Preview: Essex Senior League (Final Day – Sat 27 Apr) [Fri 26.4.19]

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Archive: Title Rivals Stansted & Hullbridge face off back on March 30th

Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and a warm welcome to the final preview piece this season, looking at the ten ties that take place on the last day of the Essex Senior League campaign. There are still a few issues to be ironed out, chiefly this – who will be crowned Champions?

Thank you to all the regular readers of this column this season. Enjoy.

Sat 27 April

———

Barkingside  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Cricklefield

‘Side entertain Hoddesdon at Cricklefield, just two weeks after their reserve side sent the Lilywhites out of the Peter Butcher Trophy. Alex Goldstone’s side have averted finishing bottom of the league after three wins in their last seven matches though lost out last time out at West Essex ten days ago. Hoddy were held by Tower Hamlets last weekend in the only ESL match then. This may be a ‘dead rubber’ though both sides will want to end the campaign well, I’ll go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction:  2 – 1

Clapton    v    Sporting Bengal Utd  | Old Spotted Dog |

Sporting Bengal travel to the Old Spotted Dog to face Clapton in what is Jonny Fowell’s final match in charge of the Tons. They won late at Takeley ten days ago to give them only their second win in their last seven matches. Sporting return to league action here after a break, with their last league outing being a loss at Southend Manor three weeks ago. A top-eight finish is assured for them already though they could go 7th with a win. I feel the hosts will want to give their manager a good send-off though and therefore am going for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Hullbridge Sports  v  Stanway Rovers   | Lower Road  |

For Hullbridge… this is it. They entertain Stanway at Lower Road knowing that only a win would absolutely guarantee their first ESL championship and elevation to Bostik League Division North. Only one loss in their last eight shows they are up there form-wise though this may be a different type of ‘pressure’ they face here. Rovers are on the face of it limping their way toward the end of the campaign in terms of results with four losses in their last seven though did confirm Danny Slatter at their permanent boss last week.

You know what they say about ‘Football isn’t played on paper’ and the understandable nerves will persist right until kick-off you suspect for the hosts. Stanway did hold West Essex last weekend at home and do have some talent in their side though if I’m being candid, I’d be pretty surprised if ‘Bridge did not ‘finish the job’ here and crown off a stellar season.

I’ll be at this game and it could well be an emotional one.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Leyton Athletic  v  Stansted   |Wadham Lodge Stadium |

Stansted travel to Wadham Lodge to face bottom side Leyton Athletic. The Airportmen know they have to win to have any chance of usurping Hullbridge and taking the title. Leyton have lost their last five league matches so it would seem they are good opposition to face here. Stansted will be buoyed by their GBT success though and five wins in their last seven league games shows their consistent streak, which they have maintained all season.

This could go one or two ways, if Messrs Pittuck & Benterman’s team start strongly then it could be a goal-fest though they could also be frustrated by their hosts. That said, you have to go away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  Woodford Town  | Catons Lane

Walden’s first season back in the Essex Senior concludes with this interesting battle with another attack-minded side in Woodford at Catons Lane. Five wins in their last seven for Jason Maher’s team gives them a shot at a top-three finish, if other results go in their favour. They held off a late comeback by Manor two weeks ago to win then and have amassed 105 league goals this season, comfortably the highest-scorers in the division. Woodford are the third-highest scorers themselves so this could be an entertaining affair. Have to go with a home win here though.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

 

Sawbridgeworth Town    v   Enfield  | Crofters  |

Sawbridgeworth end their campaign with this home match with Enfield at Crofters. John Watters’ side have had a very tough campaign are winless in their last 12 matches. They got a creditable draw at St Margaretsbury two weeks ago in their last match. Incredibly, eight of their ten wins this season have come at home though and need to win to try to avoid finishing in the bottom three. Enfield defeated Clapton in their last match two weeks ago. Matt Hanning’s team have won two of their last three matches and could still finish as high as 11th with a win here, subject to other results going their way. Going to plump for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Southend Manor   v   Walthamstow | Southchurch Park |

Manor entertain Walthamstow in their final match. Adam Peek’s side are on an upturn with five wins in their last seven though narrowly lost out at Saffron Walden two weeks ago. They will look to leap out of the bottom five with a win though ‘Stow are also in super nick with nine wins in their last ten matches and they know a win would cement a hard-earned third-place finish. ‘Stow deafeat St Margaretsbury in their last match three weeks ago though would still reckon they will ‘do the job here’.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

St Margaretsbury     v     Redbridge      | The Rec  |

‘Bury welcome Redbridge to the Rec after a spirited display in their loss to Stansted in the Gordon Brasted Trophy Final on Easter Monday. A win here would secure seventh place in what has still been a good campaign for them. The Motormen have struggled to claim wins recently having also been somewhat depleted and lost out at home to Stansted last time out. Will the hosts’ young side be able to snuff out the guile of finishers like Dan Gilchrist? That’s what interests me. Gut instinct says narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Takeley   v  Ilford   | Station Road |

Takeley see out their campaign at home to the Foxes at Station Road.Marc Das’ side lost out late on to Clapton ten days back though are still strong with ‘home comforts’ Their overall form has been mixed of late and their opponents here are stronger away from Cricklefield as well. Martin Haywood’s side have won four of their last six and know that another three points will secure a top-ten finish. Getting past the miserly Takeley defence is seldom an easy task though and I feel compelled to head for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

West Essex  v  Tower Hamlets    | Mayesbrook Park |

The Stags play their last league match at Mayesbrook before it joins the ‘3G revolution’ next term as they face Tower Hamlets. West defeated Barkingside last time out and a win here could see them sneak inside the top ten. They may have the Errington Cup Final on their minds but they will seek to continue a good run of only one loss in their last six matches. Hamlets held Hoddesdon last week and are also in good touch with two losses in their last six outings. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

That’s all from the Preview pieces this term. Look out for the Round-up on Sunday/Monday. Cheers 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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