Written by Scott W & Peter D
Hello and welcome to another of our Essex Senior League Predictions pieces as Peter and Scott once again go head-to-head, offering their thoughts on the various fixtures the ESL throws up every week.
Have a peek at the our thoughts for this weekend’s matches.
Friday 5th October
Woodford Town v Takeley | Venue: Harlow Arena
Pete: This could be an intriguing match up at The Harlow Arena as a dangerous Woodford side welcome Takeley to Harlow having won two of their last three outings, whilst Takeley have had a rather mixed few weeks but are now back up to fourth after victory last time out. Reckon this will be a decent attacking contest and the visitors to just sneak this one.
Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3
Scott: Woodford begin the weekend’s action as they face Takeley. The hosts have had a good week with victory at Redbridge and a home draw with Tower Hamlets in midweek. Takeley got back to winning ways in ESL with a narrow win over St Margaretsbury last weekend though bowed out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy (GBT) at home to Stanway in midweek. Defeat here would be a further dent in their armour. Going to go for another draw here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2
Saturday 6th October
Clapton v Stansted | Venue: Old Spotted Dog
Pete: The Airportmen are literally flying right now, having won five league games in a row, and they visit a Clapton side who are themselves having a solid season to date. Another tight battle awaits here but I feel the visitors may just sneak this one.
Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Scott: The Tons welcome Stansted to the OSD. The hosts are unbeaten in their last four league matches, getting a late draw at Sawbridgeworth last weekend though went out of the GBT to Enfield in midweek. The visitors arrive here having won their last five league games and achieved big wins over Sporting Bengal and Sawbridgeworth in league & cup this week. The form side could well prevail here. Away win.
Scott’ Prediction: 1 – 3
Enfield 1893 v Stanway Rovers | Venue: Harlow Arena
Pete: The hosts got the perfect response to their loss at Hullbridge last weekend by knocking Clapton out of the Brasted Trophy in midweek, and manager Matt Hanning will no doubt want his side to continue that form against a Stanway side who are starting to turn their season around after two victories in their last three outings. Should be an entertaining encounter here and I feel the hosts will sneak this one.
Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2
Scott: Enfield battle Stanway at the Harlow Arena. The E’s have had a mixed week though recovered from a heavy loss at Hullbridge last weekend to win in the GBT in midweek at Clapton. Stanway have had a good week, building on a good league win at the weekend over Barkingside to surprisingly knock Takeley out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy in midweek. Consistency is tough to find though this one could go either way. Will plump for a narrow home win.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Ilford v Walthamstow | Venue: Cricklefield
Pete: A tasty local battle awaits us at Cricklefield as Ilford host Walthamstow with James Peagram returning to his old club with the visitors. These two met in the County Cup not so long ago and Ilford came out on top in that one, but Stow have only lost one in nine in the league and will be tough opponents here. Ilford though had only lost once themselves until losing to Southend Manor last week, but they have surprised many this season and will be a tough test for Stow. Feel this one could be a draw.
Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2
Scott: The Foxes entertain resurgent Walthamstow at Cricklefield. Martin Haywood’s side have only lost two of their nine league matches thus far and battled to a draw with Hoddesdon last weekend. ‘Stow are unbeaten in six league matches now and enjoyed a morale-boosting win at Redbridge in midweek. That said, the amount of goals they concede is costing them points and Ryan Maxwell’s side will need to be watchful here to avert slipping up. Still will go for away win here though.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3
Leyton Athletic v Barkingside | Venue: Kitchener Road
Pete: It’s too early to say this is must-win for Barkingside, but you feel if they lose this one and Monday’s clash with Tower Hamlets, both sides immediately above them in the division, then it’s going to look very gloomy for the visitors. Leyton also beat Side 3-0 in an FA Cup replay earlier in the season so have history in this fixture, and I feel they may just sneak this contest too.
Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Scott: These two sides do battle once again, this time at Kitchener Road. The hosts are not in great form though have replaced former boss Jason Ngandu with incoming manager Glen Kendall. To their credit, Ath held Walthamstow in the derby last weekend though they are winless in their last four league outings. Barkingside are in a rut of six straight defeats, the worst in the division and it’s hard to see where their fortunes will change at this juncture. I have a funny feeling though that this will end honours-even.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1
Redbridge v Hullbridge Sports | Venue: Oakside
Pete: League leaders Hullbridge arrive at Oakside with several injuries but come up against a Redbridge outfit who have not had the best of weeks so confidence won’t be too high I’d suspect. The visitors know how to dig out results right now as well so feeling this one will end an away win.
Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Scott: On the back of a sour week for the Motormen, they host in-form Hullbridge at Oakside. I say ‘sour’ as the hosts have already suffered home defeats to Woodford and Walthamstow in the last 8 days. Hullbridge by comparison are riding the crest of a wave at present and are still unbeaten this term after wins over Enfield and Saffron Walden this week. ESL ‘Manager of the Month for Sptember’ Darren Manning will be mightily aware of their opponents’ fighting spirit though it’s hard to see them slipping up at present. Away win.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Saffron Walden Town v Hoddesdon Town | Venue: Catons Lane
Pete: These two met in an FA Cup tie back in August at Catons Lane and the hosts came out 4-1 winners on that day, but nearly two months have now passed and no doubt Hoddesdon, who are currently one point and two places above their opponents in fifth spot, will want to avenge that defeat. Walden though are in decent form, despite losing at home to Hullbridge last time out, and will pose a big threat to the Hoddesdon boys, and I feel a home win is on the cards.
Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1
Scott: Saffron Walden take on Hoddesdon, having announced their new manager, former assistant boss Jason Maher. His side lost out to Hullbridge in midweek though did post four in a Essex County Cup win over West Essex last weekend. Hoddesdon followed a point at Ilford last weekend with being denied a victory in added-time by West Essex in midweek. I believe it’s only a matter of time before the Bloods regain their rhythm and that could well be here.
Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1
Southend Manor v West Essex | Venue: Southchurch Park
Pete: Only a point seperates these two in the bottom half of the table, although West have had a much better September than they did in August, winning three league games to pull themselves towards the top ten. Manor have been frustratingly inconsistent and three defeats in four sees them down in 14th, and their defeat at Hamlets last time out wasn’t what they needed after winning at Ilford before that. Gonna plump for a draw here though.
Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1
Scott: Manor welcome the Stags to Southchurch, following their defeat at Tower Hamlets last weekend. Adam Peek’s side have lost four of their last five in the league now while West have won three of their last five matches. Kwame Kwateng’s team struck late to grab a point at home to Hoddesdon so perhaps the West spirit of last season is returning. This is a blimin’ toughie to call quite frankly, though mainly as West don’t travel so well I’ll head for a narrow home win.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Sporting Bengal Utd v Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: Mile End Stadium
Pete: Bengal netted four last time out at St Margaretsbury, this after they had shipped four in successive games prior to that, whilst The Robins were smashed 5-0 by local rivals Stansted last time out in the Brasted Trophy, so will want a response to that no doubt. Both sides have been wildly inconsistent this season too so predicting this one is impossible, but I must make a decision so will go for a draw.
Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2
Scott: Bengal welcome Sawbo to Mile End after a mixed week which saw them be beaten again at Stansted before performing well in a good win at St Margaretsbury in midweek. Sawbridgeworth are similarly unpredictable at present, being denied a win by Clapton last weekend before being beaten again by rivals Stansted in the GBT in midweek. Recent signing Jay Knight has shown what goals can do for Imrul Gazi’s side and he may prove to be the difference in a match I can see containing quite a few goals.
Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2
St Margaretsbury v Tower Hamlets | Venue: The Recreation Ground
Pete: The Bury Boys haven’t been in the best of form recently and six defeats from nine league outings suggests a difficult season so far. And they face a Hamlets side who are looking to recover from a poor start, and with two clean sheets in their last two and their first win to boot, this could give them heart in this one. But the hosts do create chances and they must convert them one day, and I feel they may nick this one.
Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0
Scott: Finally, out-of-form St Margs welcome Hamlets to the Rec. Max Mitchell’s team are winless in five though do have goals in them. However, losses at Takeley and at home to Sporting Bengal this week may not have helped their confidence. Hamlets got their first league win of the season last weekend over Southend Manor and got a creditable goal-less draw at Woodford in midweek. Hard one to call though if the tide turns for the hosts, it may well do so here.
Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1