Essex Senior League Preview (27.4.18)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello & welcome to this our preview of the weekend’s Essex Senior League action, which is ‘D-Day’ for some sides at both ends of the table, given that some teams play their last match of the campaign this weekend.

Saturday 28th April

Barkingside  v  Takeley  | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: A win for the hosts would guarantee their safety whereas the visitors are now just playing for pride after their slim hopes of promotion vanished over the last week or so.  The hosts had a good win at Cricklefield rivals Ilford last time out whilst Takeley defeated West Essex on Thursday.  Think this one may end a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Takeley make the trip to Cricklefield to take on Barkingside, who still could do with one more victory to retain their ESL status next term. Marc Das’ side have had another hard-wearing week with this being their fourth match in eight days. Victories over Enfield 1893 (last Saturday) and West Essex (Thursday night) were tempered slightly by a narrow home loss to Wadham on Tuesday though five wins in their last eight matches endorses the fact they will provide a stubborn test for Michael Walther’s side, who have won three of their last five following victory over Ilford last weekend. This may well be a close game, going to go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Burnham Ramblers  v Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Leslie Field

Peter: With neither side having anything to play for, this could well be a non-event.  However, with this being each sides’ last game of the season I reckon both will want to go out in style.  Ramblers saw their bottom-three finish confirmed in midweek with defeat at Sawbridgeworth, whilst Hamlets threw away the lead twice at Wadham Lodge on Thursday to only take a point.  Think this one may also end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction:  2-2

Scott: Burnham entertain Tower Hamlets at Leslie Field as both sides end their seasons here. Burnham will be looking to end their season ‘on a high’ after a run of six defeats in their last eight matches, the last of those being a midweek loss at Sawbridgeworth. Hamlets may be jaded themselves after a draw at Wadham Lodge on Thursday night, thought that point did end a run of eight straight league defeats.

I also will mention that this is the last match for out-going Hamlets secretary, Adam “50 Jokes” Richardson after nine years at the club, we wish him well in his next role. Back to the match itself, I reckon Burnham will edge it here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Clapton  v   Hullbridge Sports  | Venue: Old Spotted Dog  |

Peter: The Tons end their season at The Dog on Saturday knowing only a win will do to have any chance of a top-six finish, whilst for Hullbridge, who confirmed their safety in midweek, will be looking to banish memories of their visit last weekend when Hackney Wick beat them.  Feel Clapton may edge this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott: Clapton welcome Hullbridge to the Old Spotted Dog in what is the Tons’ last match of the campaign. The Tons will look to regroup in the summer after a recent run of six defeats in their last eight games after a narrow loss at Great Wakering last weekend and need a win here to try to wrestle 6th-place back off of West Essex. Hullbridge boss Darren Manning has challenged his players to finish the season well as they look set for a close season of re-building ahead of what they hope is a brighter season next term. They got a big win over Ilford in midweek and have won five of their last nine outings now. Going for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Great Wakering Rovers  v  West Essex   | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: If results go their way, GWR could win the title with victory in this one as well as promotion, however they come up against a West Essex side who are looking to cement a top-six finish, which would be an excellent return for only their second season as a senior side.  Both sides do come into this one off the back of defeats though but I feel the hosts will do what is required and take the three points.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: This is a fascinating encounter at Burroughs Park as both sides are rather attack-minded, to say the least. Wakering’s long unbeaten stretch was broken by FC Romania in midweek though are still two points ahead of FCR and Basildon going into this weekend. West Essex play their fourth match in eight days here and after victories over Wadham and Hackney Wick, their three-match winning run was halted by Takeley on Thursday night. If GWR are ‘not on their mettle’ then the Stags are capable of ‘upsetting the apple cart’ so Rovers boss Iain O’Connell will be wary here. That said, I still reckon they will take the points and that could see them being promoted back to Bostik North this weekend.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Redbridge  v  Hackney Wick  | Venue: Oakside

Peter: The equation is simple, Redbridge have to win this one and hope others slip up for them to get back into the promotion picture. They currently trail FC Romania and Basildon United by three points with two games remaining, but with a heavily inferior goal difference.  And Wick are sure not to just lie down and let their opponents walk over them so this will be a tough game for the hosts with all the added pressure too.  However I feel the hosts will grab victory here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-0

Scott: Redbridge take on bottom side Hackney Wick at Oakside, knowing they have to go ‘all-out’ for victory and hope for favours elsewhere. The Motormen’s promotion-charge has suffered somewhat after only one win in their last five, which was in midweek over Southend Manor. Wick have shown some spirit of late with three wins in seven matches though Redbridge’s attack at full-pelt will take some stopping. Talisman Brian Moses is also chasing the ESL ‘Golden Boot’ as well so it’s a home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Wadham Lodge | Venue: Crofters End

