Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 18th Aug) [ESL 18.8.18]

Written by Scott W   (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to another of my round-up pieces, this time looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action. How did your side & your rivals do?

Saturday 18th August

Barkingside  0 – 0  Enfield   | Venue: Cricklefield  | Att: 58

‘Side were held by visiting Enfield for their third league goalless draw on the trot. It’s also worth noting that both teams are still looking for their first win of the new campaign.

Hullbridge Sports  2 – 1  Stansted  | Venue: Lower Road | Att: 72

The ‘Bridge secured a very good victory in a hard-fought encounter at Lower Road. Darren Manning’s side broke the deadlock just seven minutes in when captain Luke Hornsley struck. The Airportmen got back into contention through hot-shot Carl Mullings’s goal on the quarter-hour. Though on this day, Hullbridge were not to be denied as Andre Gumbs’ powerful strike found the net on 61 minutes to give the hosts a morale-boosting win ahead of their FA Cup tie away to Newmarket next weekend.

Leyton Athletic  0 – 0  Ilford  | Venue: Kitchener Road | Att: 9

Leyton couldn’t find a way past the Foxes at Kitchener Road. The scorers were not troubled here though the hosts are looking for their first league win this term though they do have an FA Cup tie to look forward to next weekend. Ilf have four points from their first three matches.

Saffron Walden Town  4 – 4  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Venue: Catons Lane  | Att: 175

Saffron Walden were held at home by a late Bengal comeback in an absolute fire-cracker of a match at Catons Lane. SWT started well with front-line striker Charlie Portway putting them ahead on 13 minutes from the penalty spot. Tony Cookey levelled for Bengal only two minutes afterward though Portway got his second of the afternoon with 17 minutes on the watch. Lewis Francis [26′] grabbed a third for the hosts and you may have thought that Saffron Walden would canter to victory as they led 3 – 1 at half-time.

As it turned out, it wasn’t to be. Portway grabbed his hat-trick just past the hour mark though goals from Zakariya Hoque, playmaker Ashaan Siddik [80′] & forward Steven Carvell [83′] made sure that Imrul Gazi’s side grabbed a share of the spoils after a terrific comeback.

Sawbridgeworth Town  1 – 0  Woodford Town  | Venue: Crofters | Att: 31

Sawbridgeworth improved to end Woodford’s 100% start to the season. Joe Wright got the only goal of the game to give John Watters’ men a much-needed three points after their FA Cup exit last weekend.

Southend Manor  1 – 2  Hoddesdon Town   | Venue: Southchurch Park | Att: 45

I attended this match, here’s my report:

Stanway Rovers   0 – 2  Clapton   | Venue: Hawthorns  | Att: 46

The Tons travelled to the outskirts of Colchester and came away with the points thanks to a brace from Eusebio Da Silva [24′ & 27′]. In the process Jon Fowell’s side handed Rovers their third ESL defeat in a row as their new side continues to take time to gel, perhaps.

Takeley  4 – 1  Walthamstow   | Venue: Station Road | Att: 66

Takeley powered past ‘Stow at Station Road thanks to braces from two of their leading lights up front. Stuart Zanone [18′ & 25′] put his side two goals up to continue his fantastic start to the campaign in front goal. Substitute Charlie Cole made his long-awaited return to goal-scoring form with his first of the game on 78 minutes. James Peagram pulled one back for Ryan Maxwell’s side with ten minutes left though Cole struck again [85’] to give ‘Stow something to think about and continue Takeley’s 100% start to the league campaign.

Tower Hamlets  1 – 3  Redbridge  | Mile End Stadium | Att: 70

Redbridge fought to grab their first win of the campaign at Mile End. Calvin Poku struck twice for the Motormen and were further aided by an OG as they continued their unbeaten start to the season. Hamlets grabbed a late consolation through Amon Walton-Owen though AJAshinike’s side are also looking for their first success of the season.

Thanks for reading, this round-up will continue during the season.


Match Report: Southend Manor 1 – 2 Hoddesdon Town [ESL 18.8.18]

Essex Senior League (Season 2018-19)

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 7

Saturday 18th August 2018  – 3pm KO

Southend Manor: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Hoddesdon: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Hoddesdon edge a tight battle at Southchurch Park

Manor’s players huddle just before 2nd half [ESL 18.8.18]
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

As the Essex Senior League returned following a week of mainly FA Cup action, Hoddesdon travelled to Southchurch Park to take on Southend Manor. The hosts named a strong starting XI with recent signing Lewis Catling in goal, Mo Kargbo and Rhys Fatt on the flanks and Ellis Skidmore the focal point in attack. Charlie Little and John-Jo Slater were among those on the bench. Hoddesdon named Harry Bushell and Joss lillis among their forward line, the latter having already scored this season before today.

The match got underway to a rapid start as the visitors led inside three minutes. Alex Warman’s free-kick was headed on into the six-yard box where forward Harry Bushell headed past Manor goalkeeper Lewis Catling from near point-blank range. Manor could have levelled six minutes later though forward Ellis Skidmore’s effort was denied by visiting custodian Aaron Bull’s feet.

