Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 21st/Sat 22nd Sept) [ESL 21.9.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome and to another of our Preview pieces, this week looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action. What do you think?
Friday 21st Sept

Barkingside  v  Clapton  | Cricklefield

Pete: Hosts need a win here to kick start their season, but have found goal-scoring hard to come by, Tons have had a inconsistent start however find themselves fourth in the table.  Think this one will end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: This local derby kicks off this weekend’s action as the Tons take on ‘Side. The hosts have lost their last three league matches and lost at home to West Essex on Monday night. Jon Fowell’s team won at Woodford Town on Monday night to go some way to recovering from their FA Vase exit to Newbury Forest last weekend. I believe the hosts need to improve going forward and they’ll need to play well to overcome Clapton here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Saturday 22nd September

Enfield 1893  v  Leyton Athletic  | the Harlow Arena

Pete:  Enfield have found some form in their last two outings and have kept two clean sheets in the process against very good teams in Hadley and Takeley.  Athletic are having a tough season so far and find themselves fourth bottom at the start of play, but they did manage to win at Benfleet in midweek so this will give them some confidence.  But feel the hosts win make it three wins on the spin.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This fascinating match sees Enfield battle Leyton at the Harlow Arena. Matt Hanning’s side have had a good week with wins over Hadley in the FA Vase and a hard-fought success over high-flying Takeley in midweek. Leyton lost their last league match at West Essex two weeks ago though did edge out Eastern Senior Lge Sth side Benfleet at Park Lane in a midweek Essex Senior Cup encounter. Both sides are somewhat unpredictable at present though the hosts may just ‘carry the day’ here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Hoddesdon Town   v   Woodford Town  | Lowfield

Pete: The hosts suffered a disappointing loss in the Vase last weekend and will want to get back to winning ways against a Woodford side who after winning their opening two league games of the season, they have lost their last three including a fiery one against Clapton last time out.  Fancy the hosts to take this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: These two out-of-form sides meet at Lowfield. Hoddesdon lost at home to FC Clacton in the FA Vase last weekend and have also lost their last two League matches. Woodford have lost their last three league games and it’s debatable whether the number of red cards is having an effect on them at present. Draw in my opinion.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Saffron Walden Town  v  Tower Hamlets  | Catons Lane

Pete: Walden begin life without Stuart Wardley after he left the club on Thursday, and it will be interesting to see how the players respond to this news when they welcome bottom-of-the-table Tower Hamlets to Catons Lane.  Walden are unbeaten in four league games so far but have lost their last two at home in cup competitions but Hamlets haven’t won at all this campaign and with just a single point to show in four are finding life tough this time around.  Despite the recent events, I can still see the hosts winning this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Walden welcome Hamlets to Catons Lane on the back of a week they won’t look back on fondly. First, a surprise FA Vase exit to May & Baker was compounded by another home loss, to Hullbridge in the Gordon Brasted Trophy. And then yesterday the club announced the mutually agreed departure of boss Stuart Wardley. Hamlets arguably needed a boost ahead of this one as they are struggling to register a win themselves with defeats to Stansted and Sawbridgeworth in the League and Gordon Brasted Trophy respectively. Backed by the good crowds they get, I’ll still go for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Southend Manor  v  Redbridge  | Southchurch Park

Pete: These are two sides who you never know what to expect next.  Manor have won two but lost four in the league so far, whilst Redbridge have only won win from their five outings to date, but they did pick up a good win at Stansted in the County Cup in midweek, whilst Manor lost at Stanway Rovers, this after they got through to the First Round of the Vase at the weekend.  Hard one to call this so gonna go for a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Manor welcome the Motormen to Southchurch with both sides looking for the victory. Adam Peek’s side lost out at Stanway Rovers in midweek in their league encounter after a narrow but exciting home win over Haverhill Rovers in the FA Vase last weekend. Redbridge fell to a home defeat to Ilford last weekend though recovered to win at Stansted in midweek in the Essex Senior Cup.

