Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 18/Sat 19 Jan) [ESL 18.1.19]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League preview with Non-League writers Peter Dudley & Scott W. Ten more fascinating ties await us this weekend, what do you think will go down? Thanks for reading. If you’d like to hear both our thoughts on this weekend’s action on GFS, along with guest Marc Farrell, click the link/add URL here:  http://www.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grassroots-football-show-17-jan-2019/    (Fixtures section is from 2 hours 9 minutes in)

Essex Senior League

Friday 18th January 2019

Leyton Athletic  v Hullbridge Sports   | Wadham Lodge Stadium |

Pete: Hullbridge come into this one off the back of two straight defeats which has seen them fall to third and conceded ground to leaders Stansted, although their opponents Leyton haven’t won in fourteen now although two draws in their last two shows some fight at least.  I do fancy the visitors to get the win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: One of two Friday nighters sees Hullbridge travel to Wadham Lodge Stadium. Leyton were held at fellow strugglers Barkingside last weekend and arguably need to get points on the board. Hullbridge need points as well to further their title campaign after losses to Redbridge and Clapton this week. This is one tricky tie to predict though I can’t see the ‘Bridge boys losing three on-the-trot. Narrow away win though Ath will make it difficult.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Woodford Town   v   West Essex  | the Harlow Arena |

Pete: Potentially a cracker is in store for us at The Harlow Arena as two attacking teams come together, and the hosts will be trying to grab a win after none in their last four outings, whilst West are in the same boat having lost three of their last four.  Fancy the hosts to get the win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Scott: West are once again on the road, this time to Harlow to face the ever-dangerous Woodford. West held Manor at home last weekend before a heavy loss to Aveley Ressies in the Pete Butcher Trophy in midweek. They do play better away from home and if they bring their ‘A’-game, this will be a test for the Towners. The hosts denied Takeley all three points at Station Road last weekend and it may be the forward line & energy that seems them through here, despite the home side’s four-match winless run of late.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Saturday 19th January

Clapton  v  Southend Manor  | Old Spotted Dog |

Pete: You really cannot predict what your going to get from Clapton these days, their last three has seen all three results happen, including defeating Hullbridge at The Dog last time out.  For Manor it’s been a season of struggle and after they beat Clapton at home four games ago, they have failed to register another three points.  Think this one could end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Tons welcome Manor to the OSD, on the back of a fine win over Hullbridge in midweek. Three wins in their last eight matches shows what a ‘mixed-bag’ they have had recently. Manor have also found wins fairly hard to come by of late and drew at West Essex last weekend. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Enfield  v  Walthamstow   | the Harlow Arena |

Pete:This has the potential to be a decent game as hosts Enfield, with three wins from their last five, take on a Stow side who were five unbeaten with four of those wins until they came unstuck against Ilford last time out.  Got a feeling the visitors will want to put that right though so gonna go for a tight away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Enfield welcome ‘Stow to the Harlow Arena. The E’s have found some form with one loss in their last five matches after wins at Stanway and a draw at home to Sporting Bengal in the last week. Walthamstow lost at home to Ilford last weekend and need wins to rack up points to get back into the top five. My thought on this one is that it will a tough match and whilst Enfield could surprise, the visitors may well get the points here in a tough game.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Hoddesdon Town  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   |  Lowfield |

Pete: These two have had similar form over the last few outings, and both drew last time out after being two goals down, so it’s going to be a tight contest at Lowfield for sure.  And when these two met in the league match at Mile End that also, yep you guessed it, ended in a 1-1 draw.  Have a feeling that may happen again too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Hoddesdon welcome fellow top-ten side Bengal to Lowfield. Simon Riddle’s side lost to Saffron Walden last weekend though did produce a fine comeback to hold Redbridge at home in midweek. Bengal lost out at Sawbridgeworth last weekend and are having a mini-blip at present though another record-breaking season for them isn’t far off now. This match is another test in an ever-competitive division for Imrul Gazi’s side. Could be another draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Ilford   v   Redbridge   | Cricklefield |

