Preview: The FA Vase First Round Quali (ESL & EaSL sides – Sat 1st Sept) [FAV 1RQ 31.8.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to a bumper edition of our Preview pieces with GFS contributor Scott W and Non-League blogger and of course GFS co-presenter Peter D. If you’re keeping track of the scores ‘race’ then Scott picked up his first win of the new season last weekend to nearly halve Peter’s lead.

This week, we have extended our Preview to include Eastern Senior League South sides that enter the FA Vase here, some of them for the first time. Enjoy.

The FA Vase – FQR – Friday 31st August

Wormley Rovers  v  Biggleswade Utd  | Second Meadow

Pete:  Wormley Rovers have had to give up home advantage here due to the cricket so travel to Spartan South Midlands Premier Biggleswade United on Friday evening, and they take on a side who have won two out of three in the league so far.  Wormley have struggled so far this season and I am expecting them to struggle here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Wormley Rovers take on Biggleswade Utd in a match taking place at Biggleswade due to Rovers’ pitch being not available because of the latter stages of the Cricketing season. Utd have arguably had the better start to the league season, given that Wormley have yet to win in the Eastern Senior League South thus far. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2


Saturday 1st September

Stotfold v Leyton Athletic   | Roker Park

Pete:  Leyton travel to Spartan South Midlands Premier Stotfold full of confidence after their superb win at Sawbridgeworth Town in midweek, and they take on a home side who have lost all five games in the league this season, so am expecting a routine away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Athletic travel to Spartan South Mids Premier strugglers Stotfold, following an excellent league win at Sawbridgeworth in midweek. As of last weekend, the hosts haven’t scored in their five league defeats. Jason Ngandu’s side have been steadily building and are unbeaten in three league matches. It wouldn’t surprise me if the visitors progressed here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Newbury Forest v  Wivenhoe Town    | Oakside

Pete: Both these sides come into this one off the back of poor defeats, Forest were beaten at home by Benfleet in the County Cup whilst Wivenhoe conceded seven at home to White Ensign in what must have been a low point for the club.  Both will be eager to win this one and I think there will be plenty of goals but the hosts will edge it I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: This all-Eastern Senior League South math sees Wivenhoe make the trip to Oakside. Both sides haven’t start the campaign brillantly, with Forest achieving one win in six outings while Wivenhoe are yet to win from their four matches. Forest are also on a four-match losing run so will want to end that here and will believe they can do so here. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Enfield Borough   v   Halstead Town      | Summers Lane

Pete: Halstead face a tough match away at Enfield Borough, the hosts have won five out of six in the Spartan South Midlands One and have a goal difference of 18, but Halstead have also started well themselves although I feel they may fall short here in what could be a fantastic game.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Scott: Two Step 6 high-flyers meet at Summers Lane. Borough have started their Spartan South Mids Division One campaign very well while Halstead are unbeaten in five Eastern Senior League matches, winning four of them. There could well be goals in this one too though Enfield might just pinch it.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Clapton  v  Woodford Town     | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: This match puts too pacey attacking sides against each other so could be goals in this one.  Question is going to be which defence holds out the better, and having watched both sides this season i’d say Woodford may have the better backline, so expecting the visitors to prevail in this one.

Pete’s Prediction:  2 – 3

Scott: Clapton welcome fellow ESL side Woodford to the Old Spotted Dog. Both sides fell to defeat in midweek though in different ways, with the Tons comfortably beaten by Saffron Walden while Woodford lost late on to Walthamstow. If woodford can adjust their passing game to grass then the Tons could have a tough match on their hands here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

May & Baker E.C   v   Burnham Ramblers  | Barking Rugby Club

Pete: Hosts May & Baker will certainly fancy their chances of progression when they take on an out-of-form Burnham Ramblers at Barking Rugby Club.  Baker netted five in their last home game after falling behind early on whilst Ramblers were beaten at Halstead after leading.  Fancy the hosts to win this one comfortably.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: This all-Eastern Senior League tie sees May & Baker take on Burnham. M & B are unbeaten thus far in their league campaign while Burnham have yet to win in the league. Given that M & B average more than three goals a game thus far in the EaSL Sth, I can see the hosts prevailing though this may be a goal-laden match.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Stanway Rovers   v   White Ensign  | the Hawthorns

Pete: This is one intriguing match-up.  If you had asked me the outcome of this one pre-sseason I’d of gone for a Stanway Rovers win no doubt, but after the starts both these sides have made this season I am wavering towards an away win here.  Stanway can take heart from their performance at Haringey Borough last weekend but Ensign are flying and full of confidence, so I’m gonna stick my neck out and say away win, just.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Ensign make the trip to the outer area of Colchester to take on ESL side Stanway. Brett Munyard’s side have started thir maiden Eastern Senior League South campaign very well, unbeaten in five matches and notching 18 goals in the process. By contrast, Stanway have only scored once in three league matches though much to their credit, Rovers ran Step 3 newcomers Haringey Borough close in the FA Cup last weekend so perhaps things are looking up. That said, given their form & firepower, I think Ensign may emerge with a memorable win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Haverhill Rovers   v    Ilford  | The New Croft

