Essex Senior League Preview (15.3.18)

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.



MH & GFS: ‘A Call to Contribute’ (11.3.18)

Hello all,

Here’s a advertorial notice of sorts to mention that later in the season, the Grassroots Football Show (GFS) is looking to do a special on “Mental Health (MH) in Non-League Football” in May (most likely) 2018.

This brings together two topics that are very important to me, as well as many other people – of that I have no doubt whatsoever.

There have been many brave footballers who have spoken up about their own battles in recent times, the likes of Billy Kee, Liam Hughes and Neil Lennon are among them. I believe that more discussion on the wide-ranging subject that MH is will help others in many ways.

So, if anyone within the local Non-League community (be it a supporter, player, manager, club official etc) would possibly like to talk about the topic as a whole (irrespective of whether they have their own battles with MH) in a positive and constructive manned and contribute to this special or want to come forward to talk about their own experiences with MH (entirely your choice by the way) as well then please send me a DM on Twitter: @ScottMHC14 or do the same to the Grassroots Football Show Twitter feed: @ELRFootball

Thank you.

Best wishes, Scott




Essex Senior League Round-up (ESL 10.3.18)

Written by Scott W  (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to my regular round-up of the action in the Essex Senior League this weekend as only four of the ten fixtures survived the persistent rain this week. Even so, there were some important results gained this weekend.


Saturday 10th March


Barkingside  0 – 1 Enfield 1893
| Venue: Cricklefield | Att: 48

Enfield continued their super recent run with a last-gasp win at Cricklefield. Ex-Side striker Aundre Spencer struck in added-time to give the E’s their 4th win in-a-row and go up to 12th spot, eight points above the bottom four. Barkingside are now winless in their five matches and sit 15th, three points above that bottom four.


Basildon Utd   P – P   Stansted
| Venue: The Hive |

This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


Clapton  P – P  Hackney Wick
| Venue: Old Spotted Dog  |

This match was postponed due to an unfit pitch.


FC Romania 5 – 0 Hullbridge Sports
| Venue: Theobalds Lane  |  Att: 23

FC Romania remained top with this triumph over the Hullbridge at Theobalds Lane. After the visitors managed to hold the free-scoring hosts at the break, FCR broke the stalemate three minutes into the second half through Felix before a quick-fire hat-trick from Mihai Circiumaru [54′, 63′ & 67′] sealed another important three points before Felix grabbed his 2nd late on. FCR maintain the lead at the summit, a point clear of GWR. Hullbridge remain 18th, two points off Waltham Forest above them after a second damaging defeat in days.


Great Wakering Rovers 3 – 1 Waltham Forest | Venue: Burroughs Park | Att: 77

I attended this match and my report is here:


Redbridge P – P Southend Manor   | Venue: Oakside |

This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


Sporting Bengal Utd  P – P Burnham Ramblers
| Venue: Mile End Stadium

This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


Takeley P – P Ilford | Venue: Station Road

This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


West Essex 1 – 0  Tower Hamlets
| Venue: Mayesbrook Park | Att: 17

West Essex picked up a rare clean-sheet in a late win over Hamlets at Mayesbrook Park. Talisman Michael Mignot secured all three points six minutes from time to reduce the gap between the two sides to a point (Hamlets in 8th & West Essex 9th) and Kwame Kwateng’s side have two games in hand on the Mile End side.


Woodford Town  P – P   Sawbridgeworth Town
| Venue: Goffs Lane

This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Essex Senior League Preview (ESL 9.3.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action following last weekend’s ‘blanket of postponements’ caused by the inclement weather. Below are Pete’s and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):

Saturday 10th March

Barkingside v Enfield 1893   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: Hosts Side are winless in four although have drawn three of those, whilst Enfield have won three on the spin and are almost up to mid-table after one defeat in their last six outings.  Fancy an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: In the first of the full ten-match programme this weekend, ‘Side welcome in-form Enfield 1893 to Cricklefield. The hosts are winless in their last four matches, sitting in 15th place and arguably need to improve on their present record of three home wins this term thus far. By contrast, The E’s have won their last three matches which has seen them rise to 13th prior to this weekend. Hard one to call here so I’m going for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Basildon Utd  v   Stansted  | Venue: The Hive