Pete: It a derby at Cricklefield as Ilford and Redbridge do battle, The Foxes ending a winless run of six games by defeating Walthamstow last time out, whilst Redbridge are revitalised under the stewardship of Micky Wetherall and are unbeaten in their last two after five straight defeats prior to that.  Form normally means nothing in these games though, and they often end in draws too, so that’s my prediction for this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: What a time for the Motormen to have a local derby with the Foxes. A fine win at Hullbridge was followed by a good point at Hoddesdon this week. Ilford too had a good day out last weekend with a success at Walthamstow. Tough, tough match to call though Redbridge do have impetus at present and if they can better themselves in defence, they could get the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

St Margaretsbury    v   Saffron Walden Town  | The Recreation Ground

Pete: This could possibly be game of the day at The Recreation Ground as an in-form hosts, who have won their last four, take on Saffron Walden Town who have won their last two.  It really is a hard one to call this one, the hosts would like to grab a win over one of the title/promotion chasers, whilst Walden need to win to keep in touch with the top two.  Feel the visitors may just sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Scott: Saffron Walden continue their promotion charge as they visit Lowfield. Jason Maher’s side won at Hoddesdon last weekend to sit eight points adrift of leaders Stansted, with a game more to play. St Margs won at Tower Hamlets last weekend as they fortified their top-ten position, thanks to four straight victories. Another tough match for the Bloods, though I think they will prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Stansted  v  Barkingside   | Hargrave Park

Pete: On paper you’d say this has easy home win written all over it seeing as it’s top versus bottom.  But football isn’t played on paper is it, and although the hosts are in fine form at the moment, four wins in a row and unbeaten in their last eight, Barkingside have improved over recent weeks and are unbeaten in four themselves with three of those clean sheets.  Despite all this though I expect the hosts to win, but it will be closer than a lot of people think.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Stansted entertain Barkingside at Hargrave Park. The Airportmen have the momentum at present after a James Peagram-inspired win over Clapton last weekend. Barkingside got a home draw with Leyton though they are now unbeaten in three matches which shows the added steel they have within the camp now. That said, this is one hell of a test for that grit in Alex Goldstone’s side. Hard to see anything but a home win given Stansted’s recent form.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Takeley    v  Sawbridgeworth Town   |  Station Road |

Pete: Another decent battle awaits us at Station Road as Takeley, who are trying to keep tabs with Stansted at the summit of the ESL, welcome an in-form Sawbridgeworth to their gaff, despite losing back to back before winning last time out.  The host aren’t in  bad form themselves and will be looking for the points after dropping two last time out, and I feel they will achieve just that in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Takeley welcome an improving Sawbo side. Marc Das’ side were held late on by Woodford last weekend though are unbeaten in three while Sawbo have lost three of their last eight, after a good win over Sporting Bengal last weekend, which sees them in mid-table. Takeley could go joint-top with a win and with Charlie Cole and Bryn Thorpe returning to the club last weekend, that could happen here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Tower Hamlets  v   Stanway Rovers    | Mile End |

Pete: There will be no love lost between these two following their fiery FA Cup tie earlier this season, and both come into this one in not the best of form, Hamlets have lost their last three whilst Rovers four of their last five. Stanway have won both meetings between the sides this season though and this could sway the result their way perhaps, but I feel this could end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Finally, Stanway travel to Mile End to face Hamlets. Both sides are in need of a win to avert a slide down the table. Hamlets lost to St Margaretsbury last weekend plus Rovers also lost at home, to Enfield last weekend. This could be a real scrap though arguably there is more onus on the home side here, and they may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

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Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 12 Jan) [ESL 11.1.19]

Written by Scott W

Hello and welcome to another of our Preview pieces looking at the action in the Essex Senior League this weekend, written by Non-League blogger & GFS stalwart Scott W. Peter’s predictions may follow before KO tomorrow or via his blog. How do you think this weekend’s ties will go?

Essex Senior League

Saturday 12th January 2019

Barkingside  v  Leyton Athletic   | Cricklefield

Scott: The bottom two sides have a tussle at Cricklefield. Both sides upset their opponents to varying degrees last weekend. ‘Side beat Hamlets well at home while Leyton forced a draw at Clapton. The hosts are looking for their third straight win while Ath haven’t won in a while. Very difficult to call. One thing we do know, if there is a victor here then they will draw other sides further into the relegation scrap…

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Hoddesdon Town  v  Saffron Walden Town   | Lowfield

