Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 19/Sat 20 Oct) [ESL 19.10.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to another edition of our Preview pieces, looking at this weekend’s ESL action. Pete powered to victory last week predictions-wise to extend his lead. What do you think of our preview?

Also, check out this week’s Grassroots Football Show which Pete and Scott presented here: https://m.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grassroots-football-show-18th-oct-18/
Friday 19th Oct

Sporting Bengal Utd    v    Clapton    | Mile End Stadium

Pete: The weekend gets underway at Mile End on Friday evening as Sporting host local rivals Clapton, and the hosts are in fine form right now having netted twenty goals in their last six outings and winning four of those along the way, whereas Clapton have lost two of their last three league outings and have almost conceded as much as they have scored in their last six, so form points to an home win you’d say, well that’s what I believe too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Bengal welcome the Tons to Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side blasted five goals in a midweek win over Redbridge while Clapton were hampered by traffic on the way to defeat at Hullbridge in midweek. The hosts average three goals a game in league action thus far this term and with Clapton being hard to predict, I’ll head for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Saturday 20th Oct

Hoddesdon Town  v  Barkingside  |  Lowfield

Pete: Hoddy are the draw specialists in their last six games, drawing five of those, and with only five scored and four conceded in those last six it shows they are solid but not spectacular.  They come up against a Barkingside who a bottom and winless so far this campaign, and with them having lost their last six and conceding twenty in the process it doesn’t look good for them in this one.  Reckon it will be a narrow win for the hosts.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0

Scott: Lowfield hosts this clash with Hodd looking to extend their fine recent run of eight matches without defeat. ‘Side are looking to avert a ten-match losing run though did make life tough for Stansted and Walthamstow before succumbing to defeat. Hoddesdon edged Leyton 1 – 0 in midweek and it could be another battle though will go for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Ilford  v  Takeley  |  Cricklefield

Pete: The Foxes form of late is inconsistent you could say, having won two, drawn two and lost two in those games, however after Hoddesdon Town they have the best defensive record in the league over the last few outings so no doubt this will prove difficult for an out-of-sorts Takeley side who have lost five of their last six in the league as ‘the wheels have come off their bandwagon’ recently.  The pre-season title favourites have only scored four goals in their last six games, which is only beaten by bottom side Barkingside, and I feel their poor run may continue here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This battle is arguably more important for the visitors as they are seeking to end their run of five losses in six which has seen them drop to mid-table. Ilford defeated Hamlets in midweek and look sturdy in defence, while Marc Das’ side has seen in-form striker Stuart Zanone depart this week. Factor in a defeat late on at home to West Essex and the odds may favour a home win. Though I will go for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Redbridge  v  St Margaretsbury    | Oakside

Pete: Only one point and one position separate these two at kick-off and it’s two sides who ‘blow hot and cold’, so predicting this one is tricky.  Both have lost four of their last six although Redbridge have won the other two, although both have conceded a few in that time as well, making it exciting for the neutral at least.  I reckon this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Redbridge entertain St Margs in a match both sides could do with winning. The hosts’ fickle form continued this week as a fine win at Southend Manor in the FA Vase was dampened by a heavy league loss at Sporting Bengal in midweek. St Margs were hit for five at Saffron Walden last weekend though did win in the Herts County Cup this week at Harpenden Town. The Motormen need to shake off the losing feeling at home and they may do that here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Stansted  v  Leyton Athletic   | Hargrave Park

Pete: The Aiportmen’s long winning run came to an end last time out as they succumbed to local rivals Saffron Walden Town, so they will be looking to put together another decent run starting with their home game against a Leyton Athletic side who have only one win from six and no wins in three.  They did hold league leaders Hullbridge to a draw recently though in a game they could have easily won, so Stansted need to be aware.  But I feel the hosts will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Stansted face Leyton as they look to get back on the winning trail after a narrow derby loss to Saffron Walden saw their superb eight-match winning run end in midweek. Ath are showing signs of improvement as they played well at Hullbridge last weekend before narrowly being defeated at Hoddesdon in midweek. This one might surprise a few with how much of a tough game it could be. Narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Stanway Rovers  v  Hullbridge Sports  | Hawthorns

Pete: Leaders Hullbridge travel to The Hawthorns to take on Stanway Rovers off the back of getting back to winning ways on Tuesday after they suffered a rare setback against Sawbridgeworth a week before that and they will be looking to make it back-to-back wins here.  The hosts though have improved in recent times and did win last time out against Tower Hamlets, but Hullbridge will be a much tougher opposition most probably and I feel they win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1- 2

