Essex Senior League Preview (ESL 6.4.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to our look at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action following last weekend’s weather-affected schedule. Below are Pete’s and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):


Friday 6th April

Barkingside v Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: This is a bigger game for the hosts as they sit just two points above the bottom four, and they welcome a Hamlets side to Cricklefield who remain in tenth and trying to hold onto their top-ten position.  The visitors’ form isn’t brilliant having lost four straight matches although Side have only one win in their last six, which was their last outing, so they come into this one with some confidence from that.  Score draw though I feel in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The action begins on Friday night as ‘Side welcome Hamlets to Cricklefield. The hosts have had two weeks off due to postponements though have made numerous additions for the last weeks of the campaign including Glody Nsamu, Rob Hodgson & Khadean Campbell. Their last match was a 3 – 1 win at Stansted and they may well need at least two more wins to be safe. Hamlets have lost their last four and may see their aim of a top-ten finish snuffed out on that recent form. AJ Ashinike’s side have lost out at home to Hullbridge and Wakering in the last week. I’ll go for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Saturday 7th April

Basildon Utd  v   FC Romania  | Venue: The Hive

Peter: Huge game at The Ho-Ho as fourth-placed Bees host third-placed FC Romania with both sides needing the points to keep tabs with the top two in the division.  The hosts need the points more you would say although Tuesday’s shock home defeat to Waltham Forest certainly did nothing for their confidence.  And of course the visitors are fresh from winning their first ESL Trophy on Monday after winning the Gordon Brasted final, so they will now want to hunt down the top two.  However, I feel the Bees may just sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Basildon welcome FC Romania to the Hive after  back-to-back defeats to Hullbridge and Waltham Forest in the last ten days or so. The Wolves are the opposition in a crucial match which might further derail one of these sides’ promotion challenge. FCR won the Gordon Brasted Trophy on Easter Monday with a narrow win over Takeley though they showed enough in that match that they will score some in the run-in. This is another ‘pressure-cooker’ match for the Bees which they arguably need to win. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Burnham Ramblers  v Great Wakering Rovers 
| Venue: Leslie Field

Peter: Ramblers welcome local rivals and league leaders Rovers to their Leslie Field home in their best form of 2018 having picked up four points from their last two games.  However, Rovers are unbeaten in fifteen and are charging towards promotion and I feel they may be a little too strong for their opponents here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Wakering are the visitors to Leslie Field in another must-win game for Ramblers, particularly given results elsewhere in midweek. The hosts played well in their first win of 2018 last weekend over Woodford while Wakering won at Tower Hamlets in midweek. With leaders GWR having won seven of their last nine matches, it is hard to go against Iain O’Connell’s side though Ramblers have a knack of getting results against the ‘bigger’ teams. Even so, I still think the visitors will take the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Enfield 1893 v Hullbridge Sports 
| Venue: The Harlow Arena

Peter: Two of the most in -form teams right now meet at Barrows Farm as Enfield, with six wins in a row, meet Hullbridge, with four wins from six and three in a row, in a match where both will be looking to continue to try and pull away from the bottom four. The hosts are now looking to try and gain a top ten finish after a remarkable run of form, whilst Sports will look to try and increase the gap to the bottom four, currently five points, with a win here.  Got a feeling this may end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: In-form Enfield face Hullbridge at the Harlow Arena. The hosts won’t forget their FA Vase exit to Sports earlier this term though recent wins over Ilford & Hackney Wick mean they have won their last six league matches and have passed the ’40-point mark’ as a result. Hullbridge have won three on-the-spin and probably need two more wins to confirm safety. This one could have goals in it, so am plumping for an entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Hackney Wick v Ilford  | Venue:  Old Spotted Dog

Peter: Hosts Wick probably need to win every game to stand any chance of survival and they welcome an Ilford side to Old Spotted Dog in poor form having lost four of their last six games.  Wick defeated Manor in midweek whilst Ilford were poor at Takeley and got beat heavily in that one. Think Fenny will want a reaction to that so feel Ilford may grab the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Wick meet Ilford at the OSD. These two sides veer on being unpredictable to say the least. Wick edged Southend Manor on Wednesday while Ilford’s much-changed side was heavily beaten at Takeley on Thursday night. The hosts have won two of their last four and need another success to keep their slim chances of avoiding the drop alive. In saying that, the Foxes have lost four of their last five outings now and they are focusing on next season. Draw for me, though it really could go either way..

