Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL Writer
Hello & welcome to a Essex Senior League round-up from the weekend of Saturday 12th March, which forms part of a occasional blog series through the 2021-22 season. There were big results, particularly at the bottom of the table which does form the bulk of our focus in this piece.
Essex Senior – Saturday 12 March
All the bottom five sides were in action this weekend, and second-bottom Sawbridgeworth Town will be the ones feeling most pleased with their result after a fine 2 – 1 victory at Stanway Rovers. Goals from Harry Davison and Arley Barker meant that Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon’ side got their fifth win this term and closed the gap to St Margaretsbury directly above them to three points, with a game in hand. Ernest Okoh netted for Danny Slatter’s side but their form has dropped recently, having only won two of their last ten league games, they remain in seventh spot. Southend Manor went out of the bottom two after securing a good 1 – 1 draw with Redbridge at Oakside. Tony Martin’s spot-kick put George Christou’s side ahead ten minutes before the break, but ten minutes after the resumption, Ben Allen levelled, also from the penalty spot. Manor are in 18th now, a point behind Clapton who also got a 1 – 1 draw away from home, as they drew with Hoddesdon Town at Lowfield. Larry Asare-Bediako opened the scoring for the hosts six minutes after half-time, though Isaac Stevens got a important equaliser for Michael Walther’s team with 20 minutes left. Hoddy remain 15th in the table.
The now bottom two sides both suffered tough defeats this weekend. Bottom side Sporting Bengal Utd’s recent uptick in form was brought to a juddering halt as they lost 1 – 5 at home to Cockfosters at Mile End. George Beattie’s fine treble saw him reach 18 league goals this term, allied with strikes for Reece Mosanya and substitute Bailey Stevenson – Gavin Kelsey’s side got a big win which takes them up to 11th spot. Bengal’s goal here came from Chris Bird once again but they are 11 points adrift of St Mags in third-bottom with only six matches left. Stansted also heightened the pressure on St Margaretsbury as the Airportmen powered to a 5 – 1 win at Hargrave Park. Michael Salako went past 15 league goals this term with a fine treble here. Jack Mitchell and Michael Mignot also added strikes late on to give co-boss Paul Pittuck a win in his 201st match in charge, congrats on reaching 200 games earlier this week Paul. Jon Stevenson’s goal had given Paul Holding’s side a glimmer of a way back into the contest before half-time.
At the summit, Walthamstow got an important 2 – 0 win at Athletic Newham, with Jason Beck and substitute Tendai Quamina notching for Terry Spillane & John Mackie’s side here. It would seem more likely than not that four more wins will be enough to see the champions-elect secure the title. Newham’s fixture pile-up is starting to have an effect on their form, as they reside in ninth place at present, but they still have 11 matches left to play. Saffron Walden Town have really come back into play-off contention in recent weeks, and they remain third after a 4 – 3 triumph over Ilford at Catons Lane. A double for Khris Oti, plus goals for the long-serving James Crane and George Pullen just outdid a brace for Josh Oghagbon and one from Joel Gomes for Adam Peek’s side. Walden boss Jason Maher paid tribute to the Bloods fans post-match. Ilford remain 16th, seven points clear of the bottom five.
Meanwhile, Enfield got a narrow 1 – 0 win at West Essex with Kieran Bishop getting a late goal to send Jamie Cureton’s side up to fifth. The last game on Saturday saw two sides that are battling it out for a top ten finish battle at Burroughs Park. White Ensign were held by Matt Carmichael’s Little Oakley 0 – 0. Ensign sit in tenth, while Oakley are three points clear in sixth in what has been a fine season for the Acorns, regardless of where they finish.
There was one match on Friday night, which Woodford Town draw 1 – 1 with FC Clacton at a rainy Ashton’s. George Thompson had given the Towners a narrow advantage just before the interval but Jordan Lartey’s second-half leveller meant the points were shared. Woodford dropped to 12th after the weekend’s action and Clacton are well-placed in eighth.
Thanks for reading, hopefully there will be at least one more ESL round-up piece before the end of their campaign.