Manor did make a chance count on 14 minutes as the impressive Mo Kargbo powered down the left flank and sent in a teasing cross which fellow winger Rhys Fatt bundled in at the back post past Bull to level things up. A fairly quiet period of the match followed though Hoddesdon did look decent on-the-ball  and midfielder Kane Lowe made a good run on the edge of the penalty area and his drilled effort was denied by Catling.

Half-Time: Southend Manor  1 – 1  Hoddesdon Town

After the interval, Manor midfielder Robbie Norris was unlucky to see his 20-yard drive cannon back off the crossbar two minutes into the second half. Hoddesdon responded soon afterward though couldn’t make the most of two good chances as centre-back Scott Hayes and Bushell were both denied.

Bang on the hour mark, another good ball in to the centre from Aiden Critchley on the left wing found forward Joss Lillis who headed home calmly to give Town the lead for the second time. Manor could’ve levelled soon after though Skidmore’s shot was well-blocked by the committed Hoddesdon defence. Mere minutes later, Norris headed over the bar and substitute Charlie Little had a deflected strike fizz wide of the post.

In the last 15 minutes of normal time, Hoddesdon substitute Harrison Cage pulled up with what looked quite a bad knee injury, after initially attempting to continue on, he himself had to be substituted. Town could’ve wrapped up the points late on though Critchley’s strike was denied by Catling in the Manor goal.

Despite eight minutes of injury time, Manor could not find a leveller as Hoddesdon held out to grab all three points in this encounter and remain unbeaten early-doors this term. My thanks to Southend Manor for their hospitality today.

Full-Time: Southend Manor  1 – 2  Hoddesdon Town

Southend Manor   | Manager: Adam Peek

Lewis Catling (GK), Bill Rungay, Grant Webb (John-Jo Slater 83′), Robbie Norris, Ore Mosuro, Joe Gilbert, Mo Kargbo, Charlie Barlow (Aaron Baldwin 74′), Ellis Skidmore (Charlie Little 67′), Lee Delf (Capt), Rhys Fatt

Goal-scorer: Rhys Fatt [14′]

Booked: Gilbert     | Subs Not Used: Froud, Evison

Hoddesdon Town   |  Manager: Simon Riddle

Aaron Bull (GK), Jack Riddle, Aiden Critchley (Davey Evans 90’+2), Michael Elliott (Capt), Scott Hayes, Kane Lowe, Cyrus Babaie, Trae Adayemi, Harry Bushell, Alex Warman, Joss Lillis (Harrison Cage 66′, Jake Bowden 76′)

Goal-scorers: Harry Bushell [3′], Joss Lillis [60′]

Booked: Riddle, Critchley, Warman, Elliott   |  Subs Not Used: Smits (GK)

Preview: Essex Senior League – Sat 18th Aug [ESL 17.8.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello & welcome to another of our ESL Preview pieces. Pete won last week’s FA Cup special ’round’ so see what you think of our thoughts for this weekend’s action. Thanks for reading.

Saturday 18th August

Barkingside  v   Enfield   | Venue: Cricklefield

Pete: Can Side break their non-scoring hoodoo at the weekend when they welcome Enfield to Cricklefield?  The hosts have not scored competitively this season, 360 minutes and counting, so they will be desperate to put that right no doubt.  Enfield themselves have not started brilliantly themselves so they will also want to put that right.  Thinking the hosts will find the net however, the game will end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Barkingside welcome the E’s to Cricklefield after having the FA Cup dream dashed by Leyton Athletic in midweek. Enfield also tasted defeat in the FA Cup last week at St Margaretsbury so Matt Hanning’s side will want to push on from that experience. In my opinion, Enfield have the firepower to score a win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2


Hullbridge Sports  v  Stansted  | Venue: Lower Road

Pete: Both sides come into this one off the back of terrific FA Cup wins and will want to take that form into their league campaign too.  Sports have started the league season marginally better than their opponents although that won’t really prove to count for much i’d suspect.  Reckon this one could end all square too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Stansted travel to Lower Road to take on a Hullbridge side buoyed by their late FA Cup heroics last weekend. The Airportmen have started fair well and defeated battling nine-man Sawbo last weekend in the FA Cup. In my view, these are the types of matches that the hosts will need to win if they are to obtain the top-five finish that the Sports management team desire. I’ll have to go for a entertaining draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Leyton Athletic  v  Ilford  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Pete: Leyton come into this one off the back of a terrific FA Cup replay win over Barkingside and have now kept three clean sheets in a row since their opening night debacle at Woodford Town.  Ilford have had a mixed start to their new era but did win their last league outing at Clapton, and I have a feeling this one may end a draw too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Leyton welcome the new-look Foxes to Kitchener Road after arguably their biggest result for some time in the FA Cup in midweek. Consistency will be the thing that Jason Ngandu’s side are looking for now though they haven’t conceded a goal in their last two matches in league & cup so things may be on an upturn for them. That said, under the experienced boss that is Martin Haywood, Ilford may present a different challenge for the hosts here. The visitors here are also quite unpredictable having won their last league outing though they exited the FA Cup in a high-scoring game against Sporting Bengal last weekend. Though I have a feeling Ilf might pinch it by the odd-goal.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Saffron Walden Town  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Venue: Catons Lane