Pete: The Foxes travel to Suffolk to take on Thurlow Nunn Premier Haverhill Rovers with not brilliant memories of the town after they suffered a 5-2 loss against Borough when they last visited there.  But this is a different Ilford side now and they have started the season solidly enough and take on a Rovers outfit who haven’t started the season particularly well, so Ilford may fancy their chances, and I do too so away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Foxes travel to Thurlow Nunn Premier side Haverhill Rovers, after a hard-fought win at West Essex in league action in midweek. Rovers might have only got one league win in four games though they also sent Bostik North side Maldon & Tiptree out of the FA Cup last weekend. This could be a scrappy affair, or be a classic between two unpredictable sides though am going head for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Holland   v   Cornard Utd  | Eastcliff

Pete: Holland welcome Cornard United to their own backyard and with the visitors struggling somewhat in the North division of the Thurlow Nunn and Holland doing pretty well so far in the Eastern Senior South, I can only see a healthy home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: It’s a battle of the the two Eastern Senior League divisions here at Dulwich Road as EaSL South side Holland take on EaSL North outfit Cornard Utd. The hosts here have had a significantly better start to their campaign and Utd haven’t been the strongest defensively either. With home advantage as well, I reckon it’ll be a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Walthamstow    v    Takeley     |   Kitchener Road

Pete: This proves to be a mouth-watering fixture as too of the Essex Senior League Premier heavyweights do battle at Kitchener Road.  Takeley did beat their opponents quite convincingly at Station Road not long ago so the hosts have scores to settle no doubt.  But I just feel the visitors firepower will prove too much for the home side’s defence.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Walthamstow welcome Takeley to Kitchener Road in this all-ESL tie. Takeley defeated the ‘Stow at Station Road in the league just two weeks ago so Ryan Maxwell’s team will be itching to return the favour here. Marc Das’ side was run fairly close by Stansted and Hoddesdon in FA Cup & ESL matches respectively this week though ‘Stow need to improve defensively, despite their goal-power seeing them to a late win at Woodford in midweek. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Langford    v    Tower Hamlets     | Forde Park

Pete:  Hamlets desperately need a win of sorts to get kick-start their season, and with their opponents in the lower reaches of Spartan South Midlands One they really should get one here.  Langford of course have nothing to lose but I feel if Hamlets apply themselves correctly they will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Hamlets make the trip to Spartan South Mids Division One side Langford. AJ Ashinike’s side have had an indifferent start to the ESL campaign results-wise though this is a good chance for their to progress at Step 6 opposition. Their hosts haven’t had the best of starts in their division either so have to go away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor   v   Ipswich Wanderers  |  Southchurch Park

Pete: Manor welcome Thurnow Nunn North side Ipswich Wanderers to Southchurch Park, and although the visitors have won three of their four league games so far, Manor were ruthless when they met Halstead Town at the same level a week or so ago, netting five in that one.  Manor have also showed character in their last two outings and I feel this will stand them in good stead here.  Home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Manor welcome Eastern Senior League North side Ipswich Wanderers to Southchurch Park. Adam Peek’s side have been showing signs of improvement in terms of their performances recently and although Wanderers have started their Step 6 league campaign well, Manor should fancy themselves to progress here, particularly after a fine comeback win at Barkingside on Monday night.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Stansted   v   Brantham Athletic      |  Hargrave Park

Pete:  Stansted’s first game back at Hargrave Park is a toughie against Thurlow Nunn Premier big boys Brantham Athletic.  The hosts do have a good side this season though so will certainly fancy themselves against their tough opponents, but I feel the visitors may edge it.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 1

Scott: Stansted face a stern test in their first game back at Hargrave Park this season as Thurlow Nunn Premier big-hitters Brantham Athletic are the visitors. The Airportmen showed heart and commitment in their loss to Takeley in the FA Cup last week and will need it here, given that Brantham have started well defensively this term. My gut feeling is an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Lordswood  v   Fire Utd  | Martin Grove

Pete: Fire United’s first venture into the Vase is a tough one, away to Lordswood in Kent.  The hosts sit third in the Southern Counties East Premier, one level above their opponents, and with the visitors having lost all their games so far this campaign, it’s hard to see anything other than a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Scott: Fire Utd make the trip to Lordswood, of the Southern Counties East Premier Division. The visitors are finding it tough to adapt to their new Step 6 status in the Eastern Senior League South and face Step 5 opposition here, not to mention a side that has started well as well in their league campaign. Hard to see any surprises here I’m afraid, home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Sunday 2nd September

St Margaretsbury   v   Hadleigh Utd       |  The Recreation Ground

Pete: Margs welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier Hadleigh United to The Rec confident they can progress into the next round of the competition no doubt as the visitors haven’t begun their season too well, with three defeats from four.  The hosts themselves have had a mixed start to life in the Essex Senior Premier but with home advantage and a couple more wins under the belt I feel they will prevail here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Thurlow Nunn Premier side Hadleigh travel to the Recreation Ground on Sunday to take on the Essex Senior League outfit. St Margs’ only league win thus far has come away from home so they will want to put that right though they did triumph in the FA Cup over Enfield 1893 at home recently. The visitors have won one from four matches in their division so far though perhaps have the stronger goal-scoring record. Home advantage may be crucial here and I will plump for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

That’s all for this week, w’ll see you next weekend for the Preview of the FA Cup First Round Qualifying. 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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