Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 9 Mar) [ESL 8.3.19]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League preview with Peter & Scott, looking at this weekend’s ESL action on Saturday 9th March. Pete got the win last week in the prediction to reclaim a decent lead in the standings with the weeks running out until season’s end.

Saturday 9th March

Clapton   v   Redbridge    | Old Spotted Dog |

Pete: The Tons are in fairly good form having won three of their last five, and they have won their last two games at The Old Spotted Dog too and welcome a Redbridge side who lost 6-0 in their last away game although that was sandwiched in between two 4-1 home wins, so inconsistency is the name of the game here.  Gonna go for a narrow home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: This weekend’s full programme starts at the OSD where the Tons welcome goal-laden Redbridge. Jon Fowell’s side are in decent nick of late and are scoring goals, as evidenced by their home triumph over West Essex last weekend. They still have a shot at a top-half finish after three wins in their last five league games. Redbridge put four past Sawbridgeworth last weekend  though need to improve their form away from Oakside if they are continue to rise up the standings. Think this one will be a tough battle and will head for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Hullbridge Sports   v   Hoddesdon Town  | Lower Road

Pete: Sports know if they win their remaining games they will be crowned champions of the division regardless of what anyone else does, but they welcome a tough Hoddesdon Town side to Lower Road and will remember their 5-1 win over their opponents in cup over the festive period, so Hullbridge will need to be aware of their visitors here.  I do feel though that the hosts will win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Hullbridge take on plucky Hoddesdon at Lower Road. Sports nabbed a last-gasp winner at Sporting Bengal last weekend to keep the promotion race in their hands. They are unbeaten in their last six games though Hoddy powered past ESL Reserve Division side Tiptree Jobserve in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend and cannot be underestimated. They may only have attained two wins in their last seven ESL matches though they can still chase a top-eight finish. As long as ‘Bridge can keep their focus, they could well get the win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Ilford    v   Enfield   | Cricklefield   |

Pete: Both these teams come into this one off the back of home defeats, but both have not been in bad form prior to that, so a good contest should be played out at Cricklefield.  The visitors would leapfrog their opponents with a victory here, and they could go into the top-half too if results go their way.  Ilford could put a four-point gap between themselves and the bottom half with victory themselves, but I have a feeling Enfield will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Ilford are at home once again, this time entertaining Enfield. The Foxes ‘got the job done’ last week in the derby with Barkingside and sit 10th at present, though six teams are within five points reach of them before this weekend in a very tight bottom-half of the table. The E’s did well to hold Woodford in a derby of their own at Harlow last weekend though did lose out at home to Saffron Walden in midweek in what was their first loss in seven games. I’ll go for a slight upset here and head for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Leyton Athletic   v   West Essex   | Wadham Lodge Stadium  |

Pete: Every game is a must win now for Leyton and they welcome a West Essex side to Wadham Lodge who haven’t been in the best of form lately, so the second-bottom side could look at this one as a possible three points perhaps.  But West still have a very good squad to chose from and will pose a big threat to the hosts, and I see an away win here to be honest.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: The Stags are the next visitors to Ath at Wadham Lodge. The hosts are still searching for a much sought-after victory though fell to defeat at rivals Southend Manor last weekend. Kwame Kwateng’s side lost at Clapton last weekend though will present a challenge to Leyton’s recently altered side if they are near their best. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Sawbridgeworth Town    v    Saffron Walden Town  | Crofters |

Pete: On paper you’d say there is only one winner here, The Robins are not in the greatest of form lately and have slipped to 15th, whilst Walden are challenging for promotion in third spot currently.  The hosts can take heart from Walden’s 4-0 loss at Takeley last weekend although the visitors did bounce back in midweek to end Enfield’s unbeaten run, and this is a derby match too, so form doesn’t always mean much in these types of games.  But I feel the visitors will have too much firepower for their opponents and will take the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: The Bloods are on the road for the third straight match as they travel to Crofters to face Sawbridgeworth. Sawbo’s form hasn’t been good of late, undoubtedly affected by the loss of forward Joe Wright. Walden recovered from a rare ‘off-day’ at Takeley last weekend to win at Enfield in midweek to keep them in the promotion hunt. If Jason Maher’s side are ‘in the mood’ then there could well be goals here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3