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1


Redbridge  v  Waltham Forest  | Venue:  Oakside

Peter: The Motormen will look to try and bounce back from their loss at Clapton in midweek with victory against Forest at Oakside, however the visitors come into this off the back of a shock win at Basildon so will be ‘riding high’ from that no doubt.  However, Redbridge had won four-in-a-row prior to that defeat at The Old Spotted Dog whilst Forest had lost four out of five, so I reckon the hosts will prevail here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Redbridge welcome a Forest side buzzing after their win at Basildon in midweek. The Motormen came unstuck in a midweek loss at Clapton though they are still one of the principal contenders for promotion in about a month’s time. They are still four points clear of FC Romania in 3rd. Forest badly needed that win in midweek though have only three matches after this one so will debatably need something from this match too. I have a feeling the hosts will be revved up for this battle and will take the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Southend Manor v Woodford Town (2017)
| Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: Hosts Manor probably need one or two more wins to make themselves completely safe from the bottom four, and they welcome a Woodford side to Southchurch Park with aspirations of a top-ten finish in sight.  Both sides have been inconsistent to say the least for the most part, so this game could go either way.  However, gonna plump for a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Two inconsistent sides meet here on the South Essex coast. Manor lost at Hackney Wick in midweek while Woodford convincingly beat Sawbridgeworth in midweek too. The hosts have one win from their last five and Town have two wins from their last five. Have a feeling the visitors may nick this one too.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Sporting Bengal Utd v Stansted | Venue: Mile End

Peter: This is another big game down at the bottom of the division as Sporting Bengal United, currently four points above the bottom four, take on Stansted, who are now in the bottom four and a point from safety, at Mile End this weekend.  A win for the hosts would take them further towards safety, whilst a win for the visitors could see them bounce out of the bottom four.  Form suggests a home win, however you can never tell in games with such pressure on them.  Fancy a draw to be honest.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Stansted travel to fellow strugglers Bengal knowing that other results in midweek mean they are in the drop zone. Bengal have lost their last three matches in all competitions, conceding 11 goals while Stansted are winless in their last five matches and have been blighted by postponements recently as well. Very tough one to call here, again I’ve got a feeling the visitors may pinch it.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Wadham Lodge v Clapton | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Second-bottom Lodge welcome sixth-placed Clapton to Kitchener Road knowing a win could take them to the brink of climbing out of the bottom four places.  And with Clapton bottom of the form table over the last six games they may fancy a win here, but The Tons did beat Redbridge last time out so it may not be a straight-forward as that.  Lodge are around the mid-table mark in form over their last dozen games and I feel they may edge this one too.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Relegation-threatened Wadham entertain Clapton, who ended a five-match losing run by defeating Redbridge in midweek. Wadham have also been heavily affected by postponements of late and are four points from safety with eight games left. The Tons will undoubtedly look to end the season strongly and still have an outside chance of getting 5th, if Takeley struggle with their big run of matches coming up. That being said, if the visitors have an off-day, Lodge may take advantage so I will go for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1


West Essex v Takeley  | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: Takeley continue their busy schedule as they travel to take on West Essex at Mayesbrook Park looking to grab another win to keep their quest for promotion on-track.  The visitors’ form hasn’t been too bad of late but defeat in the Gordon Brasted final would of hurt, hence their thrashing of Ilford on Thursday would of been good for the morale.  The hosts’ form has been rather mixed of late to say the least, so I fancy Takeley to pick up another win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: West Essex welcome Takeley to Mayesbrook Park. The Stags have had a week off due to postponements and lost at home to Southend Manor last time out. Takeley won on Thursday night convincingly over Ilford though you do wonder what impact two games in three days will have on Marc Das’ men though they have won five of their last seven matches. West Essex have lost three of their last five though if they click, their attacking prowess can pose the opposition problems. I’m going to ‘stick my neck out’ and go for a home win in a goal-laden clash.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2
That’s yer lot for this week, check out our respective blogs for the round-up of ESL action on Sunday. 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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