Pete: Saffron Walden are four games unbeaten in all competitions so far this season and will fancy their chances at home to Sporting Bengal, although the Mile End side will not be an easy opponent as they possess some dangerous weapons themselves.  Expecting a home win though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: SWT entertain Sporting Bengal at Catons Lane in what is a good test for both sides. Stuart Wardley’s side needed extra-time to overcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Wroxham in their FA Cup replay in midweek so will that have left its mark? This is Bengal’s second league match of the season though they will be looking to build momentum after their FA Cup win last weekend. Think this will a hard-fought match though Saffron Walden at home is not an easy prospect for any side. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Sawbridgeworth Town  v Woodford Town  | Venue: Crofters

Pete: The Robins have suffered two successive defeats since their opening day win at West Essex, and will still be smarting from their cup loss to Stansted too.  They welcome to Crofters Woodford Town who along with Takeley have the only 100% record left in the division, although this is the visitors first away game of the season.  But despite this I fancy the visitors to edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth welcome Woodford to Crofters in what is one of the games of the day in my opinion. Town are looking to bounce back from successive defeats in league & cup. Woodford present a threat with their pace going forward though the interesting thing is having played both league matches thus far on 3G ‘home turf’, will they be as effective playing on natural grass? I’m going to take a punt and go for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Southend Manor  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Venue: Southchurch Park

Pete: Manor found some welcome form in midweek when thrashing Halstead Town in the County Cup, but they will find Hoddesdon Town a much tougher assignment no doubt.  Hoddesdon won their FA Cup tie at Wodson Park at the weekend and remain unbeaten so far this season.  Tough battle expected here and I feel will result in a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Hoddesdon make the trip to Southend to take on a Manor side that got their best result for some while in the Essex Senior Cup at Halstead Town in midweek. Hoddesdon meanwhile won at Wodson Park last weekend so they are in good nick as well. This one really could go either way, though I’ll go for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Stanway Rovers v Clapton   | Venue: Hawthorns

Pete: Rovers have begun life in the ESL in not the best of form, loosing both games and conceding nine goals in the process, so they will want to put that right against a Tons side who went out of the FA Cup on penalties in midweek, so they will no doubt be smarting from that.  Rovers showed they could compete when leading Tower Hamlets in their FA Cup match 3-1 before it was abandoned, however I fancy the visitors to win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: The Tons make the journey to one of the recent additions to the ESL in Stanway. The Hawthorns outfit haven’t defended too stoutly as yet in the league though showed more promise in terms of goals in their later-abandoned match v Tower Hamlets last weekend. Clapton have had a mixed week in the Cup as firstly they held Woodbridge away last weekend before exiting on penalties in the replay. Assistant boss Wayne Seal also left the club this week due to family & work commitments so it remains to be seen what impact (if any) that will have. Going to go away win though, regardless.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Takeley  v  Walthamstow   | Venue: Station Road

Pete: This proves to be game of the weekend as 100% second placed Takeley take on third placed and unbeaten Walthamstow at Station Road with both sides looking to put down a early marker.  Both sides won their FA Cup games as well so their isn’t much to seperate either side in this one, so naturally a draw is what I’ll predict.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Takeley welcome the ‘Stow to Station Road after both sides were successful in their FA Cup exploits last weekend. Marc Das’ side also are two forwards light due to injuries. The visitors will be looking to lay down a marker here if they are to ‘keep up with the big boys’ at the top of the table. Got a funny feeling that ‘Stow might just cause a surprise here in a really tight affair.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Tower Hamlets   v   Redbridge   | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Pete: Neither side have managed to pick up a win so far this season, and with both having disappointing weekends they will be looking to put this right at Mile End.  Hamlets are yet to score in the league this season as well so a first league goal would certainly be a welcome sight for the hosts, whereas The Motormen have two score draws to their name in the league so far, and that is how I see this one panning out.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Motormen travel to Mile End to take on Hamlets. I believe that although Hamlets are putting a good side together, it may take time for them to gel. Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side will want to move on from their FA Cup exit at home to Long Melford last weekend and the hosts will have to be tight defensively to get anything out of this match.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


That’s all for this week, see you next week.

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 1 Gorleston (FA Cup EPR 11.8.18)

The FA Cup Extra Prelim Round  (Season 2018-19)

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 113

2018-19 Season – Match 6

Saturday 11th August 2018  – 3pm KO

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

Gorleston: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks


Late Drama swirls ‘Bridge into the next round in this roller-coaster of a match!


Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with photos from Andy Wilkins (@andywilkins24)

The FA Cup returned for another season as Hullbridge welcomed Thurlow Nunn Premier side Gorleston to Lower Road. The hosts named a strong starting XI with Adebola Sotoyinbo and Michael Salako on the flanks supporting front two Aundre Spencer and captain Luke Hornsley. Gorleston fielded ex-Wroxham frontman Ross Gilfedder and Joel Watts in attack and they would be right up for this match following a midweek  league win over ex-Bostik North side Norwich Utd

‘Bridge started fair well as tenacious full-back Matt Rose’s left-wing cross just eluded winger MIchael Salako as visiting goalkeeper George Parkin came out to collect. After this initial spell, the visitors came on strongly and led just after the quarter-hour as forward Joel Watts breached the back-tracking home defence and blasted an unstoppable drive past the despairing hand of home custodian George Marsh, much to the delight of the hardy band of visiting fans. Soon afterward, Gorleston had numerous oppurtunities to extend their lead though a mixture of last-ditch defending, poor finishing and good goalkeeping denied Stuart Larter’s side. Marsh himself denied Gilfedder and winger Jordan Stanton’s 25-yard speculative effort in as many minutes.

Hullbridge finished the half a bit better as on 33 minutes, Sotoyinbo’s blasted strike fizzed just over the crossbar though if anything, Darren Manning’s side sorely needed to ‘step things up a gear’ after the break.

Half-Time: Hullbridge  0 – 1  Gorleston

“Hullbridge captain Hornsley on another foray forward (FAC 11.8.18) Credit: Andy W 

Unfortunately for the hosts, Gorleston started the second period in a good vein though wasteful finishing from Watts and Stanton plus a good save from Marsh denying a powerful effort, again from Watts, denied the visitors a dominant lead and you felt the tension rising in this FA Cup tie. Messrs Salako and Sotoyinbo were causing problems on the flanks though a key point of the match saw Gorleston forward Ross Gilfedder limp off with 25 minutes left with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

After that, Hullbridge slowly built some better attacks, buoyed on by an good crowd although they still looked a tad stretched in defence. Into the last ten minutes and Hullbridge were awarded a spot-kick which also resulted in the dismissal of Gorleston right-back Joel Tipple. Sotoyinbo made no mistake, slotting home into the left corner. With my objective hat on, on another day the visitors really should have been ‘home and dry’ as they say.

The hosts saw to it that that analogy meant absolutely zip on this day as substitute Nathan Scarborough first fluffed two good chances from near point-blank range. Full-back Rose showed every part of his tenacity with a brillant sliding challenge to deny visiting substitute Dino Tabakovic a good run at goal. And then…. moments after a fizzing shot crashed against the woodwork, in injury-time, Sotoyinbo sent in another low cross from the right wing which Scarborough gleefully tapped-in from close range to send the management and bulk of the crowd ectatic.  ‘Bridge held on for an improbable victory though you know what they say about “you have to take your chances”.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 1 Gorleston

In saying that though, I can’t just leave it there. Gorleston showed what a good, combative side they are and you had to feel for them, particularly the manner of how they exited the competition. The crowd applauded both teams off the pitch and both sides deserved as much.

Best wishes to both sides for the rest of their respective campaigns. Hullbridge face another tough test – away at fellow Thurlow Nunn Premier side Newmarket Town in the next round.


Hullbridge Sports   | Manager: Darren Manning

George Marsh (GK), Matt Dicks, Phil Lawson (Andre Gumbs 59′), Luke McLeavy, Matt Rose, Jamal Allen, Emmanuel Okunja (Joe Pattison 76′), Michael Salako (Nathan Scarborough 69′), Aundre Spencer, Luke Hornsley (Capt), Adebola Sotoyinbo

Goal-scorers: Adebola Sotoyinbo [pen 83′], Nathan Scarborough [90’+2]

Booked: None     | Subs Not Used: Merralls (GK), Taylor, Tapley, Cox


Gorleston   |  Manager: Stuart Larter

George Parkin (GK), Jack Tipple, Luke Goreham, Elliott Hannant, George Yussuff, Aarron Taylor (Capt), Nelson Carinhas, Jordan Cantwell, Ross Gilfedder (Dino Tabakovic 66′), Joel Watts, Jordan Stanton

Goal-scorer: Joel Watts [16′]

Booked: Cantwell, Tabakovic | Sent Off: Tipple

Subs Not Used: Stanley, Norton, Philpott, Coombe (GK)

Preview – The FA Cup 2018-19 Extra Prelim Round (FAC EPR 9.8.18)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to a bumper edition of our Predictions pieces, this time focusing on the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round. Peter and Scott go head-to-head, offering their thoughts on the various ties involving Essex Senior League snd Eastern Senior League South sides as the FA Cup gets underway for another season.

The winners of these matches each earn £2,250 while the losers will get £750.

After a drawn ‘match’ predictions-wise last week, who will make the most of a bigger points total this week? Thanks for reading.

The FA Cup Extra Prelim Round –  Saturday 11th August

Barkingside  v  Leyton Athletic | Venue: Cricklefield

Pete: This all-ESL tie sees the hosts come into this one off the back of two goalless draws in the league, whilst the visitors also managed a goalless draw last time out after a thrashing on the opening day of the season. Expecting the hosts to win this one.