Scott: Hoddy welcome the Bloods to Lowfield. Simon Riddle’s side lost out late on to Enfield last weekend though have had a more than creditable first half of the campaign. Walden recovered from defeat at rivals Walthamstow by defeating out-of-form Redbridge in midweek. Jason Maher’s side will be aware of the need to not concede more ground to the sides above them. The home defence will ‘be in for a game’ with the likes of Portway and Trendall to contend with. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Hulllbridge Sports  v  Redbridge  | Lower Road

Scott: Sports battle new-look Redbridge at Lower Road. Hullbridge produced a outstanding second-half display to defeat Sawbridgeworth to complete six straight league wins. Redbridge are undoubtedly in transition though with five defeats on-the-bounce, following losses at home to Takeley and at Saffron Walden in midweek, new boss Micky Wetherall will need some points as soon as possible. They may not fancy this trip though their hosts will no doubt be seeking more goals here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Sporting Bengal Utd    | Crofters End

Scott: Sporting travel to Sawbridgeworth, on the back of a important win over West Essex last weekend to regenerate their bid for a top-half finish at the least. Sawbo ended up fading in the latter stages in their heavy loss at Hullbridge last weekend though did show earlier in the match that they can pose opposition problems. John Watters’ side are a stronger side at home and that could be what sees them to a positive result here. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Stansted   v   Clapton    |  Hargrave Park

Scott: The Tons are the latest visitors to Hargrave Park to face leaders Stansted. The Airportmen did well to win at Stanway Rovers last weekend and are now six matches unbeaten. Clapton were held at home by Leyton Athletic last weekend and are still rather unpredictable, to be fair, with two wins in their last six league outings. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Stanway Rovers  v  Enfield   | the Hawthorns

Scott:  Stanway entertain Enfield at the Hawthorns. Rovers lost out late on to Stansted last weekendand are not in the best of form with five losses in their last seven matches. Enfield had a rather ‘mixed bag’ with two matches at home in the last week. A narrow win over Hoddesdon last weekend was followed in midweek with a narrow defeat to St Margaretsbury. To take a positive out of those matches, The E’s are finding the net a bit more though Rovers are still a good at home. Tough one to call this, you guessed it – I’m going for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Takeley   v  Woodford Town   |  Station Road

Scott: This could end up being a shout for ‘Game of the Day’ at Station Road. Takeley continued their promotion tilt with a narrow win over Redbridge last weekend and a battling win over Southend Manor at home in midweek. Woodford were held by Ilford last weekend at home though as they’ve shown this season, their pace in attack will catch teams out. As much as this may get me some heat, in my view this game is a big test of Takeley’s credentials this season. Think Town have enough to get a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Tower Hamlets   v   St Margaretsbury    | Mile End Stadium
Scott: Hamlets take on St Margs at Mile End. It’s not been a great week for Hamlets as they lost at Barkingside last weekend before losing out on spot-kicks to West Essex in Errington Cup on Monday night. St Margs will be rather happier though with their exploits as they won at Southend Manor and Enfield in the last week as they’ve won four of their last six. Think the visitors may sneak this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Walthamstow    v  Ilford    | Wadham Lodge

Scott: In-form Walthamstow entertain Ilford at Wadham Lodge. Ryan Maxwell’s side defeated Saffron Walden last weekend to extend their unbeaten run to five matches. Ilford ended a five-match losing run with a late leveller at Woodford last Friday night though will undoubtedly find this one a tough encounter. Home win I suspect.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

West Essex   v   Southend Manor   | Mayesbrook Park

Scott: West welcome Manor to Mayesbrook. Kwame Kwateng’s side have had a decent week, with a win & a loss at Mile End, losing to Sporting Bengal in the league at the weekend and defeating Tower Hamlets in the Errington Cup on penalties, following a 3 – 3 draw. Manor by contrast have had two losses, narrowly at home to St Margaretsbury and at Takeley in midweek, both in the league. Both sides have similar records in terms of recent form so I can see this one ending in a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 4/Sat 5 Dec) [ESL 3.1.19]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to another of our Preview pieces with Non-League writers Peter Dudley & Scott W, looking at this weekend’s action in the Essex Senior League. What do you reckon to our thoughts on these ties? Thanks for reading and Happy New Year to all our readers.