Peter: The Bees are continuing to have a great season and their form over the last six games has seen them win four and suffer only one defeat, whilst for visitors Stansted its one win in their last six with four losses as their great start to 2018 has hit a wall of sorts.  Expecting the hosts to get the job done here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Basildon welcome Stansted to the Hive, still ‘on a high’ after a hugely important win over Redbridge at Oakside in midweek. That win sees Marc Harrison’s side two points off the summit and with four wins in their last six matches, they are looking good ahead of the busy run-in. The Airportmen have lost their last four on-the-trot and although they are in 14th spot, the congested bottom-half means they are 4 points clear of the bottom four. Factor in that after this match, Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s team have only six matches remaining. Have to go home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Clapton v Hackney Wick  | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons are in great form lately with four wins and two losses in their last six, whilst Wick are still bottom and well adrift of the rest after five straight losses.  Despite the continued boycott from the Ultras, I don’t believe this will be an issue and the hosts will take the points in the OSD derby.

Pete’s Prediction: 4-0

Scott: The Tons take on Wick in the ‘Old Spotted Dog Derby’. Jon Fowell’s side have been defeated only once in their last five outings (and that was narrow loss to Takeley) and remain 6th, nine points ahead of Tower Hamlets & Ilford. Wick have lost their last five though haven’t been in action for a number of weeks due to postponements. They remain bottom, ten points adrift of nearest rivals Wadham so their hopes of avoiding the drop are fading. Have to be honest in that Clapton may add to their tenants’ woes here as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

FC Romania v Hullbridge Sports  | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: The hosts are unbeaten in their last six games with three wins and three draws, and they will be buoyed by their win at Ilford to reach the Brasted final at Easter.  They welcome a Hullbridge side who have just one win from six, although four of those are draws, and they were smashed at Takeley on Thursday evening in the Brasted Trophy.  Therefore I feel the hosts will most likely take the points.

Pete’s Prediction 3-0

Scott: Hullbridge travel to Theobalds Lane less than 48 hours after their 6 – 0 loss against Takeley in the Gordon Brasted Trophy (GBMT) Quarter-Finals. The hosts are proving hugely difficult to beat, although their have drawn three of their last six league matches. Ion Vintila’s men did convincingly get through to the GBMT Final at the expense of Ilford in midweek. The Wolves are also one of only two sides still unbeaten at home thus far this season.

Hullbridge are two points from safety and have drawn four of their last five matches. They come into this fixture with only three league wins away from home thus far. With the Wolves needing the points to maintain top spot, I can see this being a tough assignment for Darren Manning’s side.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Great Wakering Rovers v Waltham Forest   | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: Rovers are the most in-form team according to the form table over the last six games, and with five wins and a draw and 19 goals scored they will certainly prove tough for visitors Waltham Forest who have been very inconsistent lately and no wins in five outings.  Can’t really see beyond a home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: Wakering entertain Forest at Burroughs Park. GWR sit 2nd, a point off FC Romania at the summit. Iain O’Connell’s side have only conceded three goals in their last six league matches and they also possess the third-best defence in the league so far this season. Forest are winless in their last five matches, they sit 17th in the table, two points clear of the bottom four with seven matches left (including this one). Hard to see Wakering slipping up here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Redbridge v Southend Manor  | Venue:  Oakside

Peter: The Motormen have gone ‘off-the-boil’ in their last three outings, with no wins in three, however their two defeats were against their promotion rivals whereas with no disrespect to Southend Manor, they are not in the same league at the moment, who have suffered two straight losses and are nervously looking over their shoulders at the moment.  Think Redbridge will get back to winning ways in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott:  Manor travel to Oakside to take on a Redbridge battling to avoid a ‘mini-slump’ at present following their midweek home loss to Basildon. Interestingly, The Motormen have the worst goal difference (+33) of the top five sides at present, they sit 3rd at present. Both sides are winless in their last three outings, Manor currently sit 12th, seven points above the bottom four. This might be a good match for Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side and I reckon they will prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Sporting Bengal Utd v Burnham Ramblers  | Venue: Mile End

