Preview: The FA Cup First Round Quali (ESL sides) & Essex Senior League (Fri 7th & Sat 8th Sept) [FAC & ESL 7.9.18)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome back to our Preview series, this weekend looking at the action involving ESL sides in the FA Cup First Round Qualifying as well as the Essex Senior League fixtures, and one Gordon Brasted Cup tie on Friday night. How do you think your side will do?

The FA Cup – First Round Qualifying  – Sat 8th Sept  (ESL sides)  (In draw order)

Saffron Walden Town  v  St Ives Town   | Catons Lane

Pete: Walden welcome Evo-Stik South Premier side St Ives Town to Catons Lane looking to cause an upset and make it through to the Second Qualifying Round.  The visitors have had a reasonable start to their league campaign and will pose a difficult challenge to the hosts, but the hosts no doubt will also cause their opponents difficulties too.  Despite this though I reckon the visitors will sneak it.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Bloods face a stern test as Step 3 side St Ives travel to Catons Lane. The visitors, who play in the Southern League Premier Central division, alongside former Isthmian Lge clubs Leiston and Lowestoft and former big names from the past such as Kettering and Tamworth, haven’t started their division too well though also don’t concede many goals. Walden sent Southend Manor out of the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek and will be eyeing an upset and the £6,000 Prize money on offer as a result. I wouldn’t put it past the hosts to claim the prize of progression with a likely big crowd in attendance though the visitors may be too strong here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Walthamstow  v  Beaconsfield Town   |  Kitchener Road

Pete: Stow welcome Evo-Stik Southern Premier South side Beaconsfield Town to Kitchener Road off the back of two home defeats over the last week, so this game comes at the wrong time for them looking at form.  But the visitors haven’t began their season too well so Stow will look to expose this weakness and put the pressure on them no doubt.  Fancy Stow to cause a surprise here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The ‘Stow welcome Southern League Premier South side Beaconsfield Town to Kitchener Road. Ryan Maxwell’s side have had a mixed week which started with a battling home loss after extra time to Takeley in the FA Vase last week before resting a few players in readiness for this tie in thir Essex County Cup exit to Ilford in midweek. Beaconsfield play in the same division as big names such as Salisbury, Weymouth and Farnborough and although they have found league wins hard to come by, they did send Bostik South Central side Uxbridge out in the last round. Walthamstow upset Felixstowe & Walton Utd away from home in the last round so they do have a performance in them but they also have to tighten up in defence.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Bowers & Pitsea  v  Takeley   |  Parkside (3G)

Pete: Could be an intriguing game at Aveley’s Parkside ground as Bowers hosts Takeley.  The hosts have began the season well and are unbeaten so far, whilst Takeley have won all their games so far this campaign.  Fancy the hosts to prove just too strong though for their opponents.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This absolute cracker of a tie takes place at Aveley FC’s Parkside, given that Bowers’ own 3G pitch at the Len Salmon isn’t ready to play on as yet. Rob Small’s side have started their season well and defeated AFC Sudbury at King’s Marsh last weekend in league action. Takeley have started imperiously with regards to their winning record in all competitions though in this match I believe they will need to be more clinical to secure an upset. I’ll go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Essex Senior League & Cups

Friday 7th September  – Gordon Brasted Trophy

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets   | Crofters End

Pete: The Robins welcome Hamlets to Crofters End for a Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy tie on Friday evening, and the hosts need to get back to winning ways after their last home game ended in a poor defeat to Leyton Athletic.  They do welcome a Hamlets side who have failed to win any games this season after a less than impressive start to their season, and I feel they may lose here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Hamlets travel to Crofters to battle Sawbridgeworth in a match where both sides could really do with a victory. Sawbridgeworth have a below-par home record thus far while Hamlets can’t seem to secure a win as they are winless in three matches league-wise and were upset at Step 6 side Langford in the FA Cup last weekend. The only thing that seems on the cards here is goals and if the visitors can’t deal with Sawbo’s physicality then they may find this a tough outing.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Essex Senior League – Sat 8th Sept