I have a nagging feeling that the hosts will nick a narrow win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Stansted  v  West Essex  | Hargrave Park

Pete: The Airportmen had been in decent form lately, climbing to fifth in the table as a result, but a home loss to Redbridge in the County Cup knocked them back a bit.  West Essex have managed to win three games on the spin in all competitions after a poor start, and they will be looking to claim another three points here.  Expecting the hosts to edge this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: These two improving sides do battle at Hargrave Park. Stansted won at Tower Hamlets last weekend while the Stags backed up a win in the FA Vase with a narrow triumph over Barkingside on Monday night. I feel the Airportmen are ‘building the blocks’ of what could be a good season and though both sides concede goals, I’ll plump for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

St Margaretsbury  v  Ilford   | The Recreation Ground

Pete:  The Bury Boys have had a mixed start to life in the ESL Premier, and sit tenth after two wins, one draw and three defeats so far. Ilford though have surprised a lot of people with three wins from six and only one defeat so far, seeing them third in the early standings.  Both sides drew last time out but I feel the visitors may sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: St Margs welcome Ilford in another intriguing contest. Both sides drew in midweek, with the ‘Bury holding Walthamstow and the Foxes getting a point at Sawbridgeworth. I reckon there will be goals in this one and it could be another draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Takeley  v  Hullbridge Sports   |  Station Road

Pete: A titanic tussle awaits us at Station Road as league leaders Hullbridge travel to second-placed Takeley.  The hosts lost their first game of the league season to Enfield in midweek, which saw them fail to go back above the visitors into top spot, whilst Sports won at Walden in the Gordon Brasted Trophy, this with a much-changed side too.  I feel though that the hosts may bounce back to win here although it will be mighty close.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: This is potentially ‘Game of the day’ as ‘Bridge make the journey to Takeley. The hosts lost their 100% league record in midweek with defeat at Enfield 1893, which followed a hard-fought win at Brantham Athletic in the FA Vase last weekend. Hullbridge held Walthamstow last weekend before getting a good win at Saffron Walden in the GBT in midweek. Darren Manning’s side historically don’t enjoy trips to Station Road though it’ll be fascinating to see if they can keep up their own good start to the season here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Walthamstow  v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Kitchener Road

Pete: Stow sit sixth in the standings after two wins, three draws and only one defeat so far, whilst Sawbo have had a mixed start and sit in mid-table.  Stow drew last time out at St Margaretsbury whilst Sawbo also drew as well, so predicting this one is tricky.  But I think the hosts will take all three points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Finally on Saturday, Sawbo travel to Walthamstow. Ryan Maxwell’s team have had two draws this week, being held at Hullbridge and St Margaretsbury on Saturday and midweek respectively. Sawbridgeworth were held by Ilford in midweek. This encounter could have goals in it as well, got a gut feeling John Watters’ side may pinch it by the odd goal.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

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


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.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 8th Sept) [ESL 9.8.18]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to the return of my round-up’s of the Essex Senior League action this weekend. How did your side do? With thanks to A Perkins for use of the Club crests.

Friday 7th September  – Gordon Brasted Trophy

Sawbridgeworth Town  5 – 2  Tower Hamlets   | Crofters End | Att: 39

Sawbridgeworth finished the match very strongly to secure progression in this Gordon Brasted tie at Crofters. Hamlets led on 19 minutes through Elias Tackie’s strike though less than a minute later the hosts counter-attacked and levelled through Lewis Deamer. The stalemate persisted until the the last third of the match and a spot-kick from Oliver Fortune [64′] gave Sawbo the lead though again, that lead was quickly snuffed out as Hamlets levelled through Simon Bamidele two minutes later.

This only spurned John Watters’ side on though as Daryl Doolan [69′], Josh Knight [75′] and James Braughurst [85′] strikes sealed a morale-boosting triumph for Sawbridgeworth. Hamlets will be wondering where their first win of the campaign will come from.