Peter: Massive game down at the bottom sees Sporting come into this one in poor form having lost five out of six lately, whilst Ramblers have lost all their games in 2018 and are in freefall.  Feel the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: This is arguably the ‘game of the day’ as two of the bottom 6 face-off at Mile End. Both sides are in poor form with Sporting tasting success once in their last six matches while Burnham have lost their last six in-a-row which has seen them slide to 19th, two points from safety. Sporting sit in 16th and I can see goals in what could be an attacking game here. Can’t seperate the sides either, draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Takeley  v Ilford | Venue: Station Road

Peter: Hosts Takeley have won four of their last six games and come into this one off the back of a 6-0 hammering of Hullbridge Sports in their Brasted Quarter Final in midweek.  Ilford on the other hand have had a mixed last half-dozen games, and were brushed aside by FC Romania in their midweek Brasted semi-final tie.  Going to go for a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Takeley take on inconsistent Ilford at Station Road after their big win in the GBMT Quarter-Final on Thursday night. For me, squad rotation will be a factor for the hosts given the numerous amount of fixtures they have to play in the coming weeks. Ilford remain 8th and are vying with Tower Hamlets and West Essex for a 7th-placed finish. Takeley may edge what I suspect may be a bruising battle here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

West Essex v Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: Both these teams got back to winning ways recently after mixed runs, however Hamlets have won their last two and will fancy a third straight win at Mayesbrook Park no doubt.  West Essex though are a dangerous side on their day, and I feel this is a hard one to call.  Sitting on the fence for this one, score draw.

Pete’s Prediction 2-2

Scott: West Essex welcome Hamlets to Mayesbrook Park. The Stags have won one match in their last six, and interestingly have only scored 19 goals in 13 home league games so far this term. Kwame Kwateng’s side currently sit 9th with 12 matches left. Hamlets have won their last two, sitting in 7th place, level on points with Ilford. Their away record isn’t great though with five wins in 14 away matches. I reckon there will be goals in this encounter and that could favour the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Woodford Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: Goffs Lane

Peter: Hosts Woodford have been rather solid of late and are in the top ten in the form table, and they welcome a Sawbo side who have had a decent 2018 so far and sit just two places below the hosts in the form guide.  Another tough one to call here so reckon this one could be a rather entertaining draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-3

Scott: Finally on Saturday, Woodford take on Sawbo at Goffs Lane in a battle of 10th v 11th in the table. The hosts have only lost one of their last six encounters in a decent ‘first’ season in the ESL. Sawbridgeworth have intruigingly lost only four away matches in 15 thus far this season. This is a tough game to call and I can’t really seperate these sides. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Essex Senior League round-up (ESL 25.2.18)

Written by Scott W  (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to my regular round-up of the action in the Essex Senior League this weekend as the focus shifted to some relegation ‘six-pointers’ involving four of the bottom six sides.


Friday 23rd February

Woodford Town P – P  Takeley  | Venue: Goffs Lane

This match has been postponed due to floodlight failure.


Saturday 24th February


Barkingside  0 – 2   Basildon Utd
| Venue: Cricklefield | Att: 73

Basildon came through a tricky away fixture to continue their promotion challenge at Cricklefield. Marcus Bowers [44′] and Tommy Barton [87′] goals were enough to give the Bees their 4th win in their last six matches, remaining 4th, 5 points off the leaders. Barkingside’s first loss in five matches sees them drop to 15th, three points clear of the bottom four.


Clapton  P – P  Sporting Bengal Utd
| Venue: Old Spotted Dog  |

This match was postponed due to an unfit pitch.


FC Romania 3 – 1   West Essex
| Venue: Theobalds Lane  |  Att: 12

FC Romania went top with this triumph over the Stags at Theobalds Lane. James Broomley gave the visitors a surprise lead five minutes before the break though that lead only stood for four minutes before Florin Pop levelled. The hosts rallied and took the lead through Sergiu Maximov before Vlad Sighiartau secured the points late on. FCR’s third win in their last six matches and go a point clear of GWR at the summit, though the chasing pack do have matches in hand. West Essex drop to 9th after their fourth loss in their last six matches.