Pete’s Prediction:  2 – 0

Scott: ‘Side welcome Athletic to Cricklefield. The hosts here have drawn their opening two outings, without scoring while the visitors conceded four in their opening game at Woodford before recovering to hold Tower Hamlets to a goalless draw at home in midweek. If ‘Side can retain their early defensive steel then I reckon they will ‘get the job done’ here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Burnham Ramblers  v  West Essex  | Venue: Leslie Field

Pete:  Eastern Senior League South Ramblers host Essex Senior League West Essex at Leslie Field, and both will want to put their poor league starts behind them with a win here.  Ramblers struggled to draw against nine men on Saturday before losing in midweek, whilst the visitors have lost both their games in the league so far.  But I feel the visitors will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Eastern Senior League South side Burnham welcome ESL side West Essex to Leslie Field. Both sides are still looking for their first win of the new season. Burnham lost 3 – 0 at White Ensign in midweek while Walthamstow beat the Stags 5 – 1 in midweek.

I saw these two sides face each other in the ESL last term and the visitors won on that occasion and if they can find a ‘goalscorer’ then my gut feeling is Kwame Kwateng’s side will prevail here.

Scott’ Prediction: 1 – 2

Eastbourne Utd AFC   v   Hackney Wick   | Venue: The Oval

Pete: Eastern Senior League South side Hackney Wick face a long trip to the South Coast to take on Southern Combination Premier side Eastbourne United AFC off the back of a decent point at Hashtag United in midweek.  The hosts have won one and lost one so far and will be an unknown factor to the visitors no doubt, and I feel the hosts may edge this one too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The Wickers make the long trip south to take on Eastbourne Utd from the Southern Combination League Premier. The hosts have yet to win in their league and have shipped five goals whilst Wick started their campaign with a creditable draw at Hashtag Utd in midweek. The visitors could do with ‘a tonic’ to help get their campaign going and they may just prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Hullbridge Sports v Gorleston   | Venue: Lower Road

Pete: Sports face a tough assignment as they welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Gorleston to their Lower Road ground.  The Norfolk side come into this one unbeaten in two league games so far including a 4-2 home win over Norwich United in midweek, however Sports will take confidence from their win at Southend Manor in midweek themselves, and their home cup form is normally good, and I feel they may sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction:  1 – 0

Scott:  Hullbridge welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Gorleston to Lower Road, on the back of a good win at Southend Manor in midweek though in my opinion, ‘Bridge’s home form in very important, both in the League and the various Cup competitions. I feel they will need to be near their best here as Gorleston defeated ECL newcomers Norwich Utd in midweek. I’m sure boss Darren Manning will give me some stick for this though the head says away win, though we will see.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Norwich Utd  v  Takeley  | Venue: Plantation Park

Pete:  Takeley travel to Norfolk to take on Thurlow Nunn Premier Norwich United in full flow after two wins from two in the league so far.  And the hosts come into this off the back of a defeat at Gorleston too so not ideal preparation for the home team, and I feel Takeley can do the business here.

Pete’s Prediction:  0 – 2

Scott: This fascinating tie pits recently-relegated Norwich Utd up against early joint ESL pace-setters Takeley at Plantation Park. The Planters may take some time to re-settle therefore the Blue Army may well fancy their chances to progress here. Utd will have to deal with the likes of Josh Sykes and Stuart Zanone while Marc Das’ side face the wily forward Danny Crow & co. My view is that Takeley will take some stopping so will go for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Redbridge  v  Long Melford      | Venue: Oakside

Pete:   The Motormen have begun the season with two draws, with the second one of those being a late fightback from two goals down, so they have character for sure.  They welcome Thurlow Nunn side Long Melford to Oakside and the Suffolk side haven’t managed to win in their first two outings in the league so far, with their last one a narrow defeat at Histon.  Fancy Redbridge at home though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Redbridge take on fellow Step 5 side Long Melford at Oakside. The visitors are scoring goals though have yet to win in the Thurlow Nunn Premier thus far, while the Motormen recovered well late on to grab a point at Enfield on Monday night. Like a lot of ESL sides, Ricky Eaton & Joey May could have ‘their eyes on the prize” money which even at this stage, is quite significant (over £2,000 for the winner) though also the co-managers will look to ‘lay down a marker’ for the league as well. This will be a close match too, though my gut says home win.