Barkingside    v   St Margaretsbury  | Cricklefield

Pete:   Both these sides have just one league win between them so far this campaign, and both suffered poor defeats last time out too.  The hosts have struggled to score goals so far this term, whilst the ‘Bury boys will want to put a disappointing Vase defeat at the weekend behind them.  Think this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: The Saturday league action begins at Cricklefield where Barkingside entertain St Margaretsbury. ‘Side have only one win to their name of late, and that was a battling win on penalties at Woodford in the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Their visitors also have a problem conceding as they have won one of their opening three league games and a poor start saw them defeated by Hadleigh Utd in the FA Vase last weekend. ‘Side have been perhaps the stronger side in defence but they have to start turning one point into three and that might happen here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Hoddesdon Town  v  Hullbridge Sports   | Lowfield

Pete:  Fourth hosts second at Lowfield as Hoddesdon look to put their first league defeat behind them by bouncing back here against a very good Hullbridge side who are still unbeaten in the league this season.  Feel this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: This interesting match sees Hullbridge head to Hertfordshire to battle newcomers Hoddesdon. Hullbridge edged Eastern Senior League Sth side Lopes Tavares in the Essex County Cup in midweek while Hoddesdon have picked up two wins in their four league matches thus far. My belief is that Hoddesdon are a hard-working side who will pose a threat here while Hullbridge need to keep up their work rate for a whole match, something which the lack cost them in their recent FA Cup exit at Newmarket. I can see this one ending honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Redbridge   v   Clapton  | Oakside

Pete:  The Motormen are unbeaten in the league this season although you feel they have yet to hit their stride thus far this season, whilst the Tons have had a mixed start to their campaign as both sides sit towards the middle of the pack.  Another entertaining draw me thinks with plenty of goals.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 3

Scott: These two local rivals do battle once again at Oakside. Redbridge have won win and two draws from their opening three matches though they did progress in the Essex County Cup with a narrow win over FC Clacton in midweek. The Tons won their FA Vase replay against Woodford at the Harlow Arena and going forward, they do absolutely pose a danger to opposition defences. That said, they are also unpredictable and the Motormen will want to get their first home league win of 2018/19 on the board

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Southend Manor  v  Stansted   | Southchurch Park

Pete:  Manor hosts Stansted at Southchurch Park and will look to repeat their fine win against Ipswich Wanderers at home last weekend, and not the defeat at home to Saffron Walden in midweek.  Stansted have not began the season well although have shown enough to suggest they will come good eventually, but I feel the hosts may grab the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Southend Manor entertain Stansted at Southchurch Park. Both sides have been slightly unpredictable of late, though Manor achieved a comeback win over Barkingside in their last League outing though fell to a late defeat to Saffron Walden in the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek. Stansted have retained their battling spirit though perhaps haven’t quite ‘got going’ yet in terms of rhythm. This one is a hard one to call as the hosts have been doing well going forward and they might edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Enfield 1893   | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have shown that they can mix it with the best this season if they can find their shooting boots on, as they would of knocked Brentwood Town out of the FA Cup had they had taken the many chances they created over those two ties.  Enfield themselves have had a mixed start themselves but always pose a threat, but I think the hosts might grab their first win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Sporting Bengal take on Enfield at Mile End. The hosts have only played two league games though have shown enough in all competitions to suggest they will score goals this term. Enfield picked up their first league win this season two weeks ago at home to Sawbridgeworth though will need to be on their game to quell a quick Bengal side. There could be goals in this encounter as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

West Essex  v  Leyton Athletic   |  Mayesbrook Park

Pete: The hosts will be buoyed by the return of Michael Mignot to their squad, and boy do they need some of his goals as they have lost all four league games so far this season.  Leyton Athletic fielded a young side in the Vase last weekend and got thrashed, but they did edge past Burnham Ramblers on Tuesday in the County Cup to give them some heart.  But I feel the hosts will be galvanised by the returning Mignot, and whether he plays or not, I think this will have a positive impact on the home side.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Stags welcome Leyton to Mayesbrook Park, knowing they really need to notch a win on the board after four straight league defeats. The return of prolific forward Michael Mignot may assist them in that regard though defensively they need to tighten up, having conceded nine in their last three league matches. Leyton rock up here on the back of a disappointing FA Vase exit to Stotfold last weekend though they are on a three-match unbeaten league run.

I was at this fixture last season and there were goals in that match and I can see history repeating here. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

That is all for this week. Thank you 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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