Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 18/Sat 19 Jan) [ESL 18.1.19]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League preview with Non-League writers Peter Dudley & Scott W. Ten more fascinating ties await us this weekend, what do you think will go down? Thanks for reading. If you’d like to hear both our thoughts on this weekend’s action on GFS, along with guest Marc Farrell, click the link/add URL here:    (Fixtures section is from 2 hours 9 minutes in)

Essex Senior League

Friday 18th January 2019

Leyton Athletic  v Hullbridge Sports   | Wadham Lodge Stadium |

Pete: Hullbridge come into this one off the back of two straight defeats which has seen them fall to third and conceded ground to leaders Stansted, although their opponents Leyton haven’t won in fourteen now although two draws in their last two shows some fight at least.  I do fancy the visitors to get the win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: One of two Friday nighters sees Hullbridge travel to Wadham Lodge Stadium. Leyton were held at fellow strugglers Barkingside last weekend and arguably need to get points on the board. Hullbridge need points as well to further their title campaign after losses to Redbridge and Clapton this week. This is one tricky tie to predict though I can’t see the ‘Bridge boys losing three on-the-trot. Narrow away win though Ath will make it difficult.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Woodford Town   v   West Essex  | the Harlow Arena |

Pete: Potentially a cracker is in store for us at The Harlow Arena as two attacking teams come together, and the hosts will be trying to grab a win after none in their last four outings, whilst West are in the same boat having lost three of their last four.  Fancy the hosts to get the win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Scott: West are once again on the road, this time to Harlow to face the ever-dangerous Woodford. West held Manor at home last weekend before a heavy loss to Aveley Ressies in the Pete Butcher Trophy in midweek. They do play better away from home and if they bring their ‘A’-game, this will be a test for the Towners. The hosts denied Takeley all three points at Station Road last weekend and it may be the forward line & energy that seems them through here, despite the home side’s four-match winless run of late.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Saturday 19th January

Clapton  v  Southend Manor  | Old Spotted Dog |

Pete: You really cannot predict what your going to get from Clapton these days, their last three has seen all three results happen, including defeating Hullbridge at The Dog last time out.  For Manor it’s been a season of struggle and after they beat Clapton at home four games ago, they have failed to register another three points.  Think this one could end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Tons welcome Manor to the OSD, on the back of a fine win over Hullbridge in midweek. Three wins in their last eight matches shows what a ‘mixed-bag’ they have had recently. Manor have also found wins fairly hard to come by of late and drew at West Essex last weekend. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Enfield  v  Walthamstow   | the Harlow Arena |

Pete:This has the potential to be a decent game as hosts Enfield, with three wins from their last five, take on a Stow side who were five unbeaten with four of those wins until they came unstuck against Ilford last time out.  Got a feeling the visitors will want to put that right though so gonna go for a tight away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Enfield welcome ‘Stow to the Harlow Arena. The E’s have found some form with one loss in their last five matches after wins at Stanway and a draw at home to Sporting Bengal in the last week. Walthamstow lost at home to Ilford last weekend and need wins to rack up points to get back into the top five. My thought on this one is that it will a tough match and whilst Enfield could surprise, the visitors may well get the points here in a tough game.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Hoddesdon Town  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   |  Lowfield |

Pete: These two have had similar form over the last few outings, and both drew last time out after being two goals down, so it’s going to be a tight contest at Lowfield for sure.  And when these two met in the league match at Mile End that also, yep you guessed it, ended in a 1-1 draw.  Have a feeling that may happen again too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Hoddesdon welcome fellow top-ten side Bengal to Lowfield. Simon Riddle’s side lost to Saffron Walden last weekend though did produce a fine comeback to hold Redbridge at home in midweek. Bengal lost out at Sawbridgeworth last weekend and are having a mini-blip at present though another record-breaking season for them isn’t far off now. This match is another test in an ever-competitive division for Imrul Gazi’s side. Could be another draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Ilford   v   Redbridge   | Cricklefield |

Pete: It a derby at Cricklefield as Ilford and Redbridge do battle, The Foxes ending a winless run of six games by defeating Walthamstow last time out, whilst Redbridge are revitalised under the stewardship of Micky Wetherall and are unbeaten in their last two after five straight defeats prior to that.  Form normally means nothing in these games though, and they often end in draws too, so that’s my prediction for this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: What a time for the Motormen to have a local derby with the Foxes. A fine win at Hullbridge was followed by a good point at Hoddesdon this week. Ilford too had a good day out last weekend with a success at Walthamstow. Tough, tough match to call though Redbridge do have impetus at present and if they can better themselves in defence, they could get the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

St Margaretsbury    v   Saffron Walden Town  | The Recreation Ground

Pete: This could possibly be game of the day at The Recreation Ground as an in-form hosts, who have won their last four, take on Saffron Walden Town who have won their last two.  It really is a hard one to call this one, the hosts would like to grab a win over one of the title/promotion chasers, whilst Walden need to win to keep in touch with the top two.  Feel the visitors may just sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Scott: Saffron Walden continue their promotion charge as they visit Lowfield. Jason Maher’s side won at Hoddesdon last weekend to sit eight points adrift of leaders Stansted, with a game more to play. St Margs won at Tower Hamlets last weekend as they fortified their top-ten position, thanks to four straight victories. Another tough match for the Bloods, though I think they will prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Stansted  v  Barkingside   | Hargrave Park

Pete: On paper you’d say this has easy home win written all over it seeing as it’s top versus bottom.  But football isn’t played on paper is it, and although the hosts are in fine form at the moment, four wins in a row and unbeaten in their last eight, Barkingside have improved over recent weeks and are unbeaten in four themselves with three of those clean sheets.  Despite all this though I expect the hosts to win, but it will be closer than a lot of people think.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Stansted entertain Barkingside at Hargrave Park. The Airportmen have the momentum at present after a James Peagram-inspired win over Clapton last weekend. Barkingside got a home draw with Leyton though they are now unbeaten in three matches which shows the added steel they have within the camp now. That said, this is one hell of a test for that grit in Alex Goldstone’s side. Hard to see anything but a home win given Stansted’s recent form.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Takeley    v  Sawbridgeworth Town   |  Station Road |

Pete: Another decent battle awaits us at Station Road as Takeley, who are trying to keep tabs with Stansted at the summit of the ESL, welcome an in-form Sawbridgeworth to their gaff, despite losing back to back before winning last time out.  The host aren’t in  bad form themselves and will be looking for the points after dropping two last time out, and I feel they will achieve just that in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Takeley welcome an improving Sawbo side. Marc Das’ side were held late on by Woodford last weekend though are unbeaten in three while Sawbo have lost three of their last eight, after a good win over Sporting Bengal last weekend, which sees them in mid-table. Takeley could go joint-top with a win and with Charlie Cole and Bryn Thorpe returning to the club last weekend, that could happen here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Tower Hamlets  v   Stanway Rovers    | Mile End |

Pete: There will be no love lost between these two following their fiery FA Cup tie earlier this season, and both come into this one in not the best of form, Hamlets have lost their last three whilst Rovers four of their last five. Stanway have won both meetings between the sides this season though and this could sway the result their way perhaps, but I feel this could end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Finally, Stanway travel to Mile End to face Hamlets. Both sides are in need of a win to avert a slide down the table. Hamlets lost to St Margaretsbury last weekend plus Rovers also lost at home, to Enfield last weekend. This could be a real scrap though arguably there is more onus on the home side here, and they may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


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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