Scott’ Prediction: 2 – 1

Southend Manor  v   FC Romania  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Pete: Manor welcome Bostik South Central side FC Romania to Southchurch Park hoping to put the disappointment of their midweek defeat against Hullbridge behind them, but FCR will no doubt cause issues although this is the visitors’ first competitive fixture of the season as their league season is yet to begin.  Still feel the visitors will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: FC Romania make a quick return to Southchurch Park following their late promotion to the Bostik League. They take on a Manor side who have already had two competitive matches in the ESL while FCR start their season in Bostik South Cetral next weekend. That earlier start for Adam Peek’s side may be a ‘good leveller’ in this tie and therefore it adds to the difficulty of predicting it. I suspect this tie may need a replay.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Ilford  | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Pete: The all-ESL Premier tie sees Sporting come into this one after drawing their opening game at Barkingside 0-0, whilst Ilford managed to bounce back from their home loss to Stansted by beating Clapton in midweek.  Think this one may end a draw and a replay next week.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Bengal welcome Ilford in what is the first match to be held at Mile End this season due to the Athletics. Bengal shut out Barkingside on Monday night and it seems that forward Steven Carvell has returned to the club. Ilford recovered from their home loss to Stansted last weekend with a decent win at Clapton in midweek so they will be looking to build their consistency here. Another hard one to predict though the Foxes may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Stanway Rovers   v   Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Hawthorns

Pete: Another all-ESL Premier tie at The Hawthorns brings together newboys Stanway Rovers and Mile End’s Tower Hamlets.  The hosts have had an awful start to life in their new league, losing both games, whereas Hamlets lost narrowly at the weekend before getting a goalless draw at Leyton Athletic in midweek.  Gonna say Hamlets to edge this by the odd goal.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This tie sees Stanway welcome Hamlets to the Hawthorns. Both sides have yet to win this term in the league though Rovers have conceded nine goals in two league matches though they were against Takeley and Saffron Walden Town respectively. For me, Hamlets need to consistently create chances as the likes of Nelson and Mtyanda do have a decent goal-scoring record at this level. If AJ Ashinike’s side can do that, then they may add to the pain for Lee Fisher’s team here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Walthamstow   v   Walsham-le-Willows  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Pete: Walthamstow welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Walsham-le-Willows to their Kitchener Road ground and the hosts have started the season fairly well, and thrashed West Essex last time out to boot, whilst the visitors have won their only league game so far 2-0 at Woodbridge so also come into this one with some confidence.  I do fancy the hosts though in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: ‘Stow entertain Thurlow Nunn Premier side Walsham-le-Willows at Kitchener Road, on the back of a powerful display in their big win at West Essex in midweek. The visitors got their campaign going in midweek with a decent win at Woodbridge Town though may find this contest an altogether tougher challenge. If Ryan Maxwell’s team are ‘charged up’ for this tie, then they may well progress.

Scott’ Prediction: 3 – 1

Wivenhoe Town  v  Brantham Athletic   | Venue: Broad Lane

Pete:  This is a very tough tie for hosts Wivenhoe Town as they welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Brantham Athletic to their own backyard.  The visitors have won both their league games so far whilst Wivenhoe have failed to win either of their opening two games, losing at Braintree Reserves last time out.  Can’t see anything other than an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Eastern Senior League South side Wivenhoe welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Brantham to Broad Lane. The hosts are yet to win in two league outings while the visitors have two wins from two thus far and defeated Hadleigh Utd well at home in midweek. It would be a surprise to see the higher division side fail to progress here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Wodson Park   v   Hoddesdon Town   | Venue: Wadesmill Road

Pete: A local derby of sorts as Wodson Park host Hoddesdon Town, with the Spartan South Midlands One hosts coming into this one having won their only league game of the season so far in midweek.  Hoddesdon have begun life in the ESL Premier fairly well having picked up a decent point at Walthamstow before brushing Sawbridgeworth aside in midweek, and they will be confident of victory here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: ESL newcomers Hoddesdon travel to the Spartan South MIds Division One side Wodson Park. The hosts here got their league season started with a narrow win in midweek while Town defeated Sawbridgeworth, also in midweek and are unbeaten in the ESL thus far. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Woodbridge Town  v   Clapton  | Venue: Notcutts Park

Pete:  The Tons travel to Thurlow Nunn Premier side Woodbridge Town off the back of a disappointing home defeat to local rivals Ilford.  However they did win their opening game courtesy of a last minute winner against Tower Hamlets and the hosts have lost their only league game to date, a home defeat to Walsham Le Willows.  I feel though that the hosts will regroup and being at home hand the Tons a narrow defeat.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0

Scott: The Tons travel to Notcutts Park to face Thurlow Nunn Premier side Woodbridge. Town lost on their league bow in midweek while Clapton have one win & a draw in the ESL thus far. This is another hard one to call though am going to plump for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Wroxham   v    Saffron Walden Town  | Venue: Trafford Park

Pete:  Saffron Walden travel to Norfolk to take on a Wroxham side who have started the season rather poorly, having sufferied a five-goal thrashing at Godmanchester Rovers, before grabbing a home draw in midweek. This will give the ESL Premier side heart after they have started the season well with a draw at Redbridge and then a thumping win over Stanway in midweek, however Wroxham will still pose a threat, and this could end all-square and a replay at Catons Lane.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Thurlow Nunn Premier side Wroxham entertain Saffron Walden at Trafford Park. The hosts here haven’t started their season that well as they are yet to win though after an opening-day hammering at Godmanchester Rovers, they got a draw in midweek. Saffron Walden powered past Stanway in midweek and if they can keep a settled side, they could really inflict some damage here. Away win.