Essex Senior League – Saturday 8th September



Barkingside  0 – 2  St Margaretsbury  | Cricklefield  | Att: 50

St Margs grabbed their second league win of the season with this success at ‘Side. Charncey Dash [28′] and Phil Lowen [72’] goals assisted John Barker’s side to a much-needed win after their FA Vase exit last weekend. ‘Side are still winless in this league campaign.


Hoddesdon Town  1 – 2  Hullbridge Sports  | Lowfield  | Att: 97

Hullbridge struck in added-time to pinch this fiesty encounter at Lowfield. Joss Lillis converted a 21st-minute spot-kick to out the hosts ahead though Darren Manning’s side restored parity thanks to Adebola Sotoyinbo only three minutes later. That looked to be the end of the goal-scoring action though returning stalwart Rob Hodgson powered home a winner right at the death to give Sports their fourth straight league win and go top of the standings.


Redbridge   1 – 1   Clapton  | Oakside | Att: 63

Redbridge’s season continued to be stifled by draws as they were held by the Tons at Oakside. Asher Modeste struck 12 minutes before half-time to put the Motormen ahead though the visitors responded through prolific scorer Jeffrey Cobblah [76′]. Redbridge have three draws in their opening four matches while Jon Fowell’s side achieved their first draw of the league season.


Southend Manor 0 – 3  Stansted   | Southchurch Park | Att: 31

I attended this match, here is my report:


Sporting Bengal Utd  6 – 0  Enfield 1893   | Mile End | Att: 30

Bengal had a superb day as they thrashed Enfield at Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side led ten minutes before the break thanks to Steven Carvell’s goal though after the interval Sporting had a day to savour. Bobby Redwood [47′] and Jon Watson [60′] goals sealed the points before a brace from influential winger Codey cameron [70′ & 72′] and Yasir Rashid [85′] strikes added to the pain for Matt Hanning’s team. Bengal earned their first league win in their third match while Enfield suffered their second loss of the campaign.


West Essex  4 – 1  Leyton Athletic   |  Mayesbrook Park

The Stags finally grabbed their first win of the new season with a good victory over Leyton. Cameron Gray, Michael Mignot, Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe and Hakim Medfal goals did the damage for Kwame Kwateng’s side. Mario Gnijaj got Leyton’s consolation though they fell to their first loss in four league games.

That is all for this week. Thank you for reading.

Match Report: Southend Manor 0 – 3 Stansted (Essex Snr Lge – 8th Sept) [ESL 8.9.18]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: TBA

2018-19 Season – Match 13

Saturday 8th September 2018  – 3pm KO

Southend Manor: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Stansted: Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks



Hard-working Stansted earn a good win at Southchurch Park

Report by Scott W (Twitter: ScottMHC14) | Club crest images by A. Perkins |

The Essex Senior League action returned following a Saturday off for FA Vase action last weekend and I made the trip to Southchurch Park to see Southend Manor do battle against Stansted. The Airportmen edged the same fixture last season though prior to kick-off this seemed a good contest.

Onto the starting XI’s then and for Manor, Alex Gillespie got the nod between the posts with wingers Rhys Fatt and Mo Kargbo supporting forward Nathan Dewberry with Lee Delf bombing on from midfield. Stansted welcomed ex-Grays stopper Lamar Johnson in goal with Connor Hammond and Callum Ibe on the flanks supporting main striker Carl Mullings.

Both sides were a little sloppy at the back in the early minutes of the contest, as Manor right winger Rhys Fatt headed wide after being well picked-out by midfielder Robbie Norris. Moments later, Stansted broke down their left flank though Callum Ibe’s low cross teasingly went wide of danger. On 12 minutes, Fatt put in a good deep cross that visiting centre-back Paul Clayton nearly prodded past his own ‘keeper though Johnson made a comfortable save.

