Preview: Essex Senior League & Fa Vase R3 (Fri 30th/Sat 1st Dec) [ESL & FAV 30.11.18]

FA Vase image

Written by Scott W and Peter D

Hello and welcome back to our Preview articles looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League & FA Vase action, after a two-week hiatus. Non-League bloggers Scott and Peter give their thoughts on another high-powered weekend of ties in the Essex Senior League and FA Vase Third Round ties (involving ESL sides)

The FA Vase – Third Round Proper | Saturday 1st December

Hullbridge Sports  P – P  Newport Pagnell Town   | Lower Road

Peter: The hosts come into this one having won their last four league games, where as the visitors, who play in the United Counties League, have won two of their last three, so this proves to be a good battle at Lower Road.  Sports pedigree in the Vase is well documented but the visitors did reach the Quarter-Finals two years ago so definitely have previous in this competition too.  But am going to plump for a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The first of the FA Vase ties is at Lower Road as ESL leaders Hullbridge welcome United Counties League side Newport Pagnell Town, who are currently in mid-table in their division. The interesting thing for the hosts is will the postponement of their Essex Senior Cup tie vs Coggeshall Town (due to affects of adverse weather in midweek) be a help or a hinderance to them. Their visitors score as many as they concede when it comes to the league side of things though suffered a heavy loss at Harborough last weekend. Sports of course were involved in a super match in ESL last weekend with a narrow win over Sporting Bengal. Have to go home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Redbridge   P – P  Chertsey Town    |  Oakside

Peter: The Motormen face a tough challenge against runaway leaders of the Combined Counties League in the shape of Chertsey Town at Oakside, although the visitors have drawn their last two matches, but have only suffered one league defeat all season.  Redbridge have won two of their last three but did lose last time out and will need to be on top form to get anything from this one, although their home form this season is poor.  Expecting the visitors to get the win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: In the other FA Vase tie, mis-firing Redbridge welcome Combined Counties League leaders Chertsey Town to Oakside. Redbridge were defeated by rivals Sawbridgeworth last weekend before succumbed to a big loss to Bowers & Pitsea in a friendly in midweek. The Vase has been by far their best achievement thus far this term and did well to overcome Peterborough Northern Star in the last round, though Chertsey will likely be a different proposition as they have only lost one of 15 league matches in their division so far this term. Have to go with the pointers and say an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 4


Essex Senior League

Friday 30th November

Tower Hamlets  v  Clapton  | Mile End Stadium

Peter: Both have just one league win in their last six outings, whilst the hosts have lost the other five although have been showing signs of competing now, and that one win for the hosts was away at Stansted.  The Tons managed to win last time out, ending a poor run of results, so this one could prove to be tight.  Going to go for a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: In the ESL action this weekend, two unpredictable sides in Hamlets and Clapton meet at Mile End on Friday night. Hamlets will be looking to improve on two recent home losses, to Enfield and Walthamstow respectively. The Tons have also had a ‘mixed bag’ of late though in fairness, they did have a good away day, winning 3 – 2 at West Essex last weekend. The hosts are finding wins hard to come by right now and I’ll plump for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Saturday 1st December

Hoddesdon Town  v  Walthamstow   | Lowfield

Peter: The Lilywhites have won two of their last three including victory at Stansted last time out, whilst Stow ended a run of two straight losses with victory at Tower Hamlets last time out.  Think this one could end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Onto the Saturday ties now and first up is an intriguing tie between two top-ten sides in Hoddy and ‘Stow. Hoddesdon picked up a fine win at Stansted last weekend while Ryan Maxwell’s side won at Tower Hamlets though defensively I feel they still have to be more consistent as they have the firepower to go on a good run. I have a feeling the visitors will take the points here in a tight contest.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Leyton Athletic   v  Woodford Town   | Wadham Lodge/ Kitchener Road

Peter: Hosts Leyton are winless in their last six games, losing four of those, whilst Woodford are one of the in-form teams right now having won their last three.  Leyton’s last defeat came after being two goals up at home to Southend Manor, which would of hurt no doubt, whereas Woodford bagged another away win at West Essex in midweek, this after winning at Walthamstow before that. I can only see an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: This match is an important one for both sides for differing reasons. Leyton, now under the stewardship of player-boss Eli Benoit haven’t won in nine league matches now. Woodford have won their last three on-the-spin, with wins this week at Enfield and West Essex. Dee Safer’s side certainly have the goal-power in them to get the points and that is my thought as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 4

Sawbridgeworth Town  v   West Essex   | Crofters End

Peter: These two have been rather unpredictable lately; the hosts having won lost won drew their last four, whereas West have one win sandwiched in between four losses.  Both are on 21 points in the table too although looking at the form you would suggest the hosts are better off at the moment, so I’ll go for a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Sawbridgeworth have their third home match in eight days as they welcome West Essex to Crofters. John Watters’ side are on a bit of an upturn of late with one loss in their last four and won against Redbridge last weekend and held Stansted in their derby encounter in midweek. West’s inconsistency has continued recently with one win in their last five. Home losses to Clapton and Woodford this week mean they may fancy a trip away from Mayesbrook plus they cannot be taken lightly. Sawbo did win the reverse fixture in the early throngs of the campaign and they may repeat the trick here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  P – P   St Margaretsbury   | Mile End Stadium

Peter: The hosts two month unbeaten run came to an end last weekend but their midweek draw against Takeley proves they belong amongst the elite in the division right now.  St Margaretsbury themselves have only one defeat in six and will not be an easy opponent for the Bengal side.  The hosts did put four past their opponents in the corresponding fixtures at The Rec but this will be a different game I suspect.  Fancy a draw here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: This fascinating match pits Sporting against St Margs at Mile End. Bengal contributed a lot in their loss at Hullbridge last weekend though recovered in midweek to hold Takeley at home. Max Mitchell’s side have lost one of their last five outings and are steadily improving, a sign of that was their narrow home win over Stanway last weekend. I have a feeling this one will have goals in it as well though will head for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Stansted   v   Ilford     |  Hargrave Park

Peter: The Airportmen have not won in three in the league although their points tally of 40 points so far was as many as they achieved in the whole of last season, so a huge improvement despite the recent loss of form.  They still only trail leaders Hullbridge by three points so a win over Ilford would see them back on top of the pile on goal difference, and against an Ilford side who have lost four of their last five this is a possibility.  Feel Stansted will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Stansted welcome Ilford to Hargrave Park in the midst of a challenging blip in form. The Airportmen did recover from last weekend’s home loss to Hoddesdon by grabbing a point at Sawbridgeworth in midweek. Reinforcements have come recently, with ex-Brentwood forward Jack Mitchell and former Manor midfielder Rob Norris being among them. Ilford have two wins from their last six matches and followed up a big derby win over Barkingside last weekend with another loss to Saffron Walden. Defensively in particular they are feeling the rigours of the ESL of late and although the hosts may be ‘feeling the heat’ (despite a superb turnaround this term compared to last season), they have enough to get the points here I believe.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Takeley   v   Stanway Rovers    | Station Road

Peter: The Station Road side are the most in form side over the last six games, having won five and drawing one, their last one at Sporting Bengal in midweek, whilst Stanway have lost their last two in the league after four unbeaten matches prior to that.  The visitors did win here in the cup earlier in the season but this is a different Takeley outfit currently so I feel the home side will grab the win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Finally, Takeley seek to continue their fine recent form against Stanway at Station Road. Stanway have already won here this season in Cup action though Rovers are in transition at this point with squad changes having occurred. Marc Das ‘ side are unbeaten in their last eight matches (seven of those eight being wins) as they have fairly quietly pushed up to 4th in the table.  They held Bengal in midweek after an impressive win at Saffron Walden last weekend. Stanway lost out at St Margaretsbury last weekend and have lost their last two outings. Home win in my opinion.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

That’s all for this week, check back soon to see our round-up’s of ESL action on both our respective blogs.


Preview: The FA Vase R2 & Essex Senior Lge (Sat 3rd/Sun 4th Nov)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to another of our preview pieces looking at the weekend’s action in the FA Vase Second Round Proper (involving ESL & EaSL sides) & the Essex Senior League. What do you think of our thoughts?

