Written by Peter D & Scott W
Hello & welcome to this week’s Preview piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action as the weather continued to affect fixtures in midweek.
For those who may not be aware, we have a internal points system every week (Exact scoreline= 30pts, Correct Result= 10pts & Incorrect Result= 0pts) so on that basis here are the current scores with six weeks of the season remaining – Scott: 1,800pts and Peter: 1,550pts.
Below are Pete’s and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):
Burnham Ramblers v Basildon Utd | Venue: Leslie Field
Peter: The hosts desperately need the points to get themselves out of the bottom four, however they welcome The Bees to Leslie Field with the visitors looking to keep the pressure on the top three. However, the hosts are in terrible form in 2018 whilst the Bees are on a three-game unbeaten run, including two victories, and so everything points to an away win.
Pete’s Prediction: 0-3
Scott: Basildon travel to Leslie Field to take on strugglers Burnham. The hosts have lost their last six matches, scoring three goals and conceding 27 goals in that time. They’ve been inactive of late as well and sit 19th in the table. The Bees have won four of their last six outings, so they sit 4th currently, seven points off top spot. I suspect the Bees will continue on their way here.
Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3
Enfield 1893 v Southend Manor | Venue: The Harlow Arena
Peter: The hosts are one of the most in-form sides in the division right now having won their last four games, which has seen them up to 12th in the table. Manor on the other hand have not had the best of times recently and have dropped down to 13th, one point behind their opponents. Feel it may be five on the bounce for the Harlow-based side.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-0
Scott: Enfield welcome Manor to the Harlow Arena. Matt Hanning’s side are bang in-form, winning five out of their last six matches after their narrow win at Barkingside last weekend. They sit 12th, eight points clear of the bottom four. Manor have had last weekend off due to the weather though have lost three of their last six matches so they sit 13th. The hosts can probably see the ‘safety line’ now and this may drive them on to further success here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
FC Romania v Redbridge | Venue: Theobalds Lane
Peter: Its 2nd against 3rd in what is surely ‘game of the day’ in the division at Theobalds Lane as FC Romania welcome Redbridge to Cheshunt. A win for the hosts could take them back to the summit of the league, whilst three points for The Motormen would take them two points above their opponents into second spot. The hosts are in better form over the last six games although Redbridge got back to winning ways in midweek so will be full of confidence once again. Almost impossible to call this one so sitting on the fence.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-2
Scott: This top-of-the-table clash sees 2nd take on 3rd at Theobalds Lane. FCR are still on a run of good form which they compounded by seeing off Hullbridge last weekend with a dominant second-half showing. Ion Vintila’s side sit two points off the summit and welcone a Redbridge side that ended a three-game winless run in midweek with a good win at West Essex. Interestingly, the Motormen’s defence has been a bit fragile of late, conceding 16 goals in their last seven outings. Will goal-hungry FCR seize on this? We’ll see though I’m going for a narrow home win here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1
Hackney Wick v West Essex | Venue: Old Spotted Dog
Peter: Wick come into this one off the back of their first win in thirteen games with victory over Old Spotted Dog rivals Clapton in midweek, which will have no doubt boosted the squad somewhat. And they now welcome a West Essex outfit to the OSD who have lost four of their last six, including their midweek loss to Redbridge, so Wick may see them as very beatable. Got a feeling the hosts may sneak this one and keep their hopes of a ‘great escape’ well and truly alive.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-1
Scott: Wick entertain West Essex at the OSD. The hosts finally ended their winless run with a good win in the re-arranged ‘Old Spotted Dog Derby’ against Clapton in midweek. Unfortunately for Wick, the scale of the task that is in front of them is still huge as they are still 11 points from safety with ten matches to play. The Stags have had a mixed week with a narrow win over Tower Hamlets last weekend before losing out to Redbridge in midweek. It’s arguable that Kwame Kwateng’s side need points to secure a creditable top-10 finish & the likes of Mignot & co may well fancy this match. Away win for me.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Hullbridge Sports v Takeley | Venue: Lower Road
Peter: Hosts Hullbridge need to start picking up points soon if they want to get themselves out of the bottom four places, and a win against Takeley could do just that. However, the visitors are in decent form with four wins from six, and recently thrashed their opponents in a cup tie a week or so ago. Sadly for the hosts, I feel the Station Road side will be too strong again here.
