Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Hello & welcome to this round-up of the weekend’s Essex Senior League action.
This weekend saw nine matches take place, here’s what transpired in big matches at both ends of the table.
Friday 13th April
Tower Hamlets 0 – 4 Basildon Utd
| Venue: Parkside (Aveley FC) | Att: 85
Basildon took advantage of a hapless Hamlets showing to keep their promotion hopes alive at Parkside on Friday night. George Whitby’s spot-kick on ten minutes tempered any nerves for the Bees fans. James Brown smashed in a cracker two minutes before the break before goals from Jack Adlington [67′] and substutute James Peagram [69′] sealed a big win, the Bees fourth in their last six to cut the gap to Redbridge in 2nd to six points with two matches in hand on the Motormen. Hamlets’ sixth straight loss keeps them 11th.
Saturday 14th April
Burnham Ramblers 2 – 4 Hullbridge Sports
| Venue: Leslie Field | Att: 48
Hullbridge staged quite a comeback to grab a big victory at Leslie Field. It started very well for the hosts as Alex Salmon’s header eight minutes in & Karl Swanborough’s strike ten minutes afterward gave Lee Hughes’s men a good lead. That lead was halved by Jimmy Cox [36′] before Cox restored parity for the visitors on 65 minutes. Darren Manning’s side wrestled the balance of power from the hosts soon after as Adebola Sotoyinbo [70′] and Michael Salako [80′] strikes sealed the win, Sports’ 4th in their last six matches to go seven points clear of the bottom four in 15th. Burnham’s 24th loss of the season leaves them three points adrift of safety.
Clapton 1 – 2 Sporting Bengal Utd
| Venue: Old Spotted Dog | Att: 34
Sporting Bengal came from behind to secure a valuable win at the OSD. Jeff Cobblah broke the deadlock to give the Tons the advantage though a strong Bengal line-up recovered after the break as David Vaughan levelled on 65 minutes before Eaia Embalo got the winner ten minutes later. Bengal’s fourth win in their last seven encounters sees them up to 13th, nine points clear of danger.
Great Wakering Rovers 4 – 1 Wadham Lodge
| Venue: Burroughs Park | Att: 78
I attended this match alongside the core GFS Radio team of Adam & Pete and other ESL luminaries at Burroughs Park. My report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/match-report-great-wakering-4-1-wadham-lodge-esl-14-4-18/
Redbridge 1 – 1 Enfield 1893
| Venue: Oakside | Att: 61
The Motormen managed to stall the E’s stunning recent run though had to battle for a point at Oakside. Aundre Spencer [34′] gave Matt Hanning’s side the lead though Phillip Browne-Bampfoe’s leveller on the hour may prove important for Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side who remain 2nd, despite being winless in three matches now. Enfield’s unbeaten run extends to nine matches as they stay 9th.
Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 2 FC Romania
| Venue: Crofters End | Att: 30
FC Romania battled past stubborn Sawbo at Crofters. Goals from Gabriel Ghinea [48′] and Mihai Botosan [88′] sealed a vital win for Ionut Vintila’s men as they stay third, three points off Redbridge in the likely second promotion spot. Sawbo’s third defeat in their last eight sees them remain 8th.
Stansted 2 – 2 West Essex
| Venue: Hargrave Park | Att: 27
Stansted were twice held by an improving West Essex side at Hargrave Park. Sam West gave the hosts a lifeline three minutes into the second half though substitute Tom MacLeod, making his return from injury, levelled on 65 minutes. Ryan Ramsey’s penalty [72′] gave the hosts the lead once again though the Stags forced a share of the spoils thanks to talismanic striker Michael Mignot’s strike with ten minutes left. Stansted’s dreams of survival are creaking as they sit 18th, two points from safety with three matches left. West are still 7th with only two losses in their last six and have a shot at pinching 6th from Clapton, given they have four matches in hand on the Tons to claw back a gap of seven points.
Waltham Forest 2 – 2 Southend Manor
| Venue: Kitchener Road | Att: 66
A last-minute leveller deprived Forest of a vital three points at Kitchener Road. Manor led after just four minutes thanks to skipper Lee Delf though Forest replied thanks to recent signing Shomari Barnwell’s penalty [52′] and then took the lead themselves with eight minutes left through giant midfielder Tony Da Silva. Though the action didn’t stop there as Tyler Fowles dramatically secured a point at the death for Adam Peek’s side. Forest may well be ‘kicking themselves’ as they stay 17th, two points above the relegation trap-door after a run of only one triumph in their last ten matches now. Manor have also found wins hard to come by still, with one win in their last nine encounters which drops them to 14th, eight points clear of danger.
You can watch video highlights of this match (courtesy of WD Sportz) & post-match Interviews here: https://youtu.be/L23A5xiPeL0
Woodford Town (2017) 1 – 4 Takeley
| Venue: Station Road | Att: 71
Takeley overwhelmed Woodford to grab another good three points in this reversed fixture at Station Road. Goals from George Wappett [20′] and Matt Gill [45′] gave Marc Das’ side a two-goal cushion at the break. Further strikes from Mitchell Das [57′] and Olakunmi Bossanya [83′] added to Takeley’s already good goal difference which could prove important in three weeks’ time. Jack Grosvenor’s late consolation four minutes from time probably did little to lift the ‘Woodlife’ side and they stay 12th. Takeley’s 22nd win of the season leaves them 14 points off Redbridge with four matches in hand on them so they need a stellar run-in to overhaul the sides ahead of them.
Barkingside v Sporting Bengal Utd
Burnham Ramblers v Basildon Utd (both Mon 16th Apr)
Hullbridge Sports v West Essex
Stansted v Hackney Wick
Takeley v Tower Hamlets (all Tues 17th Apr)
Ilford v Wadham Lodge
Southend Manor v Basildon Utd (both Wed 18th Apr)
Takeley v FC Romania (Thurs 19th Apr)
That’s all from the ESL Round-up this week. Check back soon for more as the season heads for a fascinating conclusion.