The FA Vase – Second Round Proper  (Sat 3rd Nov)

Hullbridge Sports v Irchester Utd    | Lower Road

Pete: Lower Road boys Hullbridge Sports enter the competition at this stage and they welcome United Counties League Division One side Irchester United to Essex.  The visitors are a step below their ESL Premier opponents and sit ninth after eleven games having won six and lost five so far, so the hosts, who are third in their division, should be confident however Irchester haven’t reached this stage without being a decent side so will no doubt cause the home side some problems.  But I feel the hosts will win this tie.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Hullbridge begin their FA Vase campaign here after their heroics in getting into the last 32 last term. They have shown moderate form of late though it is an aim of manager Darren Manning to get to Round Four again this time round. Irchester have had a good run and may pose problems here given their hosts recent defensive record though I still believe the hosts will pull through here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Redbridge   v  Peterborough Northern Star  | Oakside

Pete: The Motormen welcome United Counties Premier side Peterborough Northern Star to Oakside and will be looking to grab their first win at home this season after their eight league outings to date on their own patch have yielded five defeats and three draws so far.  The visitors sit tenth in their division with five wins and five draws but will no doubt pose a threat to their opponents, and I have a feeling the Peterborough side will sneak this one too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Redbridge take on Peterborough Northern Star as they look to get a home win for the first time this season. Defensively, the hosts have struggled thus far though in a one-off tie their fortunes may change. ‘Star are a tough outfit though I will go for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Sunday 4th Nov

Enfield    v  Leverstock Green   | Harlow Arena

Pete: Sawbridgeworth Town’s conquerors Leverstock Green visit another ESL Premier side in the shape of Enfield at the Harlow Arena on Sunday although the visitors league record reads three wins, three draws and three defeats as they sit in 15th spot in their division.  Enfield’s league record is as mixed too, but this is the Vase and they will fancy themselves at home on the 3G and I feel they may grab a win here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Enfield take on Leverstock at the Harlow Arena. Matt Hanning’s side defeated EaSL side Little Oakley in a replay in the last round while Green knocked Sawbridgeworth out last time out. Both sides are in the bottom half of their respective divisions (Essex Snr Lge and Spartan South Mids Lge) though Enfield will have to play well to go through. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

May & Baker EC  v  Swaffham Town   | Barking RFC

Pete: This proves to be a terrific tie at Barking Rugby Club as Eastern Senior South meets Eastern Counties League North and with both sides fourth in their divisions too it’s two confident sides who will clash too.  Bakers have picked up nine points this week so are in good form whilst Swaffham haven’t won in three outings although two of those were draws, so you’d say that the hosts may be the favourites here on that stat alone, but it’s unlikely either will feel this way.  But I think the hosts might just win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: This tie sees Eastern Senior League South take on Eastern Senior League North as May & Baker welcome Swaffham Town. Both sides have done well in their respective divisions and this will be a sore test for Micky Wetherall’s side. Going head for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Saturday  3rd November     |     Essex Senior League

Clapton P – P Walthamstow

The Tons home match against Walthamstow has been postponed due to the ongoing problems with the pitch at The Old Spotted Dog.  A new date is yet to be announced.

Hoddesdon Town  v  St Margaretsbury   | Lowfield

Pete: The visitors are flying right now having won three of their last six which has put them on the brink of the top ten positions, whilst hosts Hoddy have only won one of their last six although for of those were draws, but their cup form has been mixed, losing at Leyton Athletic and conceding six in the process before thumping four past Woodford Town last time out.  That was as many as they had scored in six league games recently so very different form in the league to cup, and I feel the visitors may continue their good form here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Hoddy welcome their local rivals St Margs to Lowfield. The hosts here have had a mixed week with a narrow loss at Tower Hamlets last weekend though boy did they respond with a impressive Errington Cup win at Woodford in midweek. St Margs have had a good week themselves as they won at Sawbridgeworth last weekend before holding Clapton to a draw in another away fixture. This one is a hard match to call though will go for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Ilford  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Cricklefield

Pete: This should be a decent game at Cricklefield as Ilford, who have been mixed of late but can show flashes of brilliance, take on an in-form Sporting Bengal side who went through October unbeaten and netting 27 goals in the process.  Really depends what Ilford turn up as to how this one goes, although Sporting right now are a match for anyone in the division and I feel they may win this one too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Foxes welcome a Bengal side whose manager Imrul Gazi won the Essex Senior League ‘Manager of the Month’ for October. will that award’s curse strike again though as these two are both in good touch recently as Ilford got a point at Hullbridge last weekend before doing well to win at Enfield on Monday night. Bengal held Walthamstow last Saturday before winning the Mile End derby over Tower Hamlets, also on Monday night. If Sporting can cope with the hosts’ physicality then they ‘could get the ‘W” here though again I think this will be a close one. Honours-even for me in what could be a cracker-jack match.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Leyton Athletic  v  Stanway Rovers    |  Kitchener Road

Pete: The hosts slipped into the bottom two recently after defeat at Takeley last weekend, whilst Stanway have started to pick up again and are unbeaten in four league games.  The hosts do have firepower and put six past Hoddesdon not that long ago, but their problem is at the back having conceded 14 in six games recently.  Stanway have actually conceded more despite their better form recently so could be in for some goals here, and I reckon a draw could be the outcome.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Stanway travel to Leyton on the back of two goal-laden matches away from home, which ended in getting a point from both Redbridge and West Essex. Ath have stalled somewhat with no wins in five league matches though Rovers should be wary of them. Leyton lost at Takeley last weekend though given they have had the midweek off, they might fancy taking on a Rovers side who are unbeaten in four. Got a feeling that Stanway will get the points here in a hard-fought scrap.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Saffron Walden Town  v  Barkingside    |  Catons Lane

Pete: Walden, who are top of the form table and sitting second in the division, face bottom side Barkingside who have conceded 22 goals in their last six and are still winless in the division.  You really do fear for the visitors whose 6-1 home defeat to Woodford last Friday really was a poor showing, and they cannot play like that again otherwise the hosts will do some damage you would have thought.  Can’t see anything other than a comfortable home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: The hard games keep coming for ‘Side as they make the trip to Saffron Walden. The hosts are unbeaten in eight matches league -wise and although they were held at Southend Manor last weekend, they won well at West Essex in midweek. Barkingside have to look to play better than they did in defeat to Woodford last weekend. Could well be a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Tower Hamlets  v  Takeley  |  Mile End Stadium

Pete: Hamlets have slowly started to pick themselves up after a poor start, and they welcome a Takeley side whose recent endeavours has made them more vulnerable than previous months.  Saying that they have won back to back games in the league and are back in the top ten as a result, and they will no doubt cause Hamlets problems too.  Feel the visitors will make it three in a row here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Takeley make the trip to Mile End to take on Hamlets. The hosts won at home to Hoddesdon last weekend before losing out to Bengal in the derby on Monday night. Takeley defeated Leyton last weekend and will want to keep their run going here and I reckon they will do.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Round-up: Essex Senior League with FAV R1 (ESL) R’s [ESL 14.10.18]

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to my round-up of ESL action this weekend, with results from the FA Vase action involving ESL sides. Enjoy.

Saturday 13th Oct – Non-League Day

Barkingside  –   Stansted   | Cricklefield  | Att:



Hullbridge Sports   –   Leyton Athletic   | Lower Road  | Att:

I attended this match, my full report is here:


Saffron Walden Town   –  St Margaretsbury  | Catons Lane | Att:



Sporting Bengal Utd   –   Hoddesdon Town   | Mile End Stadium  | Att:



Stanway Rovers   –   Tower Hamlets   | the Hawthorns  | Att:


Results from FA Vase First Round (Sat 13th Oct)


Leverstock Green  –   Sawbridgeworth Town  |


Little Oakley   –   Enfield 1893  |


May & Baker E.C   –  North Greenford Utd  | Barking Rugby Club


Newbury Forest   –   Newport Pagnell Town  |  Oakside


Southend Manor   –   Redbridge  | Southchurch Park


Takeley  –  Wodson Park   |  Station Road


Preview: FA Vase R1 & Essex Senior League (Sat 13/Sun 14 Oct [FAV & ESL 12.10.18]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) & Peter D (Twitter: @ped1980)

Hello and welcome to an extended edition of the Preview piece with Non-League bloggers Peter D & Scott W. This week, we look at the FA Vase First Round action involving Essex Senior League & Eastern Senior Lge Sth sides and a reduced league programme on ‘Non-League Day’. Get out there and sample the Non-League game this weekend & what do you think on our predictions?