Scott: Stanway entertain Hullbridge, having tasted victory at home to Hamlets last weekend. Hullbridge got back to winning ways after recovering from a poor start to grab a home win over Clapton in midweek and this one may be a close-fought battle but ‘Bridge could well take the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Tower Hamlets  v  West Essex  |  Mile End Stadium

Pete: Hamlets are slowly starting to improve after a woeful start to the season, and they come up against a side who lost all their games in August but have now turned it around to sit tenth after three wins in their last five.  West also come into this one after a brilliant come from behind victory at Takeley, whilst Hamlets lost at Ilford in a game they dominated the second half.  Do fancy an away win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: The Stags travel to Mile End in a fascinating encounter between two unpredictable sides. Kwame Kwateng’s side have only lost two of their last seven league matches of late and have crept into the top ten after a late win at Takeley in midweek. Hamlets will look for more of a goal-scoring threat after losses to Stanway and Ilford this week. Have a feeling this may end honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Walthamstow  v  Southend Manor  |  Kitchener Road

Pete: Stow are going well at the moment, four wins in their last six, whilst Manor are struggling at the moment having lost four from six.  Manor’s problem of late has been scoring goals, just six in six currently, whilst their defence has not been too bad of late, so if they can find someone who can net a few goals they will be OK.  Whether it happens here or not remains to be seen but these two did draw earlier in the season, but I feel the hosts will win this.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: The next test for Manor is a trip to Kitchener Road to face a blossoming ‘Stow outfit that are unbeaten in nine matches and also are racking up the goals too. Ryan Maxwell’s team plundered four goals in the last half-hour to overcome Barkingside in midweek. Manor battled well though lost out to Woodford in midweek and this could be a tough afternoon for Adam Peek’s youthful side.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Woodford Town  v  Saffron Walden Town  | Harlow Arena (3G)

Pete: This could be game of the day at The Harlow Arena as Woodford Town, unbeaten in five and four wins, take on Saffron Walden Town who are unbeaten in four and both have scored plenty and also have solid defences over the last few games, so it could be a intriguing contest.  Both have come off the back of decent away wins too so confidence will be high for both.  Going for a draw in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Finally this weekend, Saffron Walden travel to Harlow to take on an in-form Woodford side that have won four of their last five matches, the last of those being a battling win at Manor in midweek. Walden are unbeaten in four themselves and with both teams currently in the top six, this could be a highly entertaining encounter. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

That’s all for now, thanks for reading.

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Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 5th/Sat 6th Oct) [ESL 5.10.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to another of our Essex Senior League Predictions pieces as Peter and Scott once again go head-to-head, offering their thoughts on the various fixtures the ESL throws up every week.

Have a peek at the our thoughts for this weekend’s matches.

Friday 5th October

Woodford Town   v   Takeley    |  Venue: Harlow Arena

Pete: This could be an intriguing match up at The Harlow Arena as a dangerous Woodford side welcome Takeley to Harlow having won two of their last three outings, whilst Takeley have had a rather mixed few weeks but are now back up to fourth after victory last time out.  Reckon this will be a decent attacking contest and the visitors to just sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3
 

Scott: Woodford begin the weekend’s action as they face Takeley. The hosts have had a good week with victory at Redbridge and a home draw with Tower Hamlets in midweek. Takeley got back to winning ways in ESL with a narrow win over St Margaretsbury last weekend though bowed out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy (GBT) at home to Stanway in midweek. Defeat here would be a further dent in their armour. Going to go for another draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Saturday 6th October

 

Clapton    v    Stansted    | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Pete: The Airportmen are literally flying right now, having won five league games in a row, and they visit a Clapton side who are themselves having a solid season to date.   Another tight battle awaits here but I feel the visitors may just sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2
 

Scott: The Tons welcome Stansted to the OSD. The hosts are unbeaten in their last four league matches, getting a late draw at Sawbridgeworth last weekend though went out of the GBT to Enfield in midweek. The visitors arrive here having won their last five league games and achieved big wins over Sporting Bengal and Sawbridgeworth in league & cup this week. The form side could well prevail here. Away win.