Peter: Another big game for Lodge sees them needing three points to give their chances of getting out of the bottom-three a boost.  And if results go their way they could jump up two places to 17th although The Robins are a tough nut to crack at Crofters and they are looking to finish their season with a win.  Robins to grab the points I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth welcome Wadham to Crofters End. The hosts will be looking to build on their midweek home win over Burnham though have had the hallmarks of an inconsistent side through much of the campaign, with five wins and four losses in their last nine outings recently showing as much. Wadham have had a mixed week, with defeat at West Essex last weekend followed by a very good win at Takeley and a home draw with Tower Hamlets in midweek. That means that with only one match after this one, they really could do with a win ahead of a battle with Barkingside to come in midweek.

Sawbo’s forward line may also fancy the task of scoring here, so am going to go for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Southend Manor  v   FC Romania  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: If this one is anything like Manor’s last home game then the people in attendance will be in for a treat, however this is unlikely against a FCR side going for the title/promotion.  A win for the visitors and a slip up from GWR down the road would see the Theobalds Lane side take top spot in their final game. However, Manor will make it very difficult for the visitors no doubt and last weekend’s extraordinary comeback will have given them heart.  But just feel the visitors will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-3

Scott: This intriguing tie at Southchurch Park has more riding on it for the visitors. Manor have really ‘rolled their sleeves up’ in recent weeks, particularly at home as they showed in their comeback win over Sawbridgeworth last weekend. Adam Peek’s side did suffer a setback with defeat at Redbridge in midweek. FCR know they need to win this one to still be in the promotion race going into the last week of the campaign and wins over Tower Hamlets and Great Wakering of late were very important in assisting them to that goal. I have a gut feeling that the visitors will “get the job done”, even if it isn’t pretty.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Basildon Utd  | Venue: Hargrave Park

Peter: The Bees know a win and slip ups from GWR and FCR could see them into top spot with a game to go, however they come up against an in-form Sporting side who are playing this home game at Stansted due to the unavailbility of Mile End. I feel that the Bees will grind this one out though and come away with the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: This match was moved to Stansted’s Hargrave Park as Mile End Stadium is still ‘out of commission’ for Football until next season. Bengal surprised a few by triumphing over Redbridge last weekend and have won their last four on-the-spin to sit 10th before this weekend’s action.

Basildon have had a good week with comfortable wins over Woodford Town and Stansted this week and know that a win here would keep their promotion destiny “in their own hands” given their huge home fixture with Redbridge to come next week. Imrul Gazi’s side will not be an easy proposition to face though the Bees have now won their last six in-a-row. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

 

Waltham Forest  v  Ilford  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Forest go into their last game of the season a point above the bottom three and knowing a win for them and defeat for Lodge will mean they will finish outside the bottom three, so it’s a huge incentive for the hosts.  And they welcome an Ilford side who have been woefully off-form of late so they will fancy a win here for sure, and I believe the hosts will grab a big three points too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Out-of-form Ilford travel to Kitchener Road to face a Waltham Forest side who know what they have to do: win. The hosts here edged a huge six-pointer last weekend against Stansted and are unbeaten in their last four matches. Ilford are ‘limping home’ somewhat towards this season’s ‘finish line’ and seven consequtive losses shows this. For me, it depends on which players Interim boss Billy Cove has available to him. If the Foxes can name a strong side then they can get a result. Forest have all the pressure on their shoulders in a sense and though that could help or hinder them, I’m going to go for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Woodford Town (2017)  v  Enfield 1893 | Venue: Goffs Lane

Peter: Both sides could guarantee a top-ten finish with a win here in their last games of the season, which would be a decent return for both.  Woodford’s good young side, boosted by the news they would be returning to the borough of Redbridge next season, have dazzled and entertained at times this season, whilst Enfield went from pretty much bottom to eighth at one stage after an incredible run of form.  Both will look to finish the season in style but I feel this may end a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Finally on Saturday, Woodford welcome Enfield in what could be their final match at Goffs Lane as Resbridge Council announced this week they would be moving back into the borough in time for next season. Town have had a steady season and there are ‘building blocks’ in place, ahead of next term. Dee Safer’s side are winless in their last three though and will want to ‘end on a high’. The same applies though for Matt Hanning’s E’s whose unbeaten run was ended by Takeley last weekend. A win here would secure a top-ten finish for them, which looked unlikely a few months back. I suspect this will be a competitive draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

That’s all for this week, and the ‘regular’ Essex Senior League season. Thank you for reading these this term, and for a few good comments too 🙂

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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