The FA Vase – First Round (Sat 13th Oct)

Leverstock Green  v   Sawbridgeworth Town  |

Pete: The Robins travel to Spartan South Midlands Leverstock Green off the back of ending Hullbridge Sports’ unbeaten league start to the season, and this proves to be another tough one although Green sit 12th in the division albeit with games in hand over the sides around them.  And the hosts did smack six past Oxhey Jets in their last league game at home so know where the goal is, and I feel the home side may win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Sawbo make the trip to Spartan South Mids Premier side Leverstock, on the back of a battling win over ESL leaders Hullbridge. The home side powered to a big home win over Oxhey last weekend. John Watters’ side have a tough job here though desire is not lacking on the part of the club and I wouldn’t put it past them to advance here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Little Oakley  v  Enfield 1893  |

Pete: If you had asked me to predict this one around two weeks ago I’d have said this could be a potential banana skin for Enfield after Oakley had dispatched Hadleigh United from the Vase.  However, since then the hosts have lost their last two in the league conceding thirteen without reply, so it looks more likely that Enfield will win this one, and although no doubt the hosts will raise their game for this big cup tie, it’s an away win for me.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Enfield make the trip to Eastern Senior League South side LIttle Oakley on the back of being unbeaten in three matches in all competitions. Matt Hanning’s side defeated Stanway at home last weekend before battling to a point at Hoddesdon. The hosts have conceded 13 goals without reply in losses to May & Baker and Benfleet. Has this match been on their minds recently? Time will tell though the visitors are more than useful going forward and that could well be the difference.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 4

May & Baker E.C  v  North Greenford Utd  | Barking Rugby Club

Pete: Hosts Bakers will look to cause an upset for the second round running after they thrashed Saffron Walden Town away in the last round, but they take on Spartan South Midlands North Greenford United who currently sit sixth in the division, although their form has been mixed of late, although they did hit five at Stotfold in their last league outing.  I have a sneaky feeling May & Baker could edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: May & Baker continue their FA Vase following their fine win at Saffron Walden. Spartan South Midlands Premier side North Greenford are the visitors to Barking RFC if the hosts continue their good start to the season, this is the sort of test they will cherish. Both sides can score goals and defences may not prosper here though will go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Newbury Forest   v   Newport Pagnell Town  |  Oakside

Pete: Forest have a tough assignment against United Counties League side Newport Pagnell Town who did reach the Quarter Finals of the competition two years ago.  Pagnell do sit down in 15th in their division and have lost half their league games so far, but I feel they will probably have to much for the Step Six opponents here at Oakside.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 4

Scott: Eastern Senior League South side Forest welcome United Counties Premier side Newport Pagnell. The visitors have won two of eight league matches as of last weekend while the hosts also concede a few to be fair and this is a tough match against Step 5 opposition.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor  v  Redbridge  | Southchurch Park

Pete: These two played at Southchurch Park recently in a league fixture and saw The Motormen come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and trying to predict this one is fairly tough.  Manor have struggled of late with plenty of players missing whilst Redbridge put a poor few games behind them recently with a superb win at a free-falling Takeley.  Feel Redbridge may repeat the trick here and grab a win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: These two Essex Senior League sides do battle again, weeks after the Motormen roared back from two goals down to win that league encounter at the same venue. One win in their last league outings for Manor means that Adam Peek’s side could do with a victory here while Redbridge are unpredictable themselves though did get a good win at Takeley in midweek. My first instinct is to go for an away win though this is another toughie to call.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Takeley  v  Wodson Park   |  Station Road

Pete: Don’t let Wodson Park’s Step Six status fool you, they are a very good Spartan South One side with six wins and two draws from their eight league games so far, and they visit a Takeley side at sixes and sevens currently.  This is such an intriguing game to try and predict, and you feel the hosts need a win desperately here to try and get their season back on track, and I feel they may just sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Takeley welcome Spartan South Midlands Division One outfit Wodson Park to Station Road. Three or four weeks ago you may well have said that Marc Das’ side would have little trouble in progressing in the competition. Four defeats in their last five league matches puts a slightly different complexion on this match. Wodson are still unbeaten in their league after eight matches, six of which they have won so this is ‘no gimme’ despite the hosts being a step higher. Will go for a home win, just.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sunday 14th October

West Essex  v  Godmanchester Rovers  | Mayesbrook Park  (2pm KO)

Pete: A tough tie awaits West at Mayesbrook Park as Thurlow Nunn title contenders Godmanchester Rovers come to town, although Rovers last away trip saw them defeated 3-0 at Woodbridge Town who are down in the bottom half of the division.  However, prior to that they had only lost one in seven league outings so it could have been one of those off days.  West though have improved massively since the opening weeks of the season and if they can grab an early goal they may have a chance, but I feel the visitors will win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Finally in the Vase action, The Stags welcome Godmanchester Rovers, of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, to Mayesbrook Park on Sunday. Kwame Kwateng’s side have had a mixed week with a tough win at Southend Manor last weekend followed by defeat at home to Sporting Bengal in midweek. Rovers have won six of their nine league matches and score aplenty as well. Have to go with an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Essex Senior League

Saturday 13th October – Non-League Day

Barkingside  v  Stansted   | Cricklefield

Pete: On paper this point to an easy away win, with the Airportmen flying right now having won seven league games on the bounce, whilst Side are bottom with no wins and off the back off two heavy defeats to teams around them.  But football is not played on paper, so things don’t always happen this way, but I feel the visitors will grab a win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: These sides are at the opposite ends of the standings and in the form book. Barkingside have had another wearing week with heavy losses to Leyton Athletic and Tower Hamlets while Stansted have scored four or more in each of their last four matches in League and Cup. ‘Side’s losing run stands at eight matches while the Airportmen have won their last seven on-the-reel in the League. Have to plump for an away win though I sincerely hope there is a good crowd in attendance with ‘Side being one of a number of clubs embracing Non-League Day.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Hullbridge Sports  v  Leyton Athletic   | Lower Road

Pete: League leaders Bridge suffered their first reverse in the league at Sawbridgeworth on Tuesday, so it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from that, and they welcome a Leyton Athletic side to Lower Road who can cause problems going forward so they will certainly provide a test for the leaders.  I do expect the hosts to win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Lower Road is the destination for Leyton Athletic here though both sides have had mixed weeks. Hullbridge saw their ten-match unbeaten league run end at Sawbridgeworth in midweek while Leyton went down at home to Clapton, also in midweek. Both clubs won last weekend though and Glen Kendall’s side are a threat going forward so Darren Manning’s side will need to be ‘on it’ here. Leyton have conceded 25 goals in ten matches thus far though and that could be the deciding factor here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Saffron Walden Town  v  St Margaretsbury  | Catons Lane

Pete: Walden have drawn their last two home games as their challenge for the top spots has faltered slightly, but they welcome a St Margaretsbury side who blow hot and cold but do possess an attacking threat.  Fancy an entertaining game here and the hosts to win a five-goal thriller.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: The Bloods entertain St Margs at Catons Lane following a week where they not once but twice rescued points from a precarious position, particularly aginst Walthamstow in midweek. The visitors had a great day ‘at the office’ last weekend thanks to a thumping win over Tower Hamlets. Jason Maher’s side has a certain resolve about it and that may be enough to swing it their way here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Mile End Stadium

Pete: Potential for a decent match here at Mile End as Sporting Bengal, who have been in terrific form lately, come up against a Hoddesdon Town side who are on a decent unbeaten run themselves.  The visiting defence will have to be on their metal too as the hosts are banging in the goals recently, but Hoddy have decent attacking players themselves and are a solid unit, so it’s a difficult one to predict.  Thinking this could be a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Bengal welcome Hoddesdon to Mile End, following a fine week which saw wins over Sawbridgeworth and West Essex, scoring nine goals in the process. They face a gritty Hoddesdon side who picked up a point at Saffron Walden last weekend followed by a point at home to Enfield in midweek. Imrul Gazi’s side has pace and a growing belief after three straight league wins though my feeling is this will be a really tough encounter for both teams.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Stanway Rovers  v  Tower Hamlets   | the Hawthorns

Pete: Second bottom plays third bottom here at The Hawthorns and there is history between these two after that FA Cup abandonment earlier in the season.  Stanway were winning that tie comfortably at the time and they also won the replay too so previous results would favour a home win here, but Hamlets have kept three clean sheets in their last four outings and apart from a 6-0 thrashing at St Margaretsbury have been doing ok lately.  Their 4-0 win over Barkingside would have certainly helped morale, but I feel the hosts will sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Finally in the league this weekend, Hamlets travel back to Stanway Rovers. ‘Mixed emotions’ might describe the last week for AJ Ashinike’s men as a big loss to St Margaretsbury last weekend was tempered by a important win over Barkingside on Monday night. Stanway have had a tough one themselves with away losses to Enfield and in-form Stansted, conceding eight goals in the process.

I feel Lee Fisher’s side are stronger at home and as Hamlets don’t always play well away from Mile End, I’ll go for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Match Report: Saffron Walden Town 1 – 4 May & Baker E.C (The FA Vase 2RQ) [FAV 15.9.18]

The FA Vase – Second Round Qualifying

Venue: Catons Lane

Attendance: TBA

2018-19 Season – Match 14

Saturday 15th September 2018  – 3pm KO

Saffron Walden Town: Black & Red Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

May & Baker E.C. : Black & White Striped Shirts, Royal Blue Shorts, Red Socks

May & Baker shock the Bloods to advance to the First Round Proper of the FA Vase

Report by Scott W (Twitter: ScottMHC14) with additional photos by Pete Dudley (@ped1980)

Our travels this weekend took us to Catons Lane for the first time to see Essex Senior League side Saffron Walden Town take on high-flying Eastern Senior League South side May & Baker. Pre-match, myself and colleagues felt there were goals in this one.

For The Bloods, manager Stuart Wardley was deprived of the talented pair Dan Trendall and Julian Simon-Parson due to injury though still named a powerful front three of Greg Strong, Charlie Portway and Lewis Francis. Wardley himself was named on the bench. Onto the visitors and they lined up with a strong forward partnership of their own with ex-Basildon Utd forward Reece Tranter and Dan Gilchrist leading the line with ex-Dagenham & Redbridge trainee Conor Okus in midfield though regular skipper James Barlow was unavailable.