Scott’ Prediction: 1 – 3

 
Enfield 1893  v  Stanway Rovers   | Venue: Harlow Arena

Pete: The hosts got the perfect response to their loss at Hullbridge last weekend by knocking Clapton out of the Brasted Trophy in midweek, and manager Matt Hanning will no doubt want his side to continue that form against a Stanway side who are starting to turn their season around after two victories in their last three outings.  Should be an entertaining encounter here and I feel the hosts will sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2
 

Scott: Enfield battle Stanway at the Harlow Arena. The E’s have had a mixed week though recovered from a heavy loss at Hullbridge last weekend to win in the GBT in midweek at Clapton. Stanway have had a good week, building on a good league win at the weekend over Barkingside to surprisingly knock Takeley out of the Gordon Brasted Trophy in midweek. Consistency is tough to find though this one could go either way. Will plump for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Ilford   v   Walthamstow   | Venue: Cricklefield

Pete: A tasty local battle awaits us at Cricklefield as Ilford host Walthamstow with James Peagram returning to his old club with the visitors.  These two met in the County Cup not so long ago and Ilford came out on top in that one, but Stow have only lost one in nine in the league and will be tough opponents here.  Ilford though had only lost once themselves until losing to Southend Manor last week, but they have surprised many this season and will be a tough test for Stow.  Feel this one could be a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2
 

Scott: The Foxes entertain resurgent Walthamstow at Cricklefield. Martin Haywood’s side have only lost two of their nine league matches thus far and battled to a draw with Hoddesdon last weekend. ‘Stow are unbeaten in six league matches now and enjoyed a morale-boosting win at Redbridge in midweek. That said, the amount of goals they concede is costing them points and Ryan Maxwell’s side will need to be watchful here to avert slipping up. Still will go for away win here though.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Leyton Athletic   v   Barkingside  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Pete: It’s too early to say this is must-win for Barkingside, but you feel if they lose this one and Monday’s clash with Tower Hamlets, both sides immediately above them in the division, then it’s going to look very gloomy for the visitors.  Leyton also beat Side 3-0 in an FA Cup replay earlier in the season so have history in this fixture, and I feel they may just sneak this contest too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1
 

Scott: These two sides do battle once again, this time at Kitchener Road. The hosts are not in great form though have replaced former boss Jason Ngandu with incoming manager Glen Kendall. To their credit, Ath held Walthamstow in the derby last weekend though they are winless in their last four league outings. Barkingside are in a rut of six straight defeats, the worst in the division and it’s hard to see where their fortunes will change at this juncture. I have a funny feeling though that this will end honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Redbridge  v  Hullbridge Sports    | Venue: Oakside

Pete: League leaders Hullbridge arrive at Oakside with several injuries but come up against a Redbridge outfit who have not had the best of weeks so confidence won’t be too high I’d suspect. The visitors know how to dig out results right now as well so feeling this one will end an away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Scott: On the back of a sour week for the Motormen, they host in-form Hullbridge at Oakside. I say ‘sour’ as the hosts have already suffered home defeats to Woodford and Walthamstow in the last 8 days. Hullbridge by comparison are riding the crest of a wave at present and are still unbeaten this term after wins over Enfield and Saffron Walden this week. ESL ‘Manager of the Month for Sptember’ Darren Manning will be mightily aware of their opponents’ fighting spirit though it’s hard to see them slipping up at present. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Saffron Walden Town  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Venue: Catons Lane

Pete: These two met in an FA Cup tie back in August at Catons Lane and the hosts came out 4-1 winners on that day, but nearly two months have now passed and no doubt Hoddesdon, who are currently one point and two places above their opponents in fifth spot, will want to avenge that defeat.  Walden though are in decent form, despite losing at home to Hullbridge last time out, and will pose a big threat to the Hoddesdon boys, and I feel a home win is on the cards.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Saffron Walden take on Hoddesdon, having announced their new manager, former assistant boss Jason Maher. His side lost out to Hullbridge in midweek though did post four in a Essex County Cup win over West Essex last weekend. Hoddesdon followed a point at Ilford last weekend with being denied a victory in added-time by West Essex in midweek. I believe it’s only a matter of time before the Bloods regain their rhythm and that could well be here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Southend Manor  v   West Essex   | Venue: Southchurch Park

Pete: Only a point seperates these two in the bottom half of the table, although West have had a much better September than they did in August, winning three league games to pull themselves towards the top ten.  Manor have been frustratingly inconsistent and three defeats in four sees them down in 14th, and their defeat at Hamlets last time out wasn’t what they needed after winning at Ilford before that.  Gonna plump for a draw here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1
 