Hullbridge Sports 2 – 2   Wadham Lodge
| Venue: Lower Road  | Att: 37

I attended this match as Hullbridge were held by fellow strugglers Wadham. My match report is here:


Sawbridgeworth Town P – P  Great Wakering Rovers  | Venue: Crofters End  |

This match was postponed due to an unfit pitch.


Southend Manor  0 – 3   Ilford
| Venue: Southchurch Park   | Att: 41

Ilford produced arguably one of their best away-day showings this season to win at Southchurch Park. Goals from George Whitelock, Liam Burgess and an OG secured the Foxes’ first win in five matches which sees them remain 7th , three points clear of Tower Hamlets behind them. Manor’s indifferent form continues, they remain 12th with matches in hand though they are seven points clear of the bottom four.


Tower Hamlets  2 – 1  Stansted
| Venue: Mile End Stadium  | Att: 34

Hamlets overcame Stansted at Mile End. Strike pair Luke With and Wale Odedoyin were on-target for AJ Ashinike’s side while Oliver Fortune had put the visitors ahead before the half-hour. Hamlets ended a five-match winless run here to go back into 8th place while the Airportmen’s 4th defeat in their last six sees them drop to 14th spot, four points clear of the bottom four.


Waltham Forest  1 – 2  Enfield 1893
| Venue: Kitchener Road  | Att: 39

Enfield continued their mini-revival with an excellent win at Kitchener Road. Ayo Odukoya gave Matt Hanning’s side the lead on the quarter-hour before Christian Owusu levelled for Forest six minutes before half-time. Dan Chambers [61′] got the winner for the E’s as they secured their fourth win in their last five outings and rise to 13th, five points clear of the relegation zone – a relative luxury compared to just a few weeks ago. Forest are still in bother themselves as their run without a win now sits at five matches, in 17th spot, two points above Hullbridge in 18th.


That’s all for this weekend from the ESL, check back soon for more articles. Bye for now.

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 2 Wadham Lodge (ESL 24.2.18)

Essex Senior League

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 37

2017-18 Season – Match 56

Date: Saturday 24th February 2018 – 3pm KO

Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks

Wadham Lodge: Red Shirts, Red Shorts & White Socks



Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

With photos by Neil Hunwicks  (Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16)

On a freezing cold day at Lower Road, Hullbridge welcomed Wadham Lodge for a crunch match at the bottom of the table. Hullbridge were missing the likes of Jimmy Cox and Russell Harley though still could name Luke Hornsley (captain for the day as well), Callum Ibe, Michael Salako and Rob Hodgson in their starting XI. Wadham’s attack was led by evergreen striker Sherwin Stanley, with Paul Oshin and on-loan goalkeeper Louie Chapman also in the starting XI, with Abdoulie Njai and Abiola Tanimowo options on the bench for Jason Ngandu’s side.

The hosts began the match the stronger with several forays forward, though efforts on goal from forward Luke Hornsley and full-back Charlie Buffin couldn’t get past visiting goalkeeper Louie Chapman. Wadham did also have a glimmer at goal in the early stages with forward Sherwin Stanley being well-tackled by home defender Dan Okah before having an effort from distance.

Although the hosts had more of the chances in the first half, they didn’t really have the urgency or tempo that they needed and Hornsley was a little isolated up top at times. That said, in the latter stages of the half, forward Callum Ibe’s free-kick was parried away well by Chapman. Moments later, Wadham midfielder Jerome Mtumba’s shot needed the intervention of home custodian Jamie Merralls.

Hullbridge forward Callum Ibe was a threat once again today (Image Credit: Neil H)

Half-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 0 Wadham Lodge

After the first-half stalemate, this match needed to liven up a bit and it certainly did though not in the way the hosts would’ve liked. Five minutes into the second period, indecision by Merralls gave winger Danny Francis enough room to lob the ball over him into an empty net after breezing past the home defence. Not one for the back five to savour that. Still, the hosts were behind for only four minutes before Callum Ibe rounded opposition defenders before blasting home past Chapman to level things up.