 

Friday 4th January

Barkingside  v  Tower Hamlets   |  Cricklefield

Pete: ‘Side come into this one having won their last two in all competitions, and have also kept clean sheets in both, as their season finally gave them some cheer after what has been an awful one to now.  They take on a Hamlets side who have been resurgent lately, and two league wins from their last three suggests form is heading in the right direction.  They also thrashed Grays Reserves last time out in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy so confidence is high, and I do feel they may sneak this one.

Pete’s Predicition: 1 – 2

 

Scott: The weekend’s action starts at Cricklefield, where the crucial matches for ‘Side continue with this battle against neighbours Tower Hamlets. The home side are on a mini-upturn with two wins recently in league and cup over Leyton Ath and Sporting Bengal, both 1 – 0. The interesting thing will be how long can they maintain a miserly defence, given they are still five point adrift f nearest rivals Leyton and 12 points off two other clubs at the bottom.

Their opponents here are the inconsistent Hamlets, who I saw overcome Grays Athletic Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. AJ Ashinike’s side can play decent football and three wins in their last six league matches makes up half of their league wins all season. ‘Side haven’t enjoyed good home form and Hamlets’ superior goal-power means I’m electing to go for an away win in a hard-fought affair.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Woodford Town  v  Ilford  | The Harlow Arena

Pete: The hosts recent unbeaten run has been ended with back-to-back defeats in the league so they will want to put that right against the league’s most out-of-form side in the shape of Ilford who have lost five straight in the division, although they did beat Clapton in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy last time out to at least give them some festive cheer.  Despite this though and the hosts recent defeats, I think the home side will prevail in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The other match set for Friday night is this intriguing battle between two sides who having ‘blips’ at present. Woodford have been impressive thsus far this term, sitting in 5th spot though have lost their last two league matches – at Hullbridge and St Margaretsbury respectively. What is most interesting about Dee Safer’s side is that they are the league’s third-highest scorers with 54 goals. Ilford’s ‘blip’ is somewhat more severe though with five straight league losses as they look to start 2019 on a strong footing, though they did secure passage in the Peter Butcher Trophy with a win over Clapton. Last month, the Foxes were leaky in defence and it’s no easy talk to ‘shut up shop’ against the likes of the Towners. Even though Ilf’s form is better away from home, I have to plump for a home triumph here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Saturday 5th January

Clapton  v  Leyton Athletic | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: The Tons come into this one having lost at Ilford in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy last time out, although they did win there in the league prior to Christmas, and two wins from their last three in the ESL suggests an upturn in form.  They welcome second-bottom Leyton Athletic to The Old Spotted Dog with the visitors having lost three of their last four matches, and with only thirteen goals scored between both these sides in their last six, goals maybe hard to come by here.  Going for a score draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Scott: Leyton make the trip to Forest Gate to take on a Tons side still looking for consistency. The hosts won last their last league match at Ilford though the Foxes did turn them over in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. Leyton are winless in their last eight matches in league and cup though have had a mini-break from action recently which boss Eli Benoit will hope can assist them to a good start to the new year. Given that the Tons have found their goal-scoring touch more recently, I have to head for a home win in what could be a goal-laden match.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Enfield  v  Hoddesdon | The Harlow Arena

Pete: Both sides come into this one off the back of victories, the home side ending a run of three straight defeats in the process whilst Hoddy have won their last two now.  Both teams do struggle for goals though, with only 17 between them in six games, but the visitors are much better in defence though having conceded half of what Enfield have done in last six.  Despite this though I feel this may end a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Enfield welcome Hoddesdon to the Harlow Arena. The E’s won their last league match at St Margaretsbury to end a mini-losing run though Hoddy’s form has also picked up with league wins at Leyton and at home to Sawbridgeworth recently before a fine performance sent Hullbridge packing out of the Errington Cup last weekend in their switched tie at Lowfield. Hoddesdon’s form away from home has been impressive with only two losses thus far and that could be a difference-maker here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Hullbridge Sports  v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Lower Road

Pete: Sports are the best team over the last six games in form having won their last five in a row in the league, although they were thrashed 5-1 at Hoddesdon Town in the Errington Challenge Cup just before the new year, so they will want to get that out of their system.  They welcome a Sawbridgeworth side to Lower Road who have won two of their last three outings so will be a tough one to crack for sure, but I feel the hosts will bounce back from that Lowfield disappointment to start 2019 off on the right foot.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Hullbridge welcome Sawbridgeworth to Lower Road. Darren Manning’s side had a rare ‘off-day’ in their loss at Hoddesdon in the Errington Cup last weekend though league-wise they have won their last five on-the-spin. The Bridge boys have had issues with postponements as well recently so that could impede their desire to find their rhythm to stay among the pace-setters.