Scott: Manor welcome the Stags to Southchurch, following their defeat at Tower Hamlets last weekend. Adam Peek’s side have lost four of their last five in the league now while West have won three of their last five matches. Kwame Kwateng’s team struck late to grab a point at home to Hoddesdon so perhaps the West spirit of last season is returning. This is a blimin’ toughie to call quite frankly, though mainly as West don’t travel so well I’ll head for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Pete: Bengal netted four last time out at St Margaretsbury, this after they had shipped four in successive games prior to that, whilst The Robins were smashed 5-0 by local rivals Stansted last time out in the Brasted Trophy, so will want a response to that no doubt.  Both sides have been wildly inconsistent this season too so predicting this one is impossible, but I must make a decision so will go for a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2
 
Scott: Bengal welcome Sawbo to Mile End after a mixed week which saw them be beaten again at Stansted before performing well in a good win at St Margaretsbury in midweek. Sawbridgeworth are similarly unpredictable at present, being denied a win by Clapton last weekend before being beaten again by rivals Stansted in the GBT in midweek. Recent signing Jay Knight has shown what goals can do for Imrul Gazi’s side and he may prove to be the difference in a match I can see containing quite a few goals.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

St Margaretsbury  v  Tower Hamlets   | Venue: The Recreation Ground

Pete:  The Bury Boys haven’t been in the best of form recently and six defeats from nine league outings suggests a difficult season so far.  And they face a Hamlets side who are looking to recover from a poor start, and with two clean sheets in their last two and their first win to boot, this could give them heart in this one.  But the hosts do create chances and they must convert them one day, and I feel they may nick this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0
 
Scott: Finally, out-of-form St Margs welcome Hamlets to the Rec. Max Mitchell’s team are winless in five though do have goals in them. However, losses at Takeley and at home to Sporting Bengal this week may not have helped their confidence. Hamlets got their first league win of the season last weekend over Southend Manor and got a creditable goal-less draw at Woodford in midweek. Hard one to call though if the tide turns for the hosts, it may well do so here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 28th/Sat 29th Sept) [ESL 28.9.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to another of our Preview articles looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League action. What’s your views on our thoughts?

 

Friday 28th September

Redbridge   v  Woodford Town  | Oakside

Pete: These two sit in mid table with nine points each so a tight affair is expected, and with goals expected too.  The Motormen won their last league game at Southend Manor after going two goals down, whilst Woodford recorded a four goal win at Sporting Bengal to end their run of four straight defeats.  Fancy a home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2
 

Scott: Redbridge welcome Woodford to Oakside with both sides having slightly mixed weeks. Redbridge fought back well to win at Southend Manor last weekend though they also exited the London Senior Cup at Cockfosters in midweek. Woodford lost at Hoddesdon last weekend though recovered in midweek with a 4 – 0 win at Sporting Bengal, in which they welcomed back influential winger Ola Ogunwamide, presumably on dual-registration terms with Barking.

Last season, Woodford played well but lost out in this fixture though if they can maintain their discipline, their rapid forward line will cause problems. Going to head for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Saturday 29th September

Hullbridge Sports v Enfield 1893  | Lower Road

Pete: The hosts are riding high, two points clear at the top and with two wins over Takeley in a matter of days too.  Enfield themselves were on a decent run until that was ended by West Essex during the week, but Enfield are in the top ten and will be hard to beat no doubt.  Still feel a home win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Pace-setters ‘Bridge look to maintain their season at home to Enfield. Darren Manning’s side have had a good week with two wins over Takeley in ESL and Essex Senior Cup action respectively. Consistency is what they continue to strive for and Enfield’s week hasn’t quite been that. Last weekend, the E’s thumped Leyton Ath though in midweek they were edged out at home to West Essex. Matt Hanning’s side certainly carry a threat though the hosts’ belief may seem them home here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Cricklefield

Pete: The Foxes have surprised many so far this season and had gone into second place before a defeat at home in midweek saw them drop to fourth.  Hoddesdon are just one point behind Ilford in fifth so this proves to be another tight affair in the division at the weekend.  Fancy an away win in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Foxes entertain Hoddesdon at Cricklefield. Martin Haywood’s side have had a good start to the campaign and won well at St Margaretsbury last weekend before losing out narrowly at home to Southend Manor in midweek. Town have had a inspiring week with two home wins over Woodford Town and Stanway Rovers respectively, scoring seven goals in the process. The hosts have only lost one of their last five league outings, which was that loss to Manor. They may recover here though Hoddesdon are a very decent side who made just edge this contest.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Clapton  | Crofters End

Pete: The Robins continue to be inconsistent this season although they did beat Barkingside last time out, whilst Clapton have started the season solidly themselves which sees them in sixth spot thus far.  Can the tenth-placed hosts find some more magic this weekend, I feel not as an away win looks the likely outcome for me.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3

 

