than later. West Essex could go seventh with a win ahead of the Saturday games, but have been in mixed form of late as said before, however I feel the hosts may prevail here.
Peter’s Prediction: 3 – 2
Scott: The Stags welcome Forest to Mayesbrook Park. Kwame Kwateng’s side were last in action nine days ago where they lost out in an entertaining six-goal encounter at home to Redbridge. They are another side who need to find consistency to keep inside the top ten. Forest’s priorities are rather different, they sit 17th, two points above the drop zone after a run of six matches without a win and lost out to Wakering two Saturdays ago. They will have to stem the flow of goals conceded as well and as we know, the hosts do score a few. Home win for me.
Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1
Burnham Ramblers v FC Romania | Venue: Leslie Field
Peter: Hosts Ramblers have been in freefall since the new year and are now second-bottom and in desperate trouble, and they welcome FC Romania to Leslie Field who will be smarting from their home defeat to Redbridge so will be ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back to winning ways here. And to be honest I cannot see anything other than a comfortable away win.
Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 4
Scott: Burnham welcome FC Romania in what is a crunch tie at both ends of the division. The hosts suffered a real setback in a heavy loss at Sporting Bengal in midweek to drop to second-bottom after a run of seven straight league defeats. FCR lost at home to Redbridge last weekend and will undoubtedly be looking to get back on track as due to GWR & Redbridge’s midweek wins, a five-point gap seperates them and FCR. This could be a real livewire of an encounter… if both sides are at their best. Have to go with an away win though, purely because of Burnham’s defensive record of late.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3
Hackney Wick v Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: Old Spotted Dog
Peter: Wick defeated Clapton in their last outing for their first win in twelve, and they now welcome a Sawbridgeworth Town side to the Old Spotted Dog who have broken into the top ten for the first time in a while after a slow start to the season. And two wins from their last three suggests decent form maybe returning to the Crofters side, however the hosts will be boosted by that win over their rivals, so I feel this could end a draw.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-2
Scott: Wick entertain Sawbridgeworth at the OSD, knowing that all three points are becoming a neccessity now to avoid the drop. They’ve had the week off due to postponements while Sawbo defeated Clapton in midweek to go 10th in the table, two points clear of Woodford Town. John Watters’ side were further boosted by the return of defender Matt Frew in that win but three wins in their last seven outings highlights their inconsistency. Even so, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sawbo did the job here.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Hullbridge Sports v Sporting Bengal Utd | Venue: Lower Road
Peter: Up until a week ago this was a mammoth game down at the bottom, however Sporting have grabbed back to back wins since then to put daylight between them and the bottom four, and a win here would pretty much guarantee their safety. Hullbridge most certainly need the win more as they sit third-bottom and two points behind Forest in fifth-bottom, so a win could propel them out of the bottom four. Tough one to call but gonna plump for a home win.
Pete’s Prediction 2-1
Scott: Hullbridge take on in-form Bengal at Lower Road. The hosts have had the last ten days off due to the weather while Bengal have enjoyed a superb week with wins at Ilford and a big home win over Burnham in midweek. Four draws in their last six matches shows how much wins are needed for Darren Manning’s side while Imrul Gazi’s men have won three out of their last four which has taken them up to 12th, a heady seven points above the drop zone. It’s such a hard one to call here, Hullbridge will have to really play well to win here I feel.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2
Ilford v Enfield 1893 | Venue: Cricklefield
Peter: With just one win in their last six, Ilford come into this one not in great form it has to be said, and they welcome an Enfield 1893 side to Cricklefield who have won four in a row and sit second in the form table in the last six games. Ilford could go seventh with victory though whilst Enfield could go as high as 11th with the points. Got a feeling Enfield will make it five on the bounce.