Sawbo’s form has improved a touch recently with two losses in their last seven outings. Even so, John Watters’ tenth-placed side do need to improve their away form and this could give Hullbridge a little more impetus as they look to use their matches in hand to close the gap on leaders Stansted, which sits at four points presently.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Redbridge   v   Takeley  | Oakside

Pete: The Motormen have lost their last three in the league and were beaten heavily at Walthamstow last time out in the Errington Challenge Cup, so their form isn’t brilliant.  They do now welcome new boss Micky Wetherall to the club and this will be his first match in charge along with his new signings, most of whom have come in from his old club May & Baker.  How they adapt to new life in a division one step higher remains to be seen, but they couldn’t have picked a tougher side in Takeley to test that out, the visitors are one of the in-form sides in the division right now and will prove a very tough test for Wetherall and co.  Expecting an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

 

Scott: Change is underway at Redbridge with new boss Micky Wetherall taking sole charge for the first time as they welcome Takeley to Oakside. The Motormen’s form continues to stutter as they’ve lost their last four in all competitions. A heavy loss at Walthamstow in midweek once again shows the job Wetherall has got to do, though he’s wasted no time in bringing in players from former club May & Baker to arrest his new side’s worrying league position. I saw them last month in their loss to Sporting Bengal and to be fair, there is courage and spirit in the team though their leaky defence has to be dealt with.

Takeley’s long unbeaten stretch ended at Stansted last time out though they are stronger away from home this season and I would suspect they will have enough to claim the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor  v  St Margaretsbury  | Southchurch Park

Pete: With three league wins in their last four, Manor look in good shape going into the new year.  But they remain in trouble down at the bottom and lost 5-1 to Barkingside’s Reserve side last time out in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy in what was an alarming result for the Southchurch Park side.  St Margaretsbury have also won three of their last four but are in much better shape in the standings compared to their opponents, so you would say the visitors come into this in better frame of mind.  Reckon Dash and Co will get the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Manor welcome St Margs to Southchurch Park. Adam Peek’s side has picked up league-wise with three wins in the their last four matches, the last of those being a home win over Clapton. The ‘fly in the ointment’ though was a bad loss at Barkingside Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. St Margs have only lost twice in their last eight games and crowned their recent run off with a good home win over Woodford last time out. Neither side has many draws to their name this term and I’ll plump for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  West Essex      | Mile End Stadium

Pete: The hosts’ form has dropped off recently after an incredible unbeaten run that lasted for two months, but the possible return of Knight and Carvell will certainly help their cause, and they come up against a West Essex outfit who come into this off the back of two straight defeats, just like the hosts.  I do feel this one may end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: This fascinating tie sees West Essex travel to Mile End for the first of two matches in three days to face Sporting Bengal, who are in the middle of a blip with one win in their last five outings in the league. Imrul Gazi’s side did recover to win well at Harlow Town Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. West have won two of their last five league matches though they are one of the teams that have been much stronger away from home. They did test Walthamstow last time out before succumbing to a narrow loss. This one could be tight as well though Bengal need to find their goal-touch on a more consistent basis. If they do that, they should get the win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 Stanway Rovers  v  Stansted     | Hawthorns

Pete: Terry Spillane welcome an ex-side to his Hawthorns ground as Stansted, the side he won the ESL with several years ago, take on his current squad Stanway Rovers.  The hosts’ form has been rather mixed of late, although they did taste victory in their last league outing, so will draw some confidence from that.  But Stansted are unbeaten in five having won three of those and currently lead the division, so this proves a tough one for the home side.  Stansted win for me.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 4