Scott: Clapton travel to Crofters End to face a Sawbo side who have continued to have mixed fortunes recently. A loss at Walthamstow last weekend was levelled up with a narrow win over strugglers Barkingside in midweek though John Watters’ young side may take some time to develop. The Tons have started well with two defeats in seven league matches now and recently have won at Woodford and Barkingside plus the likes of Cobblah and Reed may well carry them to a good day here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Stansted  v  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Hargrave Park

Pete: The Airportmen are literally flying right now and sit second behind leaders Hullbridge after a decent start to the season.  Their latest win made it five from seven in the division and they welcome a Sporting side who saw their unbeaten league start to the season fall spectacular in midweek to Woodford.  Narrow home win for me in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1
 

Scott: Stansted welcome Bengal to Hargrave Park on the back of a good week with wins over West Essex and St Margaretsbury, with conceding a goal. The recent signing of vastly experienced ex-Sawbridgeworth defender Matt Frew may have something to do with that and Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s side have also won four in-a–row in the league. By contrast, Bengal were heavily beaten at home to Woodford in midweek and this is far from an easy game to rebuild their confidence. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Stanway Rovers  v  Barkingside   |  the Hawthorns

Pete: Rovers mini-revival was ended by Hoddesdon Town in midweek, but they will fancy their chances against a Barkingside outfit who have only scored in one of their eight league outings thus far.  And with both sides in the bottom three it’s an early six pointer in every sense of the word.  Fancy a home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 0
 

Scott: This fascinating battle of these two out-of-form sides happens at the Hawthorns. Stanway’s over league win thus far came at home and with their opponents still searching for their first win of the campaign, this is no easy place to grab it. Rovers suffered defeat in midweek to Hoddesdon while Barkingside were well-beaten by Clapton last weekend though did challenge Sawbridgeworth better before narrowly losing out in midweek. ‘Side haven’t scored in their last four league matches now and that could well be their biggest problem for a while yet. Have to say home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Takeley  v   St Margaretsbury   |  Station Road

Pete: How will Takeley respond after two defeats against Hullbridge, both at home as well.  They welcome a St Margaretsbury side who were well-beaten by Ilford at home last time out, although prior to that they did hold Walthamstow to a draw.  Takeley though have now fallen to seventh and five points off top spot after this blip, so feel it’s a game they will feel they need to win.

Pete’s Prediction 2 – 0
 

Scott: St Margs travel to Station Road to take on a Takeley outfit who unusually shown ‘chinks in the armour’ recently. They narrowly lost out last weekend to Hullbridge in the league before exiting the Essex Senior Cup to the same opponents on spot-kicks in mid-week.

What perhaps is slightly more surprising is that they haven’t scored in their last two league matches, given their firepower in attack. That said, the ‘Bury had a harsher week with two heavy home defeats to Ilford and Stansted respectively, which sadly led to the resignation of boss John Barker after three years in charge. Max Mitchell takes up the reins and what a first game for him this…  Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Tower Hamlets  v   Southend Manor  | Mile End Stadium

Pete: Hamlets are bottom and without a win this season and welcome a Manor side who battled to a fantastic win at Ilford last time out, so it will be another difficult task for the hosts.  Got a feeling the visitors will grab the win here

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Manor are on the road again, this time to face winless Tower Hamlets. Last weekend was a chastening experience with a heavy loss to Saffron Walden Town. They face another tough side in Adam Peek’s men who after succumbing to defeat to Redbridge last weekend, they edged Ilford at Cricklefield in midweek. Manor know they have to be more clinical in terms of taking chances and they will need to do so here to avoid a scrappy affair I feel. Hard to go against saying away win here though.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Walthamstow  v  Leyton Athletic   | Kitchener Road

Pete: It is the Stow derby at Kitchener Road on Saturday as Stow meet Athletic, and the hosts currently sit in eighth spot with just one defeat in seven league games, whilst Athletic are fourth bottom having only won one of their seven.  No doubt this will be a well contested derby match though but feel one that Stow will win.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1
 

Scott: Finally in League action on Saturday, there is the the ‘Kitchener Road’ Derby. ‘Stow powered to a good victory over Sawbridgeworth last weekend for their first win in three league matches. Leyton have had an unforgiving week to say the least with heavy defeats at Enfield and at home to Saffron Walden. Forward Dwade James is absolutely a threat for the ‘visitors’ here though they ended that Saffron Walden match with nine men after giving their opponents some frightful moments earlier in that match. Back to this one though and if the hosts are fired-up then they should take the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 1

That’s all for this week. Cheers for now.

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.

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.

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.

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.