Signs of Johnson’s experience were audible given how vocal he was in organising his defence and further forward at times. Stansted winger Connor Hammond was also giving the hosts a headache down the right flank, on one occasion requiring Manor centre-back Ore Mosuro to make an excellent challenge to deny him making the penalty area.

Stansted did get their noses ahead midway through the half as a good ball in from the left wing directly into the near post found defeder Clayton who nipped in and made no mistake from point-blank range. Manor had chances after the half-hour to restore parity though and after a another good run down the wing by Fattt, his cut-back found forward Nathan Dewberry though Dewberry blazed his shot over. Dewberry prodded another chance wide moments afterward. The Airportmen missed a good chance to make their hosts pay as after a error by Manor defender Bill Rungay, Hammond was odds-on to score being one-on-one with Gillespie though the Manor stopper did well to deny him.

With minutes to go before the break, winger Mo Kargbo sent a drive wide of the woodwork for the hosts while Billy Coyne’s fizzing drive only just went over the bar on the stroke of the interval.

Half-Time: Southend Manor  0 – 1  Stansted


As the second-half began, the visitors had some early sighters on goal though they couldn’t find the target. As ever, Paul Pittuck and Marc Benterman’s team were committed in defence, before they doubled their advantage just past the hour as a good long pass found forward Carl Mullings  who glided past the home defence, staying on-side and slotted past Gillespie.

In fairness, although Manor did carry a threat down the flanks with Fatt and Kargbo showing good pace and trickery, they didn’t really test Johnson in the second period and centre-back Ore Mosuro did make some crucial interceptions at the other end. The visitors should have killed the game off seven minutes from time though Ibe’s scuffed shot was deflected wide by a home defender after getting the better of Gillespie on the edge of the area. That said, Stansted did get a third four minutes later as skipper Billy Coyne’s free-kick decieved the Manor goalkeeper and found the left corner.

Full-Time: Southend Manor  0 – 3  Stansted

To conclude, Stansted deserved their victory though Manor should really have got on the score-sheet today. Congrats to the Airportmen on their win today & best wishes to Southend Manor for the rest of the season. My thanks also to Manor boss Adam Peek.



Southend Manor  | Manager: Adam Peek

Alex Gillespie (GK), Kiah Froud (Ellis Skidmore 79′), Bill Rungay (Charlie Burns 65′), Robbie Norris, Lewis Sparrow (Capt), Ore Mosuro, Rhys Fatt, Lee Delf, Nathan Dewberry, Charlie Barlow (Perry Hirst 65′), Mo Kargbo

Booked: Norris, Mosuro |  Subs Not Used: Jude, Webb


Stansted  |  Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck and Marc Benterman

Lamar Johnson (GK), Jamie Bennett, Billy Coyne (Capt), Sam West, Paul Clayton, Moses Carvalho, Callum Ibe, Jack Folan, Carl Mullings (Peter Maina 84′), Jack Smith (Oliver Bell 75′), Connor Hammond (Jordan Palmer 70′)

Goal-scorers: Paul Clayton [23′], Carl Mullings [61′], Billy Coyne [87′]

Booked: Mullings | Subs Not Used: Lloyd

Preview: The FA Cup First Round Quali (ESL sides) & Essex Senior League (Fri 7th & Sat 8th Sept) [FAC & ESL 7.9.18)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome back to our Preview series, this weekend looking at the action involving ESL sides in the FA Cup First Round Qualifying as well as the Essex Senior League fixtures, and one Gordon Brasted Cup tie on Friday night. How do you think your side will do?