St Margaretsbury   v   Barkingside  | The Rec |

Pete: Barkingside are another side along with Leyton who realistically have to win all their remaining games to have a chance of survival, but they come up against probably the most in-form side in the division in sixth-placed St Margs, and after they began March with a 5-0 success at Stanway Rovers, you would be foolish to bet against them in this one.  Side have been much improved under Alex Goldstone though and will pose a threat, but I feel the hosts will triumph here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: On a list of which sides they’d want to face right about now, in-form St Margaretsbury would not be ‘top of the list’ for ‘Side as they head to the Rec. Max Mitchell’s team have impressed in their five-match undefeated streak – which in turn sees them in 6th spot. By contrast, Barkingside have lost their last four though need to keep up their enterprising forward play from the Cricklefield ‘derby’ last weekend which on chances created, they would have won. That said, I have to go on balance here, which leads me to another home win for ‘Bury.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Stansted   v   Southend Manor  | Hargrave Park |

Pete: Both these sides scored massive victories last time out for differing reasons, hosts Stansted defeat Sporting 2-0 at Mile End to open up a four-point gap at the summit, whilst Manor defeated Leyton 2-0 at Southchurch Park to open up an eleven-point gap to the bottom two and give them breathing space for the run in.  The pressure though will be on Stansted to win this game though, so it all depends how they deal with that, but I believe they have enough to win this game despite this having won under pressure before.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Manor head to Hargrave Park to face leaders Stansted. The Airportmen returned to league duties in midweek with a battling win at Sporting Bengal to extend their cushion at the summit to four points. Manor ended their winless run with what may be a priceless success over rivals Leyton last weekend though will face an altogether tougher proposition here I reckon.  Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Stanway Rovers   v   Walthamstow  | Hawthorns  |

Pete: Rovers come into this one not in the greatest of form, and after losing 5-0 at home last time they welcome another tough opponent in fifth placed Walthamstow, who are looking to sneak up and snatch the title away from the top four.  Stow are certainly getting up a head of steam now and will take no prisoners in their pursuit of glory, and I feel they will be too much for the home side here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Stanway face Walthamstow in another enticing battle at the Hawthorns. Terry Spillane’s side are in the midst of a blip just now following a heavy loss at  home to St Margaretsbury last time out, though have the experience to stifle a ‘Stow side who have lost just one of their last six matches. Ryan Maxwell’s side know that their win at Sawbridgeworth , twinned with results elsewhere last weekend only endorsed their slim promotion chances and that motivation may be enough to get the job done here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Takeley   v   Sporting Bengal Utd  | Station Road  |

Pete: Hosts Takeley laid down a marker in their last home game by hammering local rivals and promotion challengers Saffron Walden last time out, and they welcome to Station Road a Sporting Bengal side who have kind of hit the buffers in 2019 after a wonderful first half of the season.  Bengal did push both Hullbridge and Stansted close in two recent home games, but failed to score and lost both, and I feel it could be a similar story here too as Takeley continues to keep the top three honest.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Takeley face another interesting test as out-of-form Sporting Bengal visit Station Road. On paper, it looks pretty clear that Marc Das’ side may well get the points to keep them in the top four, especially since they won well over Walden last weekend. In saying that, Imrul Gazi’s side may have lost their last three matches after their home loss to Stansted in midweek, scoring only one goal in that time though their form will resurface at some point you feel. It just may not be here though, I have a feeling the hosts will prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0


Tower Hamlets   v   Woodford Town | Mile End  |
Pete: These two sides have very different styles of football lately, Hamlets seem to be solid and tough and make themselves difficult to beat, whilst Woodford play some delightful attacking football, none more so when they thrashed Redbridge 6-0 at home recently.  But both sides form has been mixed of late so picking a winner could be tricky, but I’ll plump for a narrow away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Woodford make the trip to East London to face Hamlets. AJ Ashinike’s team has really tightened up defensively of late, as both Walden & Walthamstow could only record narrow wins against them. Woodford are finding the net better recently though as nine goals in their last two matches demonstrates. They were still held by Enfield last weekend though in an entertaining affair. My gut instinct says Hamlets will need to defend well here to stifle the Towners’ free-scoring forwards. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


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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