Scott’ Prediction: 0 – 3

Sunday 12th August

Stansted  v  Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue:  Dunmow Road (Bishop’s Stortford FC)

Pete: A big local derby at Dunmow Road sees Stansted, who have one won and lost one so far in the league, take on Sawbridgeworth Town who have also won one and lost one. Both managers are good friends too so this proves to be a tough, no-nonsense battle.  Feel The Airportmen may just edge this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Stansted take on Sawbridgeworth at Bishop’s Stortford, because their Hargrave Park home is still hosting the rigours of club cricket. Both teams have won one and lost one thus far this term, with Stansted suffering a loss at Takeley and Sawbridgeworth losing at home to Hoddesdon, both in midweek. This being a derby and the management at both clubs will sorely want to get one over on the other, it is tough to call. This tie might just need a replay.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

St Margaretsbury  v   Enfield  | Venue: The Recreation Ground

Pete:  Hosts St Margaretsbury began life in the ESL Premier with a 5-0 loss against Woodford Town, whilst Enfield started off with defeat at Southend Manor before throwing a two-goal lead away against Redbridge to end up with just a point.  I do fancy Enfield to get the job done here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Finally, the ‘Bury welcome Enfield to The Rec. John Barker’s side lost their ESL opener heavily at Woodford in midweek while Enfield are yet to record a league victory after a draw at home to Redbridge on Monday night. If the E’s play near their best then they have goals in them so I reckon they may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

That’s all 16 ties for you and we look forward to the action over the weekend and Pete will have a round-up of all the action soon. Check out his blog at  for further round-up’s & Match Reports etc on the Essex Senior League.

Stay tuned to my blog over the weekend for round-up’s on the Bostik League divisions & more.

Round-up: 2018-19 Essex Senior League [Midweek 6th-8th Aug] (ESL 8.8.18)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to a midweek round-up of Essex Senior League action from Mon 6th to Wed 8th August.

Monday 6th August

Barkingside  0 – 0  Sporting Bengal Utd | Cricklefield  | Att: 99

These sides battled to a goalless draw, which was ‘Side’s second in under three days. The visitors felt they were disappointed not to pick up the points though both sides are in FA Cup action this weekend with Barkingside facing Leyton Ath and Bengal taking on fellow Cricklefield side Ilford at Mile End.

Enfield 1893  2  –  2 Redbridge   | The Harlow Arena  | Att: 78

Redbridge fought back late on from a two-goal deficit to claim a point at the Harlow Arena. Co-manager Joey May is back as a player after long-term injury and he and recent signing Asher Modeste came off the bench to assist the Motormen in a game where Enfield could really have taken the points.

Tuesday 7th August

Clapton  0 – 2   Ilford    | Old Spotted Dog

Ilford claimed the win at the OSD to banish the memories of their home defeat against Stansted on Saturday. Clapton ‘keeper Joe Phillips was stretchered off late on with a serious neck injury, we wish him well in his recovery. Clapton travel to Woodbridge Town in the FA Cup this weekend while the Foxes make the dhort trip to Mile End to face Sporting Bengal.

Saffron Walden Town  4 – 0  Stanway Rovers  | Catons Lane

The Bloods claimed their first win of the new campaign with an excellent performance to defeat fellow newcomers Stanway at Catons Lane. Lee Sawyer’s early penalty set the hosts on their way before further goals from Julian Simon-Parson and Dan Trendall (2) completed the win, in front of a stirring crowd of 176 people.

Sawbridgeworth Town  0 – 3   Hoddesdon Town | Crofters End  | Att: 40

Hoddesdon secured a surprise win at Crofters thanks to a brace from Aiden Critchley and substitute Josh Lillis to build on a decent draw at Walthamstow at the weekend. Sawbo face local rivals Stansted on Sunday in the FA Cup while Hoddesdon travel to Wodson Park at the weekend.

Takeley  2 – 0  Stansted   | Station Road

Takeley took their chances better a claim a second straight league win. Strikes from Bryn Thorpe and Stuart Zanone secured the win to go joint-top of the early standings with Woodford Town.

West Essex  1 – 5   Walthamstow   | Mayesbrook Park

The Stags were over-run by a dominant display of goal-power by the ‘Stow as the visitors won well here. Christian Owusu’s first-half brace put the Ryan Maxwell’s side in the box seat before Jack Leachman’s peach of a strike [68’], Owusu’s third two minutes later and a late OG secured a big win. Symeon Taylor got a consolation for the hosts just after the hour though they still suffered their second leagye defeat here.

Woodford Town   5 – 0  St Margaretsbury   | The Harlow Arena  | Att: 58

Woodford secured their second big win in five days with this big win over new-boys St Margaretsbury at the Harlow Arena. The Wood Army led three-nil at the break thanks to Billy Tarrant [22′] and a brace from Samir Ali [29′ & 43′]. After the break, further strikes from rapid forward Ola Ogunwamide [49′] and substitute Connor Leon [85′] made doubly-sure of the points. That said, the hosts finished with 10 men as Takudzwa Mashingaidze was dismissed for two bookings and the ‘Bury missed two penalties as their bow in the league wasn’t what they probably hoped for. Woodford have scored nine goals in their opening two matches and have a ten-day break before they travel to Sawbridgeworth on Saturday 18th Aug.