Pete’s Prediction: 1-3
Scott: The hard matches keep coming for Hullbridge as Takeley make the trip to Lower Road. The hosts saw their midweek match postponed due to the weather and before that had a week to forget results-wise in both the Gordon Brasted Trophy and the league, thanks to Takeley and FC Romania respectively. Darren Manning’s side are still two points shy of safety though have matches in hand over some of their rivals. Takeley continue to be hampered by postponements of late and have the unenviable task of playing 15 league matches (and at least two cup ties) in the remaining weeks of the season. Even so, they are a strong side and with four wins in their last 6 matches, I can see them adding to that win tally here.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3
Ilford v Sporting Bengal Utd | Venue: Cricklefield
Peter: The Foxes welcome Sporting Bengal United to their Cricklefield Stadium and are in mixed form after two wins, two draws and two defeats from their last six games. The hosts though are comfortably in the top ten, however the same cannot be said for the visitors who are in poor form, having lost five of their last six, and sit two places and two points above the bottom four. However, I feel this will probably end all-square.
Pete’s Prediction: 1-1
Scott: Ilford welcome Bengal to Cricklefield, after a postponement-affected week for both sides. The hosts will be looking to finish the season strongly to match last season’s 6th-placed finish. One win in their last five matches means Tower Hamlets and West Essex can overhaul them though if form doesn’t improve soon. Bengal’s problems are rather bigger though as one win in six sees them 16th, just two points clear of the drop zone. Can see Ilf coming out on top here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0
Sawbridgeworth Town v Clapton | Venue: Crofters End
Peter: Both these sides suffered poor defeats in midweek, The Robins lost heavily at home to Great Wakering Rovers who more alarmingly had ten men for over an hour of the contest too, whilst The Tons were stunned by bottom side Hackney Wick. No doubt both sides will want to put those games behind them and get back to the form that both have been producing since the turn of the year. Got a feeling the visitors may just sneak this one.
Pete’s Prediction: 0-1
Scott: Sawbridgeworth welcome Clapton to Crofters End and Manager John Watters will want a reaction from his side following a heavy home loss to Wakering in midweek. The Tons also suffered a setback in losing to Hackney Wick in midweek though going forward they are always a threat. Sawbo have conceded 15 goals in their last six matches so that needs to be addressed to keep themselves in mid-table. I’m plumping for an entertaining draw here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2
Tower Hamlets v Great Wakering Rovers | Venue: Mile End Stadium
Peter: League leaders Great Wakering Rovers make the trip to Mile End to take on Tower Hamlets knowing a win could take them as much as five points clear at the top. And they are in fine form too so will certainly fancy getting the job done in this one, but Hamlets have won two of their last three and could go seventh with victory and will be no pushovers for the leaders thats for sure. I actually think the hosts could hold the visitors in this one in another battling display.
Pete’s Prediction: 2-2
Scott: Hamlets host GWR at Mile End. The hosts have lost three of their last six encounters though have performed quite well in that time. They face a real test here though as Wakering seek to continue their occupation of top spot with another success here. Iain O’Connell’s side have had a good week with wins over Waltham Forest and Sawbridgeworth though can they maintain that here? I think they can, though it will be a tough one here.
Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2
Wadham Lodge v Barkingside | Venue: Kitchener Road
Peter: This proves to be quite an important game down at the bottom of the division, Lodge sit second bottom and four points off fifth-bottom, whilst ‘Side are in fifteenth and only three points above the bottom four, so three points are vital for both sides here. Both sides have pretty similar records over the last six games so this proves to be a tight tense battle at Kitchener Road, and one I think will end all-square.
Pete’s Prediction 1-1
Scott: Finally this weekend, Wadham entertain Barkingside in a key game in the relegation scrap. Wadham have been inactive of late and one win in their last six sees them still 20th, four points from safety. ‘Side are winless in their last five though have tightened up at the back a bit of late. Even so, I believe both sides will boldly go for the priceless three points in a match that for me is very difficult to call. Draw for me.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2
If you’d like to keep tabs on the results from this weekend, check out our respective blogs for our round-up’s of this weekend’s ESL action.