Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 22 Mar/Sat 23 Mar) [ESL 22.3.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Preview piece looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action. Pete has elected to take an extended break from doing these pieces due to the huge number of other commitments on his time, something I fully understand & endorse.

So on that note, this week is a solo piece by Scott. What do you think othis week’s fixtures will bring?

Fri 22 Mar

Woodford Town  v  Hullbridge Sports   | Harlow Arena

Scott:  The action this weekend begins with a very tricky test for Hullbridge as they travel to the Harlow Arena to face Woodford. Woodford have had a break in recent times, though have got three wins in their last six to sit in 6th spot, six points behind Takeley so they are capable of giving Sports a tough evening. Sports have had a poor week, after a loss to Southend Manor last weekend before an under-strength side lost at Brightlingsea Regent in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup Semi-Final in midweek. This is a tough one to call (hardly the only one this term) though Sports really need the points to keep up with leaders Stansted. Narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 2  

Sat 23 Mar

Barkingside    v   Saffron Walden Town    |  Cricklefield

Scott:  Barkingside entertain Saffron Walden at Cricklefield as the first of the Saturday ties. Alex Goldstone’s side have had a trying week with a loss to Sporting Bengal in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend before suffering a damaging home loss to Redbridge on Monday night which kept them bottom. The Bloods came from behind to win over Enfield at Catons Lane which put them back up to 3rd, four points behind Hullbridge. Walden will want to finish the season well while ‘Side are starting to run out of games to pick up the points they need to avert the drop. Have to plump for a Walden win here.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 2

Enfield     v    Stansted     | Harlow Arena

Scott: Stansted continue their title push as they face Enfield. The E’s will want to avoid another defensive horror show after their conceding five in their last two league matches. In fairness, that was against Hullbridge and Saffron Walden so the fixture gods haven’t been kind to them in that respect here. Stansted have been grinding out wins of late, with wins at Sporting Bengal and Hoddesdon in their most recent matches. They may find the Harlow Arena 3G pitch more to their liking though the points are the priority for them. Enfield can definitely a pose a threat on their day so it’s another tricky away tie for the Airportmen here. Nevertheless, I’ll head for an away success here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor   v   Sawbridgeworth Town   | Southchurch Park

Scott: Manor welcome Sawbridgeworth to Southchurch. Adam Peek’s side will be looking to finish the season well following a big win over Hullbridge last weekend which left them ten points clear of the bottom two. Sawbridgeworth’s league form has continued to stagnate recently and are winless in their last eight matches. They did hold Walden recently though losses at Leyton Athletic and Clapton in the last week haven’t helped their morale. Both sides could still win this one though, so I’ll go for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

St Margaretsbury   v   Hoddesdon Town             | The Rec

Scott: St Margs face local rivals Hoddesdon, two days after the sudden departure of management team of Max Mitchell and Tony Faulkner to Bostik South Central side Hertford Town on Thursday. Micky Nathan and Tony Wild are in caretaker charge for this one. St Margs lost to Barkingside last weekend which ended their fine run, while Hoddesdon have battled hard in recent matches before falling to narrow defeats against high-flyers Hullbridge and Stansted in the last two weekends. I have a feeling it may be ‘third time lucky’ here for Simon Riddle’s team.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Stanway Rovers     v   Leyton Athletic    | Hawthorns

Scott: Stanway welcome Leyton to the Hawthorns. Rovers have lost their last three matches, with defeat at Walthamstow last time out. Since then, they’ve dropped to 14th spot. Leyton got a massive win over Sawbridgeworth last weekend to leap off the bottom of the standings to end a long run without victory. Stanway have got more wins at home still so it will be hard though Ath will still fancy they can do something here. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 1

Takeley            v      Tower Hamlets            | Station Road

Scott: Takeley face Hamlets at Station Road. Marc Das’ side had a week off last weekend though lost out at home to Sporting Bengal in their last game. The hosts will still aim for a top-five finish. Hamlets lost out to Aveley Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend, after a home win over Leyton the previous Monday. AJ Ashinike’s side have tightened up defensively in recent weeks so it could be a hard match though I still will plump for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction:  3 – 1

Walthamstow        v   Clapton                    | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Scott: High-flying Walthamstow take on the Tons at Wadham Lodge. ‘Stow have won their last five league games as they seek to ‘gate-crash’ the top two. They won at home to Stanway ten days ago though the Tons have hit form in recent weeks. Three wins in their last four was secured following a midweek win over Sawbridgeworth which sees them in 11th after all the midweek action. Think ‘Stow will continue to rack up the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

West Essex    v    Redbridge       |  Mayesbrook Park

Scott: Finally, the Stags welcome the Motormen at Mayesbrook Park. West are winless in their last three matches and their home form continues to pose them problems – with two wins in 15 home matches thus far. They sit 15th, but are only seven points adrift of Ilford in 10th. Redbridge have hit form though with three wins on-the-reel following big wins at Clapton and Barkingside recently which sees them up to 12th in the table. West have had a week or so off due to their Errington Cup tie at Clapton falling foul of the elements last weekend. Have to go for an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3 

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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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