Pete’s Prediction: 0-2
Scott: Ilford tackle one of the form sides in Enfield at Cricklefield. The Foxes suffered a disappointing home loss to Sporting Bengal last weekend and also have seen long-serving goalkeeper Chris Clark and striker Tony Cookey depart recently. Enfield have had the week off after last weekend’s postponement and are going for their 5th straight win, which would see them reach 40 points for the season. Another tough one to call, it could be a real battle though the E’s may nick it.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Redbridge v Takeley | Venue: Oakside
Peter: Game of the weekend sees second-placed Redbridge host fifth-placed Takeley at Oakside with the home side in the knowledge that if they better Great Wakering Rovers’ result at Southend Manor, they will go back to the summit of the division. But in their way are Takeley, who are 21 points behind The Motormen with seven games in hand so the visitors know a win here would mean they could overtake their opponents if they win all their games in hand, a tough ask I know, but would give them an incentive going forward. However, I feel the hosts may sneak this one to strengthen their position in the top two.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-1
Scott: The Motormen take on Takeley, who play their third match in five days following a mixed week of cup action which ended with getting thruogh to the Gordon Brasted Trophy Final on Easter Monday by defeating Clapton on Thursday night. Redbridge have had a good week as they defeated FC Romania last Saturday and then a win at Wadham Lodge on Wednesday night. Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side have won three in-a-row now in the league and are joint-top with Wakering, five points clear of FCR. Home win for me.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Southend Manor v Great Wakering Rovers | Venue: Southchurch Park
Peter: These derbies are always eagerly awaited in the Southend area as Manor host Wakering at Southchurch Park. The two sides could not be further apart in their fortunes this season, Manor are down in 14th after a poor spell which has seen them lose their last two leaving them just six points above the bottom four, whilst Wakering sit top of the league on goal difference and are five points ahead of third placed FC Romania and in a good position to win promotion back to the Bostik North. However form normally plays no part in derby games and these two drew earlier in the season, and I feel it will end all square here too.
Pete’s Prediction: 1-1
Scott: This local derby is one of the games of the day and both sides need the points for different reasons. Manor are wary of the relegation-scrap below them while Wakering need to keep the cushion they have built up in recent weeks over FCR & Basildon. GWR have won their last four league matches and are favourites for this one though as we’ve seen so often that ‘form goes out the window’ in derby matches sometimes.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3
Stansted v Barkingside | Venue: Hargrave Park
Peter: This is a fairly big game down towards the bottom of the division, as 15th-placed Stansted host 16th-placed Barkingside, with the sides just three and two points above the bottom four respectively. Therefore, three points for either side would be a huge help in pulling themselves away from the danger-zone, whereas the loser could find themselves virtually in the bottom four. Both sides’ recent form is poor though, The Aiportmen haven’t won in four games, with three of those defeats, whilst Side are winless in their last six, and have lost their last three. Think the home advantage will count for a lot in this one so plumping for a Stansted victory here.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-0
Scott: The Airportmen welcome out-of-form Barkingside to Hargrave Park. Both sides have struggled for wins of late with Stansted winless in four matches and ‘Side winless in their last six matches. This one could be a real scrap as both sides need the points. Going to go for a narrow home win.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Wadham Lodge v Basildon Utd | Venue: Kitchener Road
Peter: Lodge have improved somewhat over their last few games, but they welcome a Basildon United side to Kitchener Road who are trying to chase down the top two. Lodge have hauled themselves to just a point behind their rivals Waltham Forest in fifth bottom and know a win could take them out of the danger-zone. The Bees sit ten points behind the top two however they do have three games in hand so know a win here will keep the pressure on the ones above. And I feel the Bees will get the job done here.
Pete’s Prediction: 1-3
Scott: Wadham take on Basildon at Kitchener Road. Basildon have won four of their last six outings while Wadham have picked up somewhat with one defeat in their last four outings. This is a tricky assignment for the Bees though it’s one they arguably need to prevail in.
Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2
Woodford Town (2017) v Clapton | Venue: Goffs Lane
Peter: Eleventh plays sixth at Goffs Lane as Woodford Town host Clapton in what proves to be a intriguing contest in Broxbourne. Woodford continue to be very inconsistent lately, as they have been most of the season hence their mid-table position, whilst the Tons have lost three-in-a-row recently and also lost their Gordon Brasted semi-final to Takeley on Thursday, meaning they have lost their last four in all competitions. Feel this one won’t be a pretty game, however feel the visitors may just grind out a win here.
Pete’s Prediction: 0-1
Scott: Clapton travel to Goffs Lane to take on Woodford, who narrowly lost out to Wakering in midweek. Clapton exited the GBT on Thursday night to Takeley and will want to give Takeley a ‘run for their money’ for 5th place in the table. The Tons have lost three on-the-trot in the league while Woodford have lost two of their last four. Draw.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1
If you’d like to keep tabs on the results from this weekend, check out our respective blogs for our round-up’s of this weekend’s ESL action.