The match began with the visitors probing forward though they were unable to breach the committed Saffron Walden back-line in the early moments of the match. Visiting forward Dan Gilchrist had a weak shot gobbled up by home custodian Neil O’Sullivan before moments later, M & B winger Craig Hall’s toe-poke was well-blocked by the midriff of O’Sullivan whilst one-on-one with the ‘keeper. The hosts responded with efforts from distance, captain Spike Bell and forward Lewis Francis the parties unable to find the target.

Danger signs were there for the hosts midway into the first half as home defender Ashley Skeggs did well to deny May & Baker forward Reece Tranter a good shy at goal and soon afterward, Hall headed wide of the post. The visitors did make their good spell count minutes later as a nervous back header by Skeggs sent Tranter in and he went past O’Sullivan and calmly slotted home.

SWT had a decent chance to level five minutes later though midfielder Jack Mead headed wide after being well-found from a left-wing cross into the box. The hosts were starting to find their rhythm at this point though M & B defended well and saw through to the interval with their slender lead intact.

M & B free-kick about to be taken (Image Credit: Pete D)

Half-Time: Saffron Walden Town 0 – 1  May & Baker

You sensed that this game needed livening up a tad and four minutes into the second period, the visitors certainly provided some impetus as after a good ball in from the left, Craig Hall’s glancing header sent Micky Wetherall’s side into a strong position in this match. To their credit, Walden responded though found visiting stopper Michael Gooch in good form, showing some good decision-making. As the hour mark was approaching, Gilchrist’s low drive was well-stopped by O’Sullivan following Hall’s good ball in from the M & B right flank. O’Sullivan had to be alert to deny a clever routine from a corner from the visitors which ended in a long-range  strike. M & B got their wish though with 25 minutes left as Gilchrist’s sweet strike sailed past O’Sullivan to send the Eastern Senior League South side into dreamland.

The hosts were a little deflated, understandably, though still searched for a way back into the game and after Gooch punched out a good delivery into the area, Francis headed wide when in a decent position. Soon after that, after a cracking delivery from Francis, SWT forward Charlie Portway smashed an effort against the underside of the crossbar, it did deserve better though perhaps it was a marker that it may not be the hosts’ day.

That said, after Gooch had denied another long-range drive by Bell, Walden did get on the score-sheet with 12 minutes remaining as Portway was all alone in the box and rifled home well. Three minutes later, Bell’s deflected cross was skied over by Francis. In fairness the central defensive pair of Dean Hall and Joe Maskell were very dependable for the visitors.

More gloss was added to the scoreline late on as Tom Harvey powered home a  close-range strike from a narrow angle which only crowned off a momentous day for the visitors and a rare off-day for the home side.

Full-Time: Saffron Walden Town 1 – 4  May & Baker

I’d just like to say a thank you to Saffron Walden for their fine hospitality all-round today, it is a really nice ground as I hope the pictires convey, with the back-drop not being too shabby either.


Saffron Walden Town  | Manager: Stuart Wardley

Neil O’Sullivan (GK), Spike Bell (Capt), James Solkhon, Ashley Skeggs, Jamie Riley, Ruben Da Silva (Joe Cunning 53′), Craig Calver, Jack Mead (Malchi Rivett-Leigertwood 66′), Greg Strong (Ronnie Ledwith 85′), Charlie Portway, Lewis Francis

Goal-scorer: Charlie Portway  [78′]

Booked: Portway |  Subs Not Used: Davies, Wardley

May & Baker E.C.     |  Manager: Micky Wetherall

Michael Gooch (GK), Dean Hall, Kiel Chandler (Daniel Lopes 69′), Tom Harvey, Elliott Carter, Joe Maskell, Craig Hall (Luke Dickins 64′), Conor Okus, Reece Tranter (Lewis Wallen 74′), Dan Gilchrist, Henry Osei

Goal-scorers: Reece Tranter [27′], Craig Hall [49′], Dan Gilchrist [65′] & Tom Harvey [87′]

Booked: Lopes | Subs Not Used: Martin

Referee: Reece Pinchback

Preview: The FA Vase Second Round Quali & Essex Senior League (Sat 15th/Sun 16th Sept) (FAV & ESL 14.9.18)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to another extended edition of our Preview pieces, looking at the FA Vase 2RQ ties involving ESL & Eastern Senior Lge South sides and a few ESL fixtures this weekend.

The FA Vase – Second Round Quallifying

Saturday 15th September

Baldock Town v Stanway Rovers | New Lambs Meadow

Pete: Stanway travel to Arlesey Town FC’s New Lambs Meadow ground to take on Baldock Town in the Vase, and they will fancy their chances after an improved last few games and with the hosts being 16th in their division it proves to be a close game no doubt. Despite this, I feel the hosts may prevail.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Stanway travel up to Spartan South Midlands Premier side Baldock. Lee Fisher’s side won through their replayed game against White Ensign and have shown signs that going forward they are stronger than in defence. Baldock have started their league season in a ‘hit and miss’ manner though they did run Romford close in their recent FA Cup match and also sent Long Melford out in the last round of the Vase.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Barkingside v Wodson Park | Cricklefield

Pete: This could be a tough one for the hosts despite their one step gap to the visitors, as Wodson Park have won all four league games this season in the Spartan South Midlands One, but the hosts will still feel they should pick up a win here and get their season kick-started. Can they take their chances, that is the million dollar question, my belief is they will do enough.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0

Scott: Wodson Park make the trip to Cricklefield to take on Barkingside who were dumped out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy by St Margaretsbury in midweek. Wodson are unbeaten in their start to the Spartan South Midlands Division One, up to last weekend. Given that ‘Side are going through a difficult patch at present, I wouldn’t be that surprised if the visitors cause an upset here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Brantham Athletic v Takeley | Brantham Leisure Centre

Pete: Possible tie of the round in this region sees Brantham host Takeley with the ESL side still smarting from their thrashing at Bowers & Pitsea last time out in the FA Cup. This will be a tough test too although Takeley did win at fellow Thurlow Nunn Premier side Norwich United earlier this season so know they can do it. The hosts are unbeaten this season though and will be a tough nut to crack on their own patch, and I feel they may sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Takeley face a second tricky trip in as many weeks, following last weekend’s loss at Bowers & Pitsea in the FA Cup. Although Marc Das’ side are unbeaten in the league, they may want to banish that defeat at Bowers out of their memories. Brantham have got through three rounds of the FA Cup and have started the Thurlow Nunn Premier very well and they could have the edge here in this tie.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Clapton v Newbury Forest | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: The Tons welcome Newbury Forest to The Dog confident they can progress against a side a step below them in the pyramid. And it would be hard to argue with that if you look at the form of these two sides and how they have started their campaigns, but Football is not played on paper so doesn’t always follow that way. But I feel the hosts will have too much for the visitors here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: The Tons welcome Eastern Senior League South side Newbury Forest to Cricklefield. The hosts got a point at Redbridge last weekend. Forest have lost four of their matches in their division thus far though in fairness, adapting to their new division is not an easy task.

Jon Fowell & Ray Bartlett’s side should do the job in this tie and progress.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Hadley v Enfield 1893 | Brickfield Lane

Pete: This proves to be a tough assignment for the visitors as Hadley have began their season well with three wins from four in the Spartan South Midlands Premier, and with Enfield being hit for six at Sporting Bengal last time out, confidence is low, although sometimes defeats like that can kick-start you on to better things. But I feel Hadley will come out on top in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Enfield travel to the Spartan South Midlands Premier side Hadley on the back of a heavy loss in the league to Sporting Bengal last weekend. The hosts have had a good start to their division and it’ll take some effort for Matt Hanning’s side to go through here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Hoddesdon Town v FC Clacton | Lowfield

Pete: ESL side Hoddesdon welcome FC Clacton to their Lowfield home and see the visitors come into this one in mid-table of the Thurlow Nunn Premier having won two of their five games so far. Town themselves will be smarting from their late defeat at home last weekend to Hullbridge so will want to get back to winning ways here. Feel a home win will be the outcome.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Seasiders travel to Hoddesdon in what could be a tightly-contested match at Lowfield. Both sides have started their respective league campaigns well, Town in the Essex Senior League and Clacton in the Thurlow Nunn Premier. Hoddesdon are a young, hard-working outfit and home advantage may see them progress here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Little Oakley v Hadleigh Utd | Memorial Ground

Pete: Hadleigh United travel to Little Oakley knowing that despite their one step advantage it will be a tough test against the high-flying Eastern Senior South outfit. Hadleigh though have decent cup pedigree and are always a tough side to beat, and I feel they may just prevail in this one too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This will be a tough tie for both teams as Oakley have started their season very well while Hadleigh are mid-table in Thurlow Nunn Premier at present, though they did beat Wroxham in the league last weekend. I have to agree with my esteemed colleague that Utd may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Saffron Walden Town v May & Baker | Catons Lane