Scott: Stansted look to keep their revival going at the Hawthorns. Stanway’s recent record on four losses in their last six isn’t super though Terry Spillane’s side are a different beast at home with six wins in their ten matches at the Hawthorns thus far. The Airportmen have beaten Saffron Walden and Takeley of late so will pose potent opposition here. There could be goals in this one too and I reckon Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s side will find it a real battle here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Walthamstow  v  Saffron Walden Town      | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Pete: Big game at Kitchener Road as Walthamstow take on Saffron Walden, both have won two of their last three, and the hosts also had a thumping home win over Redbridge in midweek too. ‘Stow are unbeaten in their last four league games though, but Walden will prove a tough assignment.  This is a hard one to call for me, but I have a feeling Walden might sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: It’s a case of ‘last but hardly least’ with this fascinating match at Wadham Lodge which sees ‘Stow face another goal-hungry side in Saffron Walden. The hosts are unbeaten in five in league and cup, following a big win over Redbridge in midweek in their Errington Cup tie. The Bloods lost a cracker last time out at home to Stansted though are still unbeaten away from Catons Lane. That record will come under threat here in a match ‘Stow perhaps need to win slightly more to push themselves further into the promotion reckoning. Walden are a tough side to beat as well, with only three losses in 21 league matches. Could be goals in this one too as both sides have similar defensive records. Going to go for a entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

You can follow both writers on Twitter, which includes match-day tweets and links to articles. Follow Peter – @ped1980 and Scott – @ScottMHC14

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 14th/Sat 15th Dec) [ESL 13.12.18]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to another of our Preview pieces with Non-League writers Peter Dudley & Scott W, looking at this weekend’s action in the Essex Senior League. What do you reckon to our thoughts on these ties? Thanks for reading.

Friday 14th December

Barkingside v Walthamstow | Cricklefield

Pete: On paper, there can be only one winner here at Cricklefield between winless Barkingside and a Walthamstow side who have just signed Leon McKenzie to join their riches of firepower in their side. Stow’s form of late has been mixed though to say the least although two wins from their last three do suggest they are on the rise once again and they come up against a Barkingside team who have lost their last four and are rock bottom of the division with no confidence at all. Expecting a healthy away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 4

Scott: The weekend’s action gets underway at Cricklefield as Barkingside welcome an inconsistent Walthamstow. ‘Side have had a period out of action which may or may not aid them as they look to close the gap to their rivals at the foot of the table. ‘Stow had the week off last week as well and have strengthened as Peter mentioned. Anything besides ‘Side’s ‘A’-game will likely send them to another loss here, even though ‘Stow still concede a few goal here & there.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Woodford Town v Southend Manor | The Harlow Arena

Pete: Hosts Woodford come into this one having seen their winning run ended at Hullbridge in midweek but they can take great heart from that having played 73 minutes of that game with ten men and could of arguably won that one too. They welcome a Southend Manor side to the Harlow Arena who had won back-to-back matches prior to their narrow home loss to Takeley last time out, so they prove a difficult assignment. But I expect the hosts to get back to winning ways here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: The other match on Friday night sees Manor travel to Harlow to face Woodford in what is a very rare Friday night encounter for them. Woodford are still in good form, despite their winning run coming to a halt at Hullbridge in midweek. They are also among the sides at the top of the goal-scoring charts and although Manor have shown flickers of promise lately, notably conceding less goals, this is still a tough match in prospect for them. Home win for me as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Saturday 15th December

Clapton v Hullbridge Sports | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: League leaders Hullbridge travel to Forest Gate after making it five wins on the bounce in the league with victory over Woodford in midweek, and they take on a Tons side who ended a three game losing run in midweek with a win over Enfield, so they will have been buoyed by that win. However the visitors are a much different prospect and I feel the Bridge Boys will prevail here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Hullbridge take on the Tons at the Old Spotted Dog. The hosts have had a mixed week with a narrow loss at St Margaretsbury last weekend being gazumped by a good home success over Enfield in midweek. Hullbridge recovered from their disheartening FA Vase exit to Newport Pagnell Town last weekend by a hard-fought home win over fellow form side Woodford in midweek. Two wins in their last eight matches shows that Clapton are a tough side to predict, though ‘Bridge have won their last five league matches, the exertions of the last week may make this a tough match. Away win, just.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Leyton Athletic v Hoddesdon Town | Kitchener Road

Pete: The hosts have been playing well of late but not picking up maybe what they feel they deserve, but no wins in their last six games isn’t great form, although they did end a two-game losing streak with a draw last time out at Sporting Bengal United so they will be a threat to a Hoddesdon side who have been rather inconsistent of late, so this one could be tight. Not expecting many goals here so gone for a low scoring draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: This interesting tie in terms of the form book takes place at Kitchener Road. Leyton are showing that they can battle of late and you feel they are going to have to do that on a consistent basis to avoid falling into a relegation scrap. Hoddesdon didn’t have a good weekend last time out though as they fell to a home loss to West Essex. If the visitors play near their best though, I believe they have enough to claim the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Redbridge v Sporting Bengal United | Oakside

