Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 2 Mar) [ESL 1.3.19]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League Preview piece as Peter Dudley and Scott W look at the ESL fixtures this weekend (Sat 2 March). Scott caught up in the Predictions stakes after a win last week – coming into the run-in, who will best who this weekend?

Also, catch Peter & Scott fronting the Grassroots Football radio show this week here:


Saturday 2nd March

Clapton v West Essex | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: It’s 14th vs 13th in Forest Gate as The Tons welcome West Essex to their Old Spotted Dog ground, and they won here the last time they played so will look to take that into this one, whilst the visitors lost a tight one against the league leaders at home last time out. Could be tight this one so going for a score draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Tons welcome the Stags to the OSD. Jon Fowell’s side won at home to Barkingside last weekend though remain in the bottom half, while West Essex are among the pack attempting to get into the top ten and narrowly lost out to Stansted last weekend. This has the makings of another tight affair and I’ll plump for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Ilford v Barkingside | Cricklefield ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Cricklefield derby as Ilford ‘host’ Barkingside in a game the visitors must win if they want to keep any realistic hopes of avoiding the drop. The Foxes did lose at home last time out too against an in-form St Margaretsbury side, but form does go out of the window in these games so even though both lost last time out that counts for nothing in this one. I do fancy Ilford to win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Cricklefield ‘derby’ returns and what a time for it as well. Both sides lost out last weekend, Ilf at home to St Margaretsbury and ‘Side at Clapton though bottom team Barkingside arguably need the points more here. The Foxes have been scoring though in recent matches so this could be a factor, even though the ‘form book’ scarcely applies to local derbies. Will go for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Redbridge v Sawbridgeworth Town | Oakside

Pete: It’s been a weird few days for the Motormen, defeating Southend Manor 4-1 last weekend before succumbing 6-0 to a rampant Woodford Town side in midweek, so quite what Redbridge will show up remains to be seen. They take on a Robins side who have been off-the-pace for a few weeks now, so confidence won’t be high in their camp, and I feel the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth travel to Oakside. The Motormen had a mixed week to say the least with a big win over Southend Manor last weekend before a heavy defeat away to Woodford in midweek. They have goals in their side now though as they face one of the poorest defences in out-of-form Sawbo, who haven’t won in four matches. They gave Walthamstow a battle at home last weekend though they need goals at present. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Southend Manor v Leyton Athletic | Southchurch Park

Pete: This is a rather important fixture at the bottom end of the table as third-bottom Manor host second-bottom Athletic with the hosts currently holding an eight-point lead over their opponents, so which way this result goes will certainly change that dramatically one way or the other. Manor have had two draws either side of a disappointing loss at Redbridge lately, whilst Leyton did manage a clean sheet in their last game to gain a point too. I feel though that the hosts may grab a very important win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This is arguably the most important match of the weekend as Manor entertain Leyton. Manor had a disappointing defeat at Redbridge last weekend though did have a promising rearguard action in a scoreless draw with Tower Hamlets on Wednesday. Adam Peek’s side is another team who need goal-power at the moment, as do Leyton, who got a goal-less draw against Enfield last weekend. This could well be a scrap though the hosts may just prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd v Hullbridge Sports | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have dropped to eighth in recent times after a dip in form this calendar year, and Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at home to St Margaretsbury was a poor night all round, so they won’t be chuffed at seeing second-placed Hullbridge roll into town after they recorded a very important win over Takeley last time out. Expecting the Bridge Boys to get the job done here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Bengal seek to recover from a poor midweek loss to St Margaretsbury in midweek as they face high-flyers Hullbridge at Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side did hold Stanway last weekend though face a strong ‘Bridge back-line. Hullbridge won over Takeley last weekend before a comfortable Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup win over Kelvedon Social in midweek. The hosts will have to start well to stay in this one I feel though ‘Bridge as well need to ‘stay on the gas’ or they could slip up. Despite that, it’s hard not to head for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Stanway Rovers v St Margaretsbury | Hawthorns

Pete: This is a repeat of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Semi-Final tie in which the visitors breezed 4-0, but you rarely see the same result twice. However, the visitors have had a brilliant February and will be high on confidence against a Stanway Rovers side who have recently broke into the top ten so have certainly been solid that’s for sure. I still feel the visitors will win this one but maybe not as easily as the semi-final success.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This fascinating clash sees Rovers face in-form St Margs. Max Mitchell’s side won here well in Cup action recently so Terry Spillane’s team will want some measure of revenge to level that out. Rovers were held by Bengal last weekend while St Margs have won at Ilford and Bengal in the last week. Stanway need to cut off the visitors’ supply of goals I feel to get anything out of this one though I also suspect the recent four-match unbeaten run will continue for the ‘Bury. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Takeley v Saffron Walden Town | Station Road

Pete: Big clash at Station Road as 4th takes on 3rd, and you have to say that Takeley are the ones who need the victory the most although the top five are only separated by ten points, so anything can happen down the stretch as they say. Walden could go second if they win and Hullbridge slip up, but even if that does not happen a win for the visitors would still open a five-point gap to their opponents, so this is why it’s important the hosts do not lose this one. Thinking it may end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Another cracker-jack encounter takes place at Station Road. The hosts started well before losing out at Hullbridge last weekend and defeat here may be a big dent in their top-four aspirations. Walden ground out a narrow win at Tower Hamlets last weekend as they look to keep tabs on Stansted & Hullbridge above them in the table. The highest-scoring side in Step 5 in the country in Walden as ever will take some stopping and as such, it’s an away win for me. Could be a real battle though given Takeley’s defensive qualities.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Walthamstow v Tower Hamlets | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Pete: Stow need a win to keep their promotion hopes going, a win for them and slip ups above could see them into fourth and only a point off third place Walden, but they will come up against a hard-working Hamlets side who have picked up some useful results lately as they pull away from that bottom two, now thirteen points clear of it, so they can probably relax with a result here. I feel that the hosts will have too much for them ultimately though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: ‘Stow face Hamlets in what could be a passionate encounter at Wadham Lodge. Hamlets have only conceded one goal in matches this week, against Saffron Walden and Southend Manor respectively so this will give the much-heralded Walthamstow front-line a challenge. ‘Stow did win fairly well at Sawbridgeworth last weekend and if they avoid under-estimating the visitors then they should pick up the points here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Woodford Town v Enfield | Harlow Arena ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Harlow Arena derby as Woodford take on Enfield, and the hosts come into this one after a 6-0 demolition of Redbridge, but the visitors are unbeaten in five and have kept three clean sheets to boot, so they will not be an easy side to break down. The visitors could also break into the top ten with victory too, so this would be a good achievement for them, whilst Woodford would remain in the top six with the points. Think this one could end a draw though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Finally this weekend, it is the Harlow ‘derby’ between co-tenants Woodford and Enfield. Woodford recovered from last weekend’s narrow loss to Hoddesdon with a six-goal hammering of Redbridge on the 3G in midweek. Dee Safer’s team are looking to stay in the top six and face the E’s who are unbeaten in their last five now. My gut feeling says there will be goals in this one and that it will also be a hard-fought encounter. Narrow home win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

That’s all for this week, 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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