Pete: These two have already met at the same ground earlier this season in the County Cup, and the hosts came out on top, just, in a seven goal thriller. May & Baker will travel to Walden knowing they have nothing to lose and with the firepower they posess will cause the hosts problems. Walden though will know what to expect this time around so I feel they will be much more prepared this time, and I feel they will get the job done.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: This cracker-jack of a tie sees in-form May & Baker travel to Catons Lane to face Saffron Walden. The Bloods battled but went out of the FA Cup this week in their replay at St Ives Town. May & Baker dispatched Burnham Ramblers 8 – 1 in the last round of the Vase and are unbeaten in the Eastern Senior League South thus far this season. If SWT are not on their game here, M & B have the firepower to cause an upset. Stuart Wardley’s side might edge it though given their experience.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Southend Manor v Haverhill Rovers | Southchurch Park

Pete: Manor welcome another Thurlow Nunn side to their shores when Haverhill Rovers visit for this Vase tie, although their last opponents Ipswich Wanderers are a step below in the First Division North. Despite this I still feel Manor are favourites for this one as the visitors haven’t started their season too well, although they did knock Ilford out in the last round. Feel Manor will win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Manor welcome Rovers to Southchurch Park on the back of a win on penalties in the Essex County Cup though will want to improve on their home loss to Stansted in the league last weekend. Haverhill knocked Ilford out in the last round of the Vase and may well be a threat here as the hosts need to improve defensively.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Stotfold v West Essex | Roker Park

Pete: West Essex travel to Stotfold knowing that despite the hosts having lost all five of their league games so far, they did thump Leyton Athletic 4-0 in the previous round, so the Mayesbrook Park side need to be aware. Ironically, West got their season up and running last time out with a 4-1 win over the same opposition and if they apply themselves correctly to this one they will win this one too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Stotfold welcome another ESL side in West Essex to Roker Park. The hosts knocked Leyton Athletic in the last round though the Stags finally got their first league win last week, ironically it was over Leyton as well. Kwame Kwateng’s side might rest a few in this one though on the other hand, an FA Vase run would be helpful to get their season going.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Wick v Hackney Wick  | Crabtree Park

Pete: Hackney Wick travel to West Sussex side Wick, yes you read that right, who are also known as ‘The Wickers’. Confusing to say the least but the hosts also a Step 6 side though being a home tie they will feel confident of victory, although the visitors will be sure to put up a fight no doubt and have plenty of attacking talent to trouble their opponents. Got a feeling Wick may win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Yup, you’ve got two sides with a lot of ‘Wick’ between them meeting at Crabtree Park. The Eastern Senior League South side travel to Southern Combination Division One outfit on a good run, being unbeaten in their division thus far. Wick have also started their league campaign well and they may edge it though am going for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Sunday 16th September

Coggeshall Utd v Sawbridgeworth Town | West Street

Pete: The Robins travel to West Street to take on Coggeshall United knowing they will have to be on their game if they are to progress in this one. The hosts recently thrashed then unbeaten league leaders Halstead Town away so will be full of confidence in this one, although Sawbo themselves hit five at home in their last outing so that would of given them a boost too. Fancy an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: On Sunday, Sawbridgeworth travel to Coggeshall Utd. Sawbo arguably had their performance of the campaign last weekend in knocking Tower Hamlets out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy. That said, Coggeshall had an excellent away win at Halstead in the Eastern Senior League South this week. I believe that this will be a close match though if Sawbridgeworth are clinical, they could get the result here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Enfield Borough v Sporting Bengal Utd | Summers Lane

Pete: Sporting face a tough tie at Wingate’s Maurice Rebak Stadium as they take on an Enfield Borough side who thumped Halstead Town 6-0 at home in the last round. The hosts did lose their last league outing though and Sporting won 6-0 at home themselves last weekend, although they also lost in midweek so similar forms for both heading into this one. I do fancy the visitors just in this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Borough welcome Bengal to Summers Lane. The hosts smashed fellow Step 6 side Halstead in the last round of the Vase while Bengal enter the competition here after a mixed week. Imrul Gazi’s side won well at home to Enfield 1893 last weekend but went out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy away at Walthamstow in midweek. There may well be goals in this one though given the hosts have had an excellent start to their league season. The hosts may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Essex Senior League – Saturday 15th September

Hullbridge Sports v Walthamstow | Lower Road

Pete: It’s first against fourth in the ESL at the weekend and the hosts will be looking to put a four-point gap between them and the rest at the top with a win here, but Walthamstow will certainly make life difficult for the hosts with their own firepower. Stow could close the gap to the top to three points with a win themselves although I think it may end a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Into the league action now and Hullbridge battle Walthamstow in a match which will test both sides’ ambitions of being in the upper echelons of the division this term. ‘Stow won through in the Gordon Brasted Trophy in midweek though they lost out in the FA Cup last weekend to Step 3 Beaconsfield Town. Darren Manning’s side will need to be at their best for the whole match to deny the visitors’ goal-power. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Redbridge v Ilford | Oakside

Pete: The Motormen are unbeaten in the league this season although three draws from their four games shows they are solid if not spectacular. Ilford come to Oakside hoping to end their opponents’ unbeaten start and themselves have started the season fairly well after a disappointing opening day defeat. Not much between the sides though and has a draw written all over it.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Meanwhile at Oakside, Redbridge welcome local rivals Ilford. This will be an intriguing contest as both sides have had a similar start to the campaign/ Ilford have lost one in the league while the Motormen are unbeaten though have had three draws in four league matches. The hosts need to turn draws into wins to elevate themselves up the table. Martin Haywood’s side have been improving of late so cannot be under-estimated. Think this may end up being honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Tower Hamlets v Stansted | Mile End Stadium

Pete: Hamlets are finding life tough this season and they welcome a Stansted side full of confidence and in good form themselves after two wins this week. It’s hard to look past an away win in this one and I feel this is what will happen.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Finally, Stansted make the trip to Mile End to take on struggling Tower Hamlets. The hosts have yet to win in the league and given their form in other competitions, they need to get a win on the board. Stansted won’t be charitable though as will be looking to build on last week’s win at Southend Manor. Can see the Airportmen securing another victory here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading.

Match Report: Stanway Rovers A – A White Ensign (FA Vase FRQ 1.9.18)

The FA Vase – First Round Qualifying  (Season 2018-19)

Venue: the Hawthorns

Attendance: TBA

2018-19 Season – Match 12

Saturday 1st September 2018  – 3pm KO

Stanway Rovers:  Yellow  Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Shorts

White Ensign:  White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Shorts


Report by Scott W (Twitter: ScottMHC14)

The FA Vase roared into life for another season as this First Round Qualifying tie saw Essex Senior League side Stanway Rovers welcomed high-flying Eastern Senior League South outfit White Ensign. As you may well have seen on social media, the match was unfortunately but understandably abandoned given the nature of the serious leg injury suuffered by Ensign forward LIam Sewell. The player has had an operation today (Sunday) and I join the club and many others in the non-League community in wishing a speedy recovery.

With regards to the match, the following is a mini-report of the initial match, with the ‘replay’ due to take place this Tuesday.

Ensign started the match brightly as they looked to get their rapid attacking moves going, with player-boss Brett Munyard watched on from the sidelines. Rovers had the first half-chance though Harry Seal prodded wide of the post. The visiting forward line of Luke Skinner, Luke Sewell and Dominic Locke certainly gave the home defence nervous moments with their pace and running down the channels though couldn’t quite create many chances early on.

Stanway saw Jake Thompson and Callum Griff both send headers wide though Ensign defenders Dean Nevill and Andy George did a decent job of cutting out some of the searching balls to the home forwards. Midway through the half, a nervous clearance from centre-back Seal gave Ensign a corner, from which Luke Skinner’s low effort breached the defence into the net to put the visitors ahead. A crucial moment followed on 26 minutes as a foul by home defender Farley-Hearn on Locke in the area resulted in a spot-kick though the penalty was weak and home custodian Lewis Hawley held his nerve to make the save.

Rovers finished the first period strongly and levelled two minutes before the break as a good move led to Alfie Cleal’s cross picking out Griff whose powerful header beat Ensign stopper Tim Pitman.

Half-Time: Stanway Rovers   1 – 1   White Ensign

As the second-half began, The visitors began fairly well as a good ball in from Sewell on the Ensign right flank demanded a clearance from a home defender from under his own crossbar. In fairness though, Stanway were the stronger of the two sides in the second period, as wingers Marley Andrews and Lewis Stantial tested the visiting back-line.

That said, Stanway went ahead for the first time on 65 minutes through a superb curling 20-yarder from Harry Seal which flew into the top corner of the net past Pitman. Rovers could’ve extended that lead eight minutes later though skipper Teddy Nesbitt’s piledriver clattered into the woodwork and out of play. Ensign boss Brett Munyard came on for the last 20 minutes of the match (or that was the plan) and he was well-found direct from a long goal-kick from Pitman though the forward was crowded out before he could get a telling strike away at goal.

Soon afterwards, the incident which ultimately led to the postponement happened as forward Liam Sewell was challenged by Rovers substitute Jett Hogan. The referee adjudged it to be a dangerous tackle and promptly dished out the red card to Hogan. In my opinion, it was a crunching tackle though I don’t believe there was any malice in it though the way Sewell landed caused the forward to immediately express his discomfort strongly.

It was an unpleasant situation and the referee had no real choice to abandon the game some time later as the player involved couldn’t be moved and had to wait for an ambulance with the Ensign physio and team supporting him.

What matters though all things considered is Sewell’s wellbeing and I truly believe the whole Non-League community will wish him a very speedy recovery.

Match Abandoned (83 mins): Stanway Rovers  2 – 1  White Ensign


Thank you to Stanway for their hospitality on my first visit to the ground, a nice ground it is too. Best wishes to both sides for the rest of the season.

Preview: The FA Vase First Round Quali (ESL & EaSL sides – Sat 1st Sept) [FAV 1RQ 31.8.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to a bumper edition of our Preview pieces with GFS contributor Scott W and Non-League blogger and of course GFS co-presenter Peter D. If you’re keeping track of the scores ‘race’ then Scott picked up his first win of the new season last weekend to nearly halve Peter’s lead.

This week, we have extended our Preview to include Eastern Senior League South sides that enter the FA Vase here, some of them for the first time. Enjoy.

The FA Vase – FQR – Friday 31st August

Wormley Rovers  v  Biggleswade Utd  | Second Meadow

Pete:  Wormley Rovers have had to give up home advantage here due to the cricket so travel to Spartan South Midlands Premier Biggleswade United on Friday evening, and they take on a side who have won two out of three in the league so far.  Wormley have struggled so far this season and I am expecting them to struggle here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Wormley Rovers take on Biggleswade Utd in a match taking place at Biggleswade due to Rovers’ pitch being not available because of the latter stages of the Cricketing season. Utd have arguably had the better start to the league season, given that Wormley have yet to win in the Eastern Senior League South thus far. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2


Saturday 1st September

Stotfold v Leyton Athletic   | Roker Park

Pete:  Leyton travel to Spartan South Midlands Premier Stotfold full of confidence after their superb win at Sawbridgeworth Town in midweek, and they take on a home side who have lost all five games in the league this season, so am expecting a routine away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Athletic travel to Spartan South Mids Premier strugglers Stotfold, following an excellent league win at Sawbridgeworth in midweek. As of last weekend, the hosts haven’t scored in their five league defeats. Jason Ngandu’s side have been steadily building and are unbeaten in three league matches. It wouldn’t surprise me if the visitors progressed here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Newbury Forest v  Wivenhoe Town    | Oakside

Pete: Both these sides come into this one off the back of poor defeats, Forest were beaten at home by Benfleet in the County Cup whilst Wivenhoe conceded seven at home to White Ensign in what must have been a low point for the club.  Both will be eager to win this one and I think there will be plenty of goals but the hosts will edge it I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: This all-Eastern Senior League South math sees Wivenhoe make the trip to Oakside. Both sides haven’t start the campaign brillantly, with Forest achieving one win in six outings while Wivenhoe are yet to win from their four matches. Forest are also on a four-match losing run so will want to end that here and will believe they can do so here. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Enfield Borough   v   Halstead Town      | Summers Lane

Pete: Halstead face a tough match away at Enfield Borough, the hosts have won five out of six in the Spartan South Midlands One and have a goal difference of 18, but Halstead have also started well themselves although I feel they may fall short here in what could be a fantastic game.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Scott: Two Step 6 high-flyers meet at Summers Lane. Borough have started their Spartan South Mids Division One campaign very well while Halstead are unbeaten in five Eastern Senior League matches, winning four of them. There could well be goals in this one too though Enfield might just pinch it.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Clapton  v  Woodford Town     | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: This match puts too pacey attacking sides against each other so could be goals in this one.  Question is going to be which defence holds out the better, and having watched both sides this season i’d say Woodford may have the better backline, so expecting the visitors to prevail in this one.

Pete’s Prediction:  2 – 3

Scott: Clapton welcome fellow ESL side Woodford to the Old Spotted Dog. Both sides fell to defeat in midweek though in different ways, with the Tons comfortably beaten by Saffron Walden while Woodford lost late on to Walthamstow. If woodford can adjust their passing game to grass then the Tons could have a tough match on their hands here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

May & Baker E.C   v   Burnham Ramblers  | Barking Rugby Club

Pete: Hosts May & Baker will certainly fancy their chances of progression when they take on an out-of-form Burnham Ramblers at Barking Rugby Club.  Baker netted five in their last home game after falling behind early on whilst Ramblers were beaten at Halstead after leading.  Fancy the hosts to win this one comfortably.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: This all-Eastern Senior League tie sees May & Baker take on Burnham. M & B are unbeaten thus far in their league campaign while Burnham have yet to win in the league. Given that M & B average more than three goals a game thus far in the EaSL Sth, I can see the hosts prevailing though this may be a goal-laden match.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Stanway Rovers   v   White Ensign  | the Hawthorns

Pete: This is one intriguing match-up.  If you had asked me the outcome of this one pre-sseason I’d of gone for a Stanway Rovers win no doubt, but after the starts both these sides have made this season I am wavering towards an away win here.  Stanway can take heart from their performance at Haringey Borough last weekend but Ensign are flying and full of confidence, so I’m gonna stick my neck out and say away win, just.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Ensign make the trip to the outer area of Colchester to take on ESL side Stanway. Brett Munyard’s side have started thir maiden Eastern Senior League South campaign very well, unbeaten in five matches and notching 18 goals in the process. By contrast, Stanway have only scored once in three league matches though much to their credit, Rovers ran Step 3 newcomers Haringey Borough close in the FA Cup last weekend so perhaps things are looking up. That said, given their form & firepower, I think Ensign may emerge with a memorable win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Haverhill Rovers   v    Ilford  | The New Croft

Pete: The Foxes travel to Suffolk to take on Thurlow Nunn Premier Haverhill Rovers with not brilliant memories of the town after they suffered a 5-2 loss against Borough when they last visited there.  But this is a different Ilford side now and they have started the season solidly enough and take on a Rovers outfit who haven’t started the season particularly well, so Ilford may fancy their chances, and I do too so away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Foxes travel to Thurlow Nunn Premier side Haverhill Rovers, after a hard-fought win at West Essex in league action in midweek. Rovers might have only got one league win in four games though they also sent Bostik North side Maldon & Tiptree out of the FA Cup last weekend. This could be a scrappy affair, or be a classic between two unpredictable sides though am going head for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Holland   v   Cornard Utd  | Eastcliff

Pete: Holland welcome Cornard United to their own backyard and with the visitors struggling somewhat in the North division of the Thurlow Nunn and Holland doing pretty well so far in the Eastern Senior South, I can only see a healthy home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: It’s a battle of the the two Eastern Senior League divisions here at Dulwich Road as EaSL South side Holland take on EaSL North outfit Cornard Utd. The hosts here have had a significantly better start to their campaign and Utd haven’t been the strongest defensively either. With home advantage as well, I reckon it’ll be a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Walthamstow    v    Takeley     |   Kitchener Road

Pete: This proves to be a mouth-watering fixture as too of the Essex Senior League Premier heavyweights do battle at Kitchener Road.  Takeley did beat their opponents quite convincingly at Station Road not long ago so the hosts have scores to settle no doubt.  But I just feel the visitors firepower will prove too much for the home side’s defence.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Walthamstow welcome Takeley to Kitchener Road in this all-ESL tie. Takeley defeated the ‘Stow at Station Road in the league just two weeks ago so Ryan Maxwell’s team will be itching to return the favour here. Marc Das’ side was run fairly close by Stansted and Hoddesdon in FA Cup & ESL matches respectively this week though ‘Stow need to improve defensively, despite their goal-power seeing them to a late win at Woodford in midweek. Away win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Langford    v    Tower Hamlets     | Forde Park

Pete:  Hamlets desperately need a win of sorts to get kick-start their season, and with their opponents in the lower reaches of Spartan South Midlands One they really should get one here.  Langford of course have nothing to lose but I feel if Hamlets apply themselves correctly they will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

Scott: Hamlets make the trip to Spartan South Mids Division One side Langford. AJ Ashinike’s side have had an indifferent start to the ESL campaign results-wise though this is a good chance for their to progress at Step 6 opposition. Their hosts haven’t had the best of starts in their division either so have to go away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor   v   Ipswich Wanderers  |  Southchurch Park

Pete: Manor welcome Thurnow Nunn North side Ipswich Wanderers to Southchurch Park, and although the visitors have won three of their four league games so far, Manor were ruthless when they met Halstead Town at the same level a week or so ago, netting five in that one.  Manor have also showed character in their last two outings and I feel this will stand them in good stead here.  Home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Manor welcome Eastern Senior League North side Ipswich Wanderers to Southchurch Park. Adam Peek’s side have been showing signs of improvement in terms of their performances recently and although Wanderers have started their Step 6 league campaign well, Manor should fancy themselves to progress here, particularly after a fine comeback win at Barkingside on Monday night.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Stansted   v   Brantham Athletic      |  Hargrave Park

Pete:  Stansted’s first game back at Hargrave Park is a toughie against Thurlow Nunn Premier big boys Brantham Athletic.  The hosts do have a good side this season though so will certainly fancy themselves against their tough opponents, but I feel the visitors may edge it.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 1

Scott: Stansted face a stern test in their first game back at Hargrave Park this season as Thurlow Nunn Premier big-hitters Brantham Athletic are the visitors. The Airportmen showed heart and commitment in their loss to Takeley in the FA Cup last week and will need it here, given that Brantham have started well defensively this term. My gut feeling is an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Lordswood  v   Fire Utd  | Martin Grove

Pete: Fire United’s first venture into the Vase is a tough one, away to Lordswood in Kent.  The hosts sit third in the Southern Counties East Premier, one level above their opponents, and with the visitors having lost all their games so far this campaign, it’s hard to see anything other than a home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Scott: Fire Utd make the trip to Lordswood, of the Southern Counties East Premier Division. The visitors are finding it tough to adapt to their new Step 6 status in the Eastern Senior League South and face Step 5 opposition here, not to mention a side that has started well as well in their league campaign. Hard to see any surprises here I’m afraid, home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Sunday 2nd September

St Margaretsbury   v   Hadleigh Utd       |  The Recreation Ground

Pete: Margs welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier Hadleigh United to The Rec confident they can progress into the next round of the competition no doubt as the visitors haven’t begun their season too well, with three defeats from four.  The hosts themselves have had a mixed start to life in the Essex Senior Premier but with home advantage and a couple more wins under the belt I feel they will prevail here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Thurlow Nunn Premier side Hadleigh travel to the Recreation Ground on Sunday to take on the Essex Senior League outfit. St Margs’ only league win thus far has come away from home so they will want to put that right though they did triumph in the FA Cup over Enfield 1893 at home recently. The visitors have won one from four matches in their division so far though perhaps have the stronger goal-scoring record. Home advantage may be crucial here and I will plump for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

That’s all for this week, w’ll see you next weekend for the Preview of the FA Cup First Round Qualifying. Thanks for reading.

The FA Vase 2018-19: First Round Qualifying Draw (FAV 6.7.18)

Compiled by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to the draw for the First Round Qualifying for the 2018-19 FA Vase, which starts on weekend of the 1st September. The winners will grab £550 in prize money with the losers obtaining £175.

The FA Vase 2018-19: First Round Qualifying Draw

1 Alnwick Town v Charnock Richard

2 Stokesley SC v Guisborough Town

3 Holker Old Boys v Prestwich Heys

4 Goole v Barnoldswick Town

5 Whickham v Jarrow

6 West Allotment Celtic v Yorkshire Amateur

7 Darlington Railway Athletic v Bedlington Terriers

8 Chester-Le-Street Town v Sunderland Ryhope CW

9 Esh Winning v Whitley Bay

10 Bishop Auckland v Newton Aycliffe

11 North Shields v Consett

12` Daisy Hill v Whitehaven

13 Harrogate Railway Athletic v Silsden

14 Thackley v Thornaby

15 Dunston UTS v Heaton Stannington

16 Team Northumbria v Garforth Town

17 Billingham Town v Campion

18 Blyth v Crook Town

19 Billingham Synthonia v Knaresborough Town

20 Durham City v Seaham Red Star

21 Eccleshill United v Hebburn Town

22 Northallerton Town v Willington

23 Lower Breck v West Didsbury & Chorlton

24 Longridge Town v Vauxhall Motors

25 Worksop Town v Grimsby Borough

26 Burscough v Alsager Town

27 Wythenshawe Town v Rylands

28 Winsford United v Liversedge

29 Maltby Main v Ashton Athletic

30 Ashton Town v St Helens Town

31 Barton Town v AFC Liverpool

32 AFC Blackpool v Nostell MW

33 Sandbach United v Athersley Recreation

34 Shelley v Penistone Church

35 AFC Emley v Litherland Remyca

36 Swallownest v Abbey Hey

37 Cammell Laird 1907 v Harworth Colliery

38 Armthorpe Welfare v Worsbrough Bridge Athletic

39 Parkgate v Chadderton

40 Congleton Town v Bootle

41 Selby Town v Stavely MW

42 Kirby Muxloe v Brocton

43 Nuneaton Griff v Coton Green

44 Littleton v Lichfield City

45 Coventry Sphinx v Sporting Khalsa

46 FC Stratford v Bewdley Town

47 Abbey Hulton United v Whitchurch Alport

48 AFC Bridgnorth v Wolverhampton Casuals

49 Ellesmere Rangers v Birstall United Social

50 Rugby Borough v Malvern Town

51 Stafford Town v Wednesfield

52 Droitwich Spa v Coventry United

53 Boldmere St Michaels v GNP Sports

54 Heather St Johns v Rocester

55 Rugby Town H – W Team Dudley**

(**Team Dudley not accepted into Competition)

56 Racing Club Warwick v Pegasus Juniors

57 Melton Town v Ingles

58 Lutterworth Athletic v Cradley Town

59 Wellington FC v St Martins

60 Dudley Sports v Shawbury United

61 Coventry Copsewood v Eccleshall

62 NKF Burbage v Lutterworth Town

63 Gornal Athletic v Stone Old Alleynians

64 Wellington Amateurs H – W Ellistown

(**Ellistown not accepted into Competition)

65 Heath Hayes v Shifnal Town

66 Dudley Town v Bardon Hill

67 Pershore Town v Hanley Town

68 Ashby Ivanhoe v Friar Lane & Epworth

69 Bolehall Swifts v Tipton Town

70 Haughmond v Saffron Dynamo

71 Gedling MW v Ilkeston Town

72 Rainworth MW v Teversal

73 Newark Flowserve v Harrowby United

74 Leicester Road v Bottesford Town

75 Loughborough University v West Bridgford

76 Ollerton Town v New Mills

77 Skegness Town v Clay Cross Town

78 Anstey Nomads v Eastwood Community

79 Borrowash Victoria v Hucknall Town

80 Clifton All Whites v Belper United

81 Blidworth Welfare v Blaby & Whetstone Athletic

82 Clipstone v Aylestone Park

83 South Normanton Athletic v St Andrews

84 Oadby Town v Sherwood Colliery

85 Dunkirk v Stapenhill

86 Quorn v Retford United

87 Holwell Sports v Pinxton

88 Lincoln Moorlands Railway v Kimberley Miners Welfare

89 Radford v Selston

90 Framlingham Town v Wisbech St Mary

91 Deeping Rangers v Blackstones

92 Woodbridge Town v Eynesbury Rovers

93 Gorleston v Boston Town

94 Peterborough Northern Star v Fakenham Town

95 Walsham Le Willows v Diss Town

96 Newmarket Town v Downham Town

97 Bourne Town v March Town United

98 Huntingdon Town v Wroxham

99 Ely City v Norwich United

100 Stotfold v Wadham Lodge

101 St Margaretsbury v Hadleigh United

102 Newbury Forest v Wivenhoe Town

103 Wormley Rovers v Biggleswade United

104 Enfield Borough v Halstead Town

105 Clapton v Woodford Town 2017

106 May & Baker Eastbrook Community v Burnham Ramblers

107 Stanway Rovers v White Ensign

108 Baldock Town v Long Melford

109 Haverhill Rovers v Ilford

110 Holland v Cornard United

111 Walthamstow v Takeley

112 Langford v Tower Hamlets

113 Southend Manor v Ipswich Wanderers

114 Stansted v Brantham Athletic

115 London Colney v Cockfosters

116 Whitton United v Hatfield Town

117 British Airways v Harefield United

118 Rothwell Corinthians v CB Hounslow United

119 Spelthorne Sports v Northampton On Chenecks

120 FC Deportivo Galicia v London Tigers

121 Sandhurst Town v Kensington Borough

122 Wellingborough Whitworth v Bugbrooke St Michaels

123 Hanworth Villa v Bedford

124 Ampthill Town v Edgware Town

125 Broadfields United v Daventry Town

126 AFC Hayes v Wembley

127 Rushden & Higham United v Winslow United

128 Raunds Town v Cranfield United

129 Bicester Town v AFC Spelthorne Sports Club

130 Southall v Reading City

131 Leverstock Green v Unite MK

132 Cricklewood Wanderers v Risborough Rangers

133 Burnham H – W Hillingdon**

(**Hillingdon not accepted into Competition)

134 St Panteleimon v Holmer Green

135 Shrivenham v Tytherington Rocks

136 Bashley v AFC Portchester

137 Binfield v Frimley Green

138 Tadley Calleva v Ascot United

139 Milton United v Clanfield 85

140 Chertsey Town v Woodley United

141 Brimscombe & Thrupp v Ash United

142 Wallingford Town v Abingdon United

143 Penn & Tylers Green v AFC Stoneham

144 Lydney Town v Abbey Rangers

145 Cove v Fleet Spurs

146 Royal Wootton Bassett Town H – W Oxford City Nomads**

(**Oxford City Nomads withdrawn)

