Hello and welcome a bonus blog (replacing this week’s Match report as the focused match fell to the weather) rounding-up the four Essex Senior matches that took place on the 8th January. We’ll also have a short look at the standings as well, with nearly four months of the season remaining (if there are no remaining Covid interruptions). Thanks for reading & a Happy 2022 to you all.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 8 January
The match with the most on the line was at the Hawthorns as Saffron Walden Town set aside a challenging week with a 4 – 2 success at fellow top six side Stanway Rovers. Walden started the match the stronger and after leading the way at the interval, two goals from Joe Pullen from a goal apiece for Tom Skelton and Craig Calver was enough to give the Bloods a vital win, which sees them reduce the deficit on the top three to five points. Recent signing Ayo Odukoya got both goals for Stanway though they fell to only their third loss at home this term.
Elsewhere, Athletic Newham went into seventh spot, only two points adrift of Walden following a 3 – 0 victory over Ilford at the Terry Mac. Jailson Seidi opened the scoring for Chris Davis’ side, before a late brace for the League’s top-scorer Richard Kone secured the win for Newham and took Kone to the 25-goal mark this season. Ilford remain in 16th, nine points clear of the bottom four. There was an extraordinary comeback by FC Clacton as they won 4 – 3 in added-time at Little Oakley. Strikes by Danny Garrad and Mason Ridgway-Lumley had put Matt Carmichael’s side two goals up at half-time, but Clacton were level on the hour thanks to goals from Harry McDonald and Jordan Lartey. Tyler Sullivan netted for Oakley with fourteen minutes left to give them a narrow lead but injury-time strikes from McDonald and Mekhi McKenzie secured the points for the visitors which took them back into the top ten.
Finally, in their derby at Hargrave Park, Stansted had first-half goals from John Clarke and Paul Clayton to be thankful for in their 2 – 1 success over Sawbridgeworth Town. Teddy Hall got a late consolation for Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon’s side who continue to seek points to draw in the sides above them .
The six matches that were off this weekend (Sat 8 Jan) were as follows:
Enfield P – P Takeley, Hoddesdon Town v St Margaretsbury, Redbridge v Clapton, Southend Manor v White Ensign, Sporting Bengal Utd v Woodford Town and Walthamstow v Cockfosters.
With regards to the table, Walthamstow are still strong favourites to finally seal the promotion they have sought for some time. They are on sixty points (with 19 wins from their 24 matches), ten points clear of nearest rivals Stansted who are again having a fine season under the tutelage of Paul Pittuck and John Watters. Then we have the chasing pack of Redbridge (3rd – 48 points from 24 games), Stanway Rovers (4th – 47 points from 26 matches), Enfield (5th – 43 points from 22 matches) and Saffron Walden Town (6th – 43 points from 23 matches) who are all striving to find themselves in the play-off mix at the end of the campaign, where the victors will face-off against a struggling side from a local Step 4 division, as I understand it.
At the foot of the table, there are debatably five sides who are most wary of avoiding relegation. Sporting Bengal remain at the bottom after one win all season to date (4 points from 23 matches). Steve Clark’s side also need to help their goal difference though Southend Manor are only seven points better off (11 points from 23 matches) and recently appointed former Hullbridge assistant boss James Wakeling as their new boss. Both teams will need more goals in their armoury to catch up to Sawbridgeworth Town who sit 19th, on 16 points and St Margaretsbury are just above them on goal difference. Clapton also will be mindful of securing points as they are 17th, with 18 points from their 23 matches to date.