It got better for Darren Manning’s side on 62 minutes as full-back Matt Rose ghosted into the area, and found himself one-on-one with Chapman before slotting home well,  after being picked out by Hornsley. This lead was wafer-thin though and Wadham were passing the ball around well and restored parity nine minutes later when substitute Abdoulie Njai blasted an effort into the far corner from around 15 yards. The visitors were in the midst of a good spell at this point, with Njai blasting over the bar minutes later and if they had found a better final ball, they had chances to pinch it.

Perry Hirst’s effort went over the bar late on for Hullbridge though Wadham held firm to take a share of the spoils here. Hullbridge did have more than enough chances to win this encounter though quite a few passes also went astray on a frustrating afternoon for the hosts.  Wadham may be the happier side to take a point though it doesn’t really benefit either team given both sides’ current predicament in the bottom four.

On-loan Wadham ‘keeper Chapman making another smart save (Image: Neil H)

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 2 Wadham Lodge



Hullbridge Sports

Jamie Merralls (GK), Charlie Buffin, Matt Rose, Eamon Payne, Dan Okah, Rob Hodgson, Perry Hirst, Matt Tapley (Harry Watkins 74′) Luke Hornsley (Capt), Callum Ibe, Michael Salako

Goal-scorers: Callum Ibe [54′], Matt Rose [62′]

Booked: Salako  |   Subs Not Used: Taylor, Dicks, Pattison & Siemienczuk

Wadham Lodge

Louie Chapman (GK), Ashley Banks, Deniz Alici (Abdoulie Njai 46′), Paul Oshin, Mario Hoxa (Chris Gormley 68′), Terry Foxe, Nathan Joseph, Jerome Mtumba, Sherwin Stanley (Capt) (Abiola Tanimowo 63′), Brian Simpson, Danny Francis

Goal-scorers: Danny Francis [50′], Abdoulie Njai [71′]

Booked: Ntumba   | Subs Not Used: Akanbi, Tuitt

Referee: Steve Marr
Assistants: Jeremy Mott & Jack Morris

Essex Senior League Preview (ESL 23.2.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League following a midweek where Wakering went joint-top with Redbridge. Peter also returns so below are his and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):

Friday 23rd February

Woodford Town P – P  Takeley    | Venue: Goffs Lane

This match has been postponed due to floodlight failure, Town announced on Friday lunch-time.

Saturday 24th February

Barkingside v Basildon Utd   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The hosts welcome the Bees to Cricklefield having stretched their unbeaten run to four games after a draw in midweek, although they were two goals up in that one so felt disappointed to only get a point.  The Bees, who have lost only once in their last ten, will be looking to grab the three points to keep the pressure on the top two and put in a good performance at FC Romania in the week, however I expect this one to finish all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: The Saturday action kicks off with ‘Side host Basildon at Cricklefield. Michael Walther’s side have drawn their last three matches, including a home draw against Southend Manor last weekend followed by holding Waltham Forest in midweek. Basildon battled to a goalless stalemate at FC Romania in midweek, and have only lost one of their last ten matches now, sitting in 4th place. This could be another battle and the Bees need the points to keep tabs on the top-three.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Clapton v Sporting Bengal Utd | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons saw their four-game winning run ended by Takeley last weekend, but they welcome a struggling Sporting Bengal side to The Old Spotted Dog who have lost all but one of their last eight games, although that one was a thumping home win over Waltham Forest, however Clapton are playing some decent stuff at the moment so will take the win here I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: The Tons welcome Sporting Bengal to the OSD. Jon Fowell & Wayne Seal’s side narrowly lost out to Takeley last weekend in what was their first loss in five matches. Sporting have had two weeks off and are in 15th place, two points above the bottom four. One win in their last five outings means they need points to avert falling into the bottom four. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0


FC Romania v West Essex  | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: The Romanian’s long unbeaten record is still ongoing after they drew at home to Basildon United in midweek, although they had ‘keeper Darabant to thank for that, and they welcome a free-flowing attacking West Essex to Theobalds Lane who ended their four-game winless streak with victory at the start of the month, however they have been out of action for three weeks now so there may be some rustiness, and I feel the hosts may take advantage of this to pick up the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 4-2