Pete: The Motormen’s home form at Oakside is well-documented, having only won once at home in the league all season, which was against bottom side Barkingside. Two straight losses mean the confidence won’t be too high either although they had two straight wins prior to that, which kind of sums up the hosts season so far. Sporting arrive at Oakside having drawn their last two after their long unbeaten run had come to an end in that epic game at Hullbridge a couple of weeks ago now, and they will certainly fancy a win here and I feel they may just do that too.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Sporting Bengal make the short trip along the Central Line to Oakside. The fortunes of these two sides this season compared to last has been fascinating. Redbridge have had a poor week, with a heavy FA Vase loss to Chertsey Town being followed up by a slightly more surprising home league loss to West Essex in midweek. Bengal have had a midweek off after being not making the most of good spells in the draw at home to Leyton Athletic. Bengal haven’t won in three matches now though if they get last week’s frustrations out of their tank, they could overpower the Motormen here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Saffron Walden Town v Stansted | Catons Lane

Pete: Game of the day certainly comes from Catons Lane at the weekend as Saffron Walden take on Stansted in what is 4th against 2nd with the hosts looking to overhaul their local rivals and opponents with a win here. Form would suggest a home win perhaps, with Walden having won their last two, although The Airportmen are unbeaten in three with one of those wins, so it’s going to be tight and one hell of a battle no doubt. The visitors could also go top if Hullbridge slip up, but I feel the hosts may grab the win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Walden welcome the Airportmen to Catons Lane for the first time in an Essex Senior League match in some years. Jason Maher’s side have won four of their last six and also tend to score heavily at home, more often than not. Club stalwart Spike Bell is set for his 400th appearance for the Bloods so congratulations to him, that marker is not often seen. Walden did overwhelm Ilford heavily last weekend while Stansted fought back late on to clinch a draw with Sawbridgeworth then. My gut feeling is defences may not prosper here and that could make for a stonker of a match. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Sawbridgeworth Town v Stanway Rovers | Crofters

Pete: The Robins have slowly started to move up the table after only one defeat in their last six, and they welcome a Stanway side who have lost four of their last five games as their season has taken a bit of a nose-dive. However, the one match they didn’t lose was a home win over Sawbo just over a week ago so this may prove key going into this battle. But I feel the hosts will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: This intriguing tie sees Sawbridgeworth looking to ‘return the favour’ to Rovers after their recent defeat in the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns. John Watters’ side has had a fine week with a good performance in the Stansted derby last weekend before edging a tough encounter with Hamlets only two days later. Four wins in their last eight games shows their upturn in form while Rovers have managed three wins from their last nine though they are in transition. Their away form isn’t good either with one win in ten thus far. Home win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

St Margaretsbury v Enfield | The Recreation Ground

Pete: These two met here in the FA Cup back in August and the hosts managed to win that won after Enfield missed an early penalty. Since those early days in August things have improved for the hosts and not so much for the visitors with the home side having won back-to-back coming into this one whilst Enfield have lost three straight matches as they are right down in the lower reaches of the league. Fancy a similar result to the one in August.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: St Margs welcome the E’s to the Rec. The hosts are definitey picking up with one loss in their last six outings, compounded by a narrow win over Clapton last weekend. The same cannot be said for Enfield unfortunately, as losses this week to Hamlets & Clapton mean they have lost four of their last five matches. Factor in their poor record away from home and the pointers do tend to sway the way of the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Tower Hamlets v Ilford | Mile End Stadium

Pete: Hamlets were on a two-match winning run scoring nine goals until they lost to Sawbridgeworth last time out, but their opponents Ilford are in woeful form right now having lost four straight games so the hosts will certainly fancy their chance of getting back to winning ways here. And I also fancy them to do just that.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Hamlets have somewhat ‘found their feet’ recently results-wise as hey welcome an out-of-form Foxes side who apparently lost forward Yemi Adelani to Waltham Abbey about a week ago. Hamlets won well at Enfield last weekend before losing out at home to Sawbo on Monday night as their discipline debatably affected them again. Ilford have lost