Wednesday 8th August

Leyton Athletic   0 – 0    Tower Hamlets   |  Kitchener Road

Both these sides battled to a stalemate at Kitchener Road and in doing so both grabbed their first point of the campaign though both sides will also be hoping for better results in the coming weeks.

Southend Manor   0 – 2    Hullbridge Sports  | Southchurch Park

Hullbridge emerged with the points in this local derby at Southchurch Park. ‘Bridge struck through a second-half penalty by Adebola Sotoyinbo and then made their position safer thanks to Aundre Spencer’s goal following good work by Sotoyinbo on the left flank. To make matters worse for the hosts, Perry Hirst, against his old club, had a first-half penalty saved by Hullbridge ‘keeper George Marsh.

Any teams with 100% record in first week if ESL season: Woodford Town, Takeley.

Any teams currently pointless after two matches: Stanway Rovers, West Essex.

Thanks for reading and the ESL round-ups will return on Sunday Aug 19th due to FA Cup action on August 11th & 12th.5

Round-up: Essex Senior League -3rd/4th Aug (ESL 5.8.18)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to the first of a new season of weekend Essex Senior League round-up’s here on my blog. Below are the results from the opening weekend’s league action, beginning with the opening chapter on Friday night.

My thanks to ESL Publicity Officer Scott Lanza for his assistance in this piece. Enjoy.

Friday 3rd August

Woodford Town  4 – 1   Leyton Athletic     | Venue: The Harlow Arena | Att: 65

The ESL got underway with this lively encounter on Friday night… here’s my report:

Saturday 4th August

Clapton  1  – 0   Tower Hamlets    | Venue: Old Spotted Dog | Att: 74

Clapton came through a tight battle against Hamlets with all three points thanks to a injury-time winner from returning forward Jeff Cobblah. Hamlets may gain some confidence for the next few matches despite the result given the changes to their squad.

Hullbridge Sports   0 – 0  Barkingside   | Venue: Lower Road | Att: 69

Both sides drew ablank in this encounter in front of a decent crowd at Lower Road. Hullbridge and Barkingside will look for better results in midweek ahead of the beginning of their FA Cup journeys next weekend.

Ilford  0 – 3   Stansted   | Venue: Cricklefield | Att: 91

Stansted bested a new-look Ilford side at Cricklefield. New signing Carl Mullings came back to haunt his old club by grabbing a brace [31′ & 44′] before half-time. Sam West finished the scoring ten minutes from time on a good day for Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s side. ‘Start as you mean to go on’ may be in their thoughts this week.

Redbridge  1 – 1   Saffron Walden Town   | Venue: Oakside | Att: 85

Saffron Walden’s return to the ESL ended in a stalemate at Oakside. Ex-Barkingside forward Charlie Portway’s penalty on 11 minutes got the Bloods going in this one, before new signing Michael Ogboin levelled for the Motormen just nine minutes later to complete the scoring.

It will be interesting to see where both these sides are in the latter stages of the season.

Southend Manor   2 – 0    Enfield 1893  | Venue: Southchurch Park | Att: 60

Manor won their opening day encounter at Southchurch Park. Second-half strikes from Alfie Lindfield [72′] and substitute Charlie Burns on the cusp of full-time sealed a good victory for Adam Peek’s side ahead of their midweek home match v Hullbridge on Wednesday.

Stanway Rovers  1 – 5  Takeley    | Venue: Hawthorns | Att: 88

Takeley made it a miserable afternoon for Stanway in what was the latter’s debut match back in the division. Marc Das’ fancied side were three-up at the interval through goals from winger Mitchell Das [15′], forward Stuart Zanone [36′] and full-back Bryn Thorpe [42′]. Rovers pulled one back 13 minutes after the break through Romario Dunne though Zanone completed a first-day hat-trick [62′ & 81′] to really get the visitors’ campaign off to a strong start.

Walthamstow  2 – 2  Hoddesdon Town    | Venue: Kitchener Road | Att: 63

Walthamstow kicked off their new era being held by new-boys Hoddesdon. Things started well for ‘Stow as double-ESL promotion winner James Peagram struck on the quarter-hour. That lead only lasted five minutes though before Scott Hayes restored parity for the visitors.

Indeed, Town went ahead as Hayes got his second of the afternoon three minutes from half-time to make player-manager Ryan Maxwell’s team-talk more interesting. That said, ‘Stow’s firepower is something to behold this term and Christian Owusu’s goal secured a point on 62 minutes and it ended honours-even.

West Essex  2 – 3  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Venue: Mayesbrook Park | Att: 32

This was the match I attended on the day and you’ll find my report on a blistering encounter here:

That’s all for this week, next weekend the FA Cup begins its path for the new season involving ESL clubs. Thanks for reading and have a good week.