Scott: The tricky matches keep coming for the Wolves as West Essex are the visitors to Theobalds Lane here. The hosts were held by Basildon in midweek, while West Essex’s tie at home to Redbridge was postponed. FCR have drawn three of their last five matches and West Essex can definitely pose a threat those postponements have hampered the Stags recently. Still reckon the hosts should prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Hullbridge Sports v Wadham Lodge   | Venue: Lower Road

Peter: This is what you call a ‘six-pointer’ down at the foot of the table.  Sports are unbeaten in four outings and grabbed an important win last time out against Tower Hamlets, whilst Lodge ended a six-game winless run with victory over their Walthamstow rivals Forest last time out.  Both need the points to take them closer to getting out the bottom four, however I feel this may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Hullbridge welcome Wadham in what is a massive ‘six-pointer’ at the bottom. The hosts had midweek off due to the inclement weather and may need to improve on last weekend’s performance in their narrow win over Tower Hamlets. Wadham overcame Forest in the ‘Walthamstow Derby’ last weekend to avert a winless league run. This could well be a scrappy battle with goals in it.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Great Wakering Rovers  | Venue:  Crofters End

Peter: This proves to be a pretty decent game at Crofters, as The Robins, who have certainly picked up in 2018, host league leaders GWR who themselves are unbeaten in eight games having won seven of those in the process.  And with the Robins having won at Burroughs Park earlier in the campaign, this shows they have what it takes to get the better of the visitors. However, I can see the league leaders grabbing the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 0-2

Scott: In-form Wakering head to Crofters to take on Sawbridgeworth. Iain O’Connell’s side went joint-top following their narrow win at Ilford in midweek. Sawbo were held by the Foxes last weekend before grabbing a late win at Burnham in midweek. John Watters’ side are looking at breaking into the top ten after a run of two defeats in their last seven and this will be another test of GWR’s mettle.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1


Southend Manor v Ilford  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: This proves to be a battle on the Essex Coast as Manor host The Foxes with both sides in similar form of late.  Manor are unbeaten in their last two whilst Ilford are winless in four, although all those games were very tight indeed.  Expecting another tight one here and another draw I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Manor welcome Ilford to Southchurch after a harrowing midweek which saw their match at Hackney Wick abandoned just minutes in due to serious injury to a Manor forward. Our best wishes go to Ellis in his recovery. The hosts have been affected by injuries of late and arguably still need a few points to avoid getting dragged into the relegation slug-fest. The Foxes are also finding wins hard to sustain though they may get the job done here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Tower Hamlets v Stansted | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Hamlets form in 2018 has been mixed to say the least, and they are winless in five coming into this one.  Stansted have hit a small ‘sticky patch’ after beginning 2018 brilliantly, although they ended a two-game losing run with a point in midweek, although it was a late leveller that denied them all three.  Will be a tight one this I feel but one I believe the visitors may just edge.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: This fascinating encounter sees Hamlets entertain Stansted at Mile End. There were definitely positives to take for the hosts in their loss at Hullbridge last weekend and I feel the Airportmen will need to defend well here. The visitors fell to defeat at Enfield last Saturday before holding Woodford at Goffs Lane in midweek. Hamlets are winless in their last five matches with Stansted winless in their last three so this could be another battle. Hard one to call, going for a entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Waltham Forest v Enfield 1893  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Another huge six-pointer down at the foot of the table sees Forest host Enfield at Kitchener Road.  Forest are winless in their last four although fought back to draw in midweek after trailing by two at the break, whilst Enfield have won two in a row to see them spring out of the bottom four and go above their opponents on goal difference in this one.  The winner of this game could put five points between them and the bottom four, whilst the loser could find themselves back in it, so very important. Reckon this could end all square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Lastly on Saturday, Enfield make the trip to Kitchener Road to take on Forest. The hosts’ four-match winless run has come at a bad time with Ryan Maxwell’s side hovering just above the bottom four. Enfield went above Forest last weekend thanks to a good home win over Stansted, their third win in their last five matches. With this being Forest’s third match in 8 days, will this affect their performance levels? Time will tell.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Check our respective blogs on Sunday for our round-up’s of ESL action. You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and Scott: @ScottMHC14.