The FA Cup – First Round Qualifying  – Sat 8th Sept  (ESL sides)  (In draw order)

Saffron Walden Town  v  St Ives Town   | Catons Lane

Pete: Walden welcome Evo-Stik South Premier side St Ives Town to Catons Lane looking to cause an upset and make it through to the Second Qualifying Round.  The visitors have had a reasonable start to their league campaign and will pose a difficult challenge to the hosts, but the hosts no doubt will also cause their opponents difficulties too.  Despite this though I reckon the visitors will sneak it.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Bloods face a stern test as Step 3 side St Ives travel to Catons Lane. The visitors, who play in the Southern League Premier Central division, alongside former Isthmian Lge clubs Leiston and Lowestoft and former big names from the past such as Kettering and Tamworth, haven’t started their division too well though also don’t concede many goals. Walden sent Southend Manor out of the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek and will be eyeing an upset and the £6,000 Prize money on offer as a result. I wouldn’t put it past the hosts to claim the prize of progression with a likely big crowd in attendance though the visitors may be too strong here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Walthamstow  v  Beaconsfield Town   |  Kitchener Road

Pete: Stow welcome Evo-Stik Southern Premier South side Beaconsfield Town to Kitchener Road off the back of two home defeats over the last week, so this game comes at the wrong time for them looking at form.  But the visitors haven’t began their season too well so Stow will look to expose this weakness and put the pressure on them no doubt.  Fancy Stow to cause a surprise here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The ‘Stow welcome Southern League Premier South side Beaconsfield Town to Kitchener Road. Ryan Maxwell’s side have had a mixed week which started with a battling home loss after extra time to Takeley in the FA Vase last week before resting a few players in readiness for this tie in thir Essex County Cup exit to Ilford in midweek. Beaconsfield play in the same division as big names such as Salisbury, Weymouth and Farnborough and although they have found league wins hard to come by, they did send Bostik South Central side Uxbridge out in the last round. Walthamstow upset Felixstowe & Walton Utd away from home in the last round so they do have a performance in them but they also have to tighten up in defence.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Bowers & Pitsea  v  Takeley   |  Parkside (3G)

Pete: Could be an intriguing game at Aveley’s Parkside ground as Bowers hosts Takeley.  The hosts have began the season well and are unbeaten so far, whilst Takeley have won all their games so far this campaign.  Fancy the hosts to prove just too strong though for their opponents.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This absolute cracker of a tie takes place at Aveley FC’s Parkside, given that Bowers’ own 3G pitch at the Len Salmon isn’t ready to play on as yet. Rob Small’s side have started their season well and defeated AFC Sudbury at King’s Marsh last weekend in league action. Takeley have started imperiously with regards to their winning record in all competitions though in this match I believe they will need to be more clinical to secure an upset. I’ll go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Essex Senior League & Cups

Friday 7th September  – Gordon Brasted Trophy

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets   | Crofters End

Pete: The Robins welcome Hamlets to Crofters End for a Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy tie on Friday evening, and the hosts need to get back to winning ways after their last home game ended in a poor defeat to Leyton Athletic.  They do welcome a Hamlets side who have failed to win any games this season after a less than impressive start to their season, and I feel they may lose here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Hamlets travel to Crofters to battle Sawbridgeworth in a match where both sides could really do with a victory. Sawbridgeworth have a below-par home record thus far while Hamlets can’t seem to secure a win as they are winless in three matches league-wise and were upset at Step 6 side Langford in the FA Cup last weekend. The only thing that seems on the cards here is goals and if the visitors can’t deal with Sawbo’s physicality then they may find this a tough outing.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Essex Senior League – Sat 8th Sept

Barkingside    v   St Margaretsbury  | Cricklefield

Pete:   Both these sides have just one league win between them so far this campaign, and both suffered poor defeats last time out too.  The hosts have struggled to score goals so far this term, whilst the ‘Bury boys will want to put a disappointing Vase defeat at the weekend behind them.  Think this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: The Saturday league action begins at Cricklefield where Barkingside entertain St Margaretsbury. ‘Side have only one win to their name of late, and that was a battling win on penalties at Woodford in the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Their visitors also have a problem conceding as they have won one of their opening three league games and a poor start saw them defeated by Hadleigh Utd in the FA Vase last weekend. ‘Side have been perhaps the stronger side in defence but they have to start turning one point into three and that might happen here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Hoddesdon Town  v  Hullbridge Sports   | Lowfield

