Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 24/Sat 25 Jan) [ESL 19/20 23.1.20]

Image from Hashtag v Redbridge last weekend [ Image: Scott W]
Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to another round of the semi-regular Preview piece here on my blog, looking at the action coming up this coming weekend with big games at both ends of the division.

Essex Senior

Friday 24 January


Tower Hamlets  v  Southend Manor   | Mile End

The action starts at Mile End as Hamlets welcome Manor in what is a big match for both sides. Hamlets have continued to show promise though form-wise, they have won two of their last eight matches after a gut-wrenchingly narrow loss to Saffron Walden at the weekend and are only a point & one place above Manor before this one. Manor have won one of their last eight themselves after a disappointing home loss to West Essex last weekend and a decisive result in either side’s favour here may bring the sides above them back into the battle to avoid relegation.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Woodford Town  v  Hashtag Utd   | Harlow Arena [3G]

The other match on Friday sees in-form Hashtag travel to Harlow to face Woodford Town. The Tags are in fine form of late with seven wins in their last eight outings after a fine win at home to Redbridge last weekend. Jay Devereux’s side are looking to get back into the top two with the points here ahead of Saturday’s matches. However, Woodford are not a side to be discounted as they look to break a run of eight matches without a win recently. Roy Darbo & Joe Gadsdon’s side are looking to get back into the top ten in front of what’s expected to be a good crowd. Also, the match will have live commentary by recent additions to the Non-League media circle @FoghornAndMoore (follow them on Twitter).

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Saturday 25 January   

Enfield  v  Redbridge   | Woodside

Saturday’s run-down of the fixtures begins at Woodside as Enfield face Redbridge. The E’s have fallen down to second-bottom after a disappointing run of nine matches without that treasured ‘W’. Matt Hanning’s side were last in action two weeks back with a loss at Sporting Bengal but before that they drew at Hoddesdon. Redbridge have also had a contrasting week, as last weekend they lost heavily at Hashtag though the Motormen responded in some style with a big win over Sawbridgeworth in a ten-goal thriller in midweek.  Micky Wetherall’s team are looking to fortify themselves in the top ten and the E’s have a tough assignment to keep their forwards quiet.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2



Hoddesdon Town  v  Cockfosters   | Lowfield

Cockfosters travel to Lowfield to face Hoddesdon. Simon Riddle’s side lost out to Walthamstow in their last match two weeks ago, though they are still tough to beat with only two losses in their last seven matches, residing in eighth before this weekend. Cockfosters are in decent form themselves with four wins in their last seven in the league and they narrowly lost at Saffron Walden in their midweek Gordon Brasted Semi-Final. Tough one to call, can see this being another draw with both being good attack-minded sides.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2



Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Clapton   | Crofters

Two of the bottom five face off at Crofters with Sawbridgeworth entertaining Clapton. Sawbridgeworth have suffered heavy defeats to Hashtag and Redbridge in their last two league matches though they are scoring as well. The Tons started well but ultimately lost out at home to Walthamstow in midweek.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1



Sporting Bengal Utd   v   Saffron Walden Town   | Mile End

Bengal welcome Saffron Walden back to Mile End with both sides in need of points for different reasons. Imrul Gazi’s side were beaten at home by Hadley last weekend while Walden got narrow wins over Tower Hamlets and Cockfosters in League & Cup matches in the last week. Walden have won nine of their last eleven league matches and Jason Maher’s side are currently three points clear at the top of the Essex Senior. Bengal are one of four sides on 22 points before Friday’s action and with the gap to second-bottom Enfield being six points at present, they will want to avert a further drop down the table here. I can see this being a good match though Walden will take some stopping. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Stansted  v  Hadley   |  Hargrave Park

A big game at Hargrave Park awaits as Stansted entertain Hadley. Stansted’s last league match was two weeks ago where they won narrowly at St Margaretsbury. Their best-ever league winning run of nine matches is under threat here as the Bricks have only lost two matches all season. In the last week or so, Anthony Clark’s side have grabbed big wins over Sporting Bengal & Ilford though are still eight points off the top three with matches in hand. This could well be the match of the weekend and with a doubt coming in regarding Hadley’s form away from Brickfield Lane, a win here would go a long way to confirming a top-five finish for certain this term.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3



Takeley  v  St Margaretsbury   | Station Road

This local derby sees St Mags make the trip to Takeley. The hosts have been affected by postponements of late though have only had one loss in their last seven games, with Marc Das’ side currently in 5th. Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side are in the midst of a tough run though did end a seven-match losing run in midweek when they held West Essex at the Rec. St Mags sit 13th and are one of the clutch of four teams on 22 points so positive results are much sought-after. Have a feeling the hosts may well be revved up though as they seek to keep pace with the top four.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


West Essex  v  Ilford    | Mayesbrook Park

West have their third match in eight days as they face Ilford at Mayesbrook Park. Kwame Kwateng’s side have had an interesting last two matches as they went out on spot-kicks in the Gordon Brasted Trophy to Stansted in last week before a good win at Southend Manor last weekend which took them up to tenth in what is a congested bottom half of the table. Ilford have only lost one of their last six league matches though lost at Hadley in the Errington Cup in midweek. The Foxes are only two points behind the Stags and both teams are capable, the question is can West continue their impetus following their return to competitive action.

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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