147 Ardley United v Holyport

148 Fairford Town v Baffins Milton Rovers

149 Colliers Wood United v Stansfeld

150 Bagshot v Sidlesham

151 Raynes Park Vale v Sutton Common Rovers

152 Lingfield v Epsom & Ewell

153 Croydon v Little Common

154 Sutton Athletic v Cray Valley (PM)

155 Hassocks v K Sports

156 St Francis Rangers v FC Elmstead

157 Knaphill v AFC Varndeanians

158 Wick v Godalming Town

159 Mile Oak v Selsey

160 Billingshurst v Tunbridge Wells

161 Lordswood v Fire United Christian

162 Sheerwater v Lancing

163 Meridian VP v Southwick

164 Chessington & Hook United v Oakwood

165 Erith Town v Arundel

166 Lewisham Borough (Community) v Broadbridge Heath

167 Kent Football United v Steyning Town Community

168 Sporting Club Thamesmead v Midhurst & Easebourne United

169 Westside v AC London

170 AFC Croydon Athletic v Worthing United

171 AFC Uckfield Town v Hollands & Blair

172 Glebe v Loxwood

173 Seaford Town v Tooting Bec

174 Lydd Town v Punjab United

175 Snodland Town v Newhaven

176 Erith & Belvedere v Rusthall

177 Fisher v Corinthian

178 East Preston v Eastbourne United

179 Bearsted v Bexhill United

180 Sheppey United v Balham

181 Langney Wanderers v Canterbury City

182 Saltdean United v Crawley Down Gatwick

183 Redhill v Holmesdale

184 Guildford City v Rochester United

185 Whitchurch United v Almondsbury

186 Devizes Town v Warminster Town

187 Calne Town v Fawley

188 Christchurch v Folland Sports

189 Cowes Sports v Westbury United

190 Chippenham Park v Bitton

191 Lymington Town v Portland United

192 Oldland Abbotonians v Totton & Eling

193 Hamworthy United v Amesbury Town

194 Romsey Town v Bridport

195 Ringwood Town v Alresford Town

196 Stockbridge v Roman Glass St George

197 Hallen v Fareham Town

198 East Cowes Victoria Athletic v Pewsey Vale

199 Team Solent v Longwell Green Sports

200 Eversley & California v Downton

201 Bournemouth v Bristol Telephones

202 Hythe & Dibden v Bemerton Heath Harlequins

203 Corsham Town v Laverstock & Ford

204 Exmouth Town v Callington Town

205 Plymouth Parkway v Brislington

206 Tavistock v Helston Athletic

207 Keynsham Town v Sidmouth Town

208 Bishops Lydeard v Bishop Sutton

209 Godolphin Atlantic v Portishead Town

210 Hengrove Athletic v Newquay

211 Wellington AFC v Saltash United

212 Liskeard Athletic v Bovey Tracey

213 Crediton United v Clevedon Town

214 AFC St Austell v Ilfracombe Town

215 Wincanton Town v Radstock Town

216 Witheridge v Wells City

217 Odd Down v Shepton Mallet

218 Elburton Villa v Launceston

Match Report: Tring Athletic 5 – 1 Hullbridge Sports (FAV 6.1.18)

The FA Vase Fourth Round Proper

Venue: Grassroots Stadium, Cow Lane

Attendance: 217

2017-18 Season: Match 50

Saturday 6th January 2018 3pm KO

Tring Athletic: Red Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

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

Me & Peter D before the match (Tring v Hullbridge FAV 6.1.18)

Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
| Images by Neil Hunwicks (Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16) unless stated

On FA Vase Fourth Round day & in my 50th match of the season, I made the trip to Cow Lane to see Spartan South Midland Premier side Tring Athletic welcome the Hullbridge Sports, the last Essex Senior League side remaining in this year’s competition. The winner would attain a place in the Last 16, something neither side had done previously.

Onto the teams then and Tring Athletic were skippered by centre-back Dan Steadman with a front three of Max Hercules, Luke Dunstan & Chris Vardy with Jack Read on the bench, more on him later. Hullbridge named a fairly strong side with Russell Harley between the sticks, Rob Hodgson and Gus Douglas as the centre-back pairing with skipper Jimmy Cox and Michael Salako in attack. Perry Hirst also made his first start for the club on the left flank.

Both sides took time adjust to a heavy pitch in the early stages of this match. Midfielder Harry Watkins’ free-kick kept the Tring defence alert six minutes in. Tring responded with forward Luke Dunstan firing a shot wide of the left-side post moments later. Tring took the lead on 12 minutes in freakish circumstances, as Sports right back Shawn Coe in his haste to clear, his attempted clearance struck centre-back Gus Douglas and rebounded into the net.

To be fair, Hullbridge were not out of the match at that point, though they did find it hard to settle into their passing game. Midway into the half, Tring forward Chris Vardy showed promise with a good run down the right flank, though his cross was just out of reach of winger Eliott Goward. Soon aftewards, Hullbridge responded as from Watkins free-kick, Rob Hodgson’s effort drew home goalkeeper Jack Hopwood into action. The visitors had a decent spell as forward Michael Salako’s curling effort struck the woodwork with Hopwood beaten after taking advantage of a slip by Tring right-back Colm Parrott and fellow forward Jimmy Cox’s lob going just wide.

Tring went into the interval ahead but there wasn’t much between the sides really as the visitors could’ve done better with one or two of the chances they’d carved out in the opening 45 minutes.

Hullbridge’s Gus Douglas (#6) powers a header away (Tring v Hullbridge FAV 6.1.18)

Half-Time: Tring Athletic 1 – 0 Hullbridge Sports

They say “goals change games”. And that certainly happened two minutes into the second half as substitute Jack Read doubled the home side’s lead with a close-range finish past visiting custodian Russell Harley. Six minutes later, Sports winger Perry Hirst’s drive was denied by Hopwood’s legs.

Tring were pressing well and got their third of the afternoon just shy of the hour mark as Vardy prodded home from close-range on his 200th appearance for the club. Hullbridge did pull a goal back from the penalty spot through skipper Cox after Hodgson was fouled in the area.

The hosts were still looking dangerous in attack as the game got stretched. The Hullbridge defence, led by the warrior that is Hodgson, made a number a important tackles in the second half. Tring were not taking “No” for an answer though as pacey winger Max Hercules’ shot was parried by Harley for a corner with twenty minutes left. From the resulting corner, Mark Riddick got a leap on everyone else and nodded home to vanquish any doubt of the hosts’ progression here.

Hullbridge substitute Luca Frankis headed over in a rare second-half chance for the visitors a minute later. Read had two more chances to add to his account soon after but couldn’t find the target. Tring did get a fifth on the stroke of ninety minutes as Hercules crowned off an impressive performance with a close-range effort past Harley.

Full-Time: Tring Athletic 5 – 1 Hullbridge Sports

Dejected Hullbridge players post-match as their FA Vase dream ends (Tring v Hullbridge FAV 6.1.18)

In fairness, there was no doubt as to how worthy Tring were in winning this tie today. I wish them well in the next round and for the rest of the season. Also, I would also like to thank them for their very good hospitality, a really nice club with a good programme as well.

Hullbridge will be disappointed today, particularly with their second-half performance as they went somewhat “off-the-boil” going forward after the break. That said, perhaps the score-line was a tad harsh though credit has to go to Tring for taking their chances and for their work-rate. I would like to say thank you to manager Darren Manning & the club for having me on the team coach as well today, that was nice and also to be joined by Non-League & Grassroot Football Show (GFS) colleague Peter D was great too.

There will be a special podcast by Peter & Me from the day for GFS available in the near future. The link wil be posted here, when available.


Tring Athletic

Jack Hopwood (GK), Colm Parrott, Chris Mason, Mark Riddick, Dan Steadman (Capt), Dave O’Connor (Steve Nott-Macaire 73′) Max Hercules, Tommy Twelves, Chris Vardy (George Carbery 81′), Luke Dunstan, Elliott Goward (Jack Read 29′)

Goal-scorers: Gus Douglas (OG) [12′], Jack Read [47′], Chris Vardy [58′], Mark Riddick [70′], Max Hercules [90′]

Booked: Steadman, O’Connor | Subs Not Used: Sunderland, Hart

Hullbridge Sports

Russell Harley (GK), Shawn Coe, Sam Taylor, Joe Pattison, Robert Hodgson, Gus Douglas, Mike Edgar (Matt Tapley 52′), Harry Watkins, Michael Salako, Jimmy Cox (Capt), Perry Hirst (Luca Frankis 71′)

Goal-scorers: Jimmy Cox [Pen 64′]

Booked: Taylor   | Subs Not Used: Poole, Ranger, Siemienczuk

Referee: Alex Rayment

Assistant Referees: Ian Stewart & Tom Ratherham