Pete:  Fourth hosts second at Lowfield as Hoddesdon look to put their first league defeat behind them by bouncing back here against a very good Hullbridge side who are still unbeaten in the league this season.  Feel this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: This interesting match sees Hullbridge head to Hertfordshire to battle newcomers Hoddesdon. Hullbridge edged Eastern Senior League Sth side Lopes Tavares in the Essex County Cup in midweek while Hoddesdon have picked up two wins in their four league matches thus far. My belief is that Hoddesdon are a hard-working side who will pose a threat here while Hullbridge need to keep up their work rate for a whole match, something which the lack cost them in their recent FA Cup exit at Newmarket. I can see this one ending honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Redbridge   v   Clapton  | Oakside

Pete:  The Motormen are unbeaten in the league this season although you feel they have yet to hit their stride thus far this season, whilst the Tons have had a mixed start to their campaign as both sides sit towards the middle of the pack.  Another entertaining draw me thinks with plenty of goals.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 3

Scott: These two local rivals do battle once again at Oakside. Redbridge have won win and two draws from their opening three matches though they did progress in the Essex County Cup with a narrow win over FC Clacton in midweek. The Tons won their FA Vase replay against Woodford at the Harlow Arena and going forward, they do absolutely pose a danger to opposition defences. That said, they are also unpredictable and the Motormen will want to get their first home league win of 2018/19 on the board

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Southend Manor  v  Stansted   | Southchurch Park

Pete:  Manor hosts Stansted at Southchurch Park and will look to repeat their fine win against Ipswich Wanderers at home last weekend, and not the defeat at home to Saffron Walden in midweek.  Stansted have not began the season well although have shown enough to suggest they will come good eventually, but I feel the hosts may grab the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Southend Manor entertain Stansted at Southchurch Park. Both sides have been slightly unpredictable of late, though Manor achieved a comeback win over Barkingside in their last League outing though fell to a late defeat to Saffron Walden in the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek. Stansted have retained their battling spirit though perhaps haven’t quite ‘got going’ yet in terms of rhythm. This one is a hard one to call as the hosts have been doing well going forward and they might edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Enfield 1893   | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have shown that they can mix it with the best this season if they can find their shooting boots on, as they would of knocked Brentwood Town out of the FA Cup had they had taken the many chances they created over those two ties.  Enfield themselves have had a mixed start themselves but always pose a threat, but I think the hosts might grab their first win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Sporting Bengal take on Enfield at Mile End. The hosts have only played two league games though have shown enough in all competitions to suggest they will score goals this term. Enfield picked up their first league win this season two weeks ago at home to Sawbridgeworth though will need to be on their game to quell a quick Bengal side. There could be goals in this encounter as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

West Essex  v  Leyton Athletic   |  Mayesbrook Park

Pete: The hosts will be buoyed by the return of Michael Mignot to their squad, and boy do they need some of his goals as they have lost all four league games so far this season.  Leyton Athletic fielded a young side in the Vase last weekend and got thrashed, but they did edge past Burnham Ramblers on Tuesday in the County Cup to give them some heart.  But I feel the hosts will be galvanised by the returning Mignot, and whether he plays or not, I think this will have a positive impact on the home side.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Stags welcome Leyton to Mayesbrook Park, knowing they really need to notch a win on the board after four straight league defeats. The return of prolific forward Michael Mignot may assist them in that regard though defensively they need to tighten up, having conceded nine in their last three league matches. Leyton rock up here on the back of a disappointing FA Vase exit to Stotfold last weekend though they are on a three-match unbeaten league run.

I was at this fixture last season and there were goals in that match and I can see history repeating here. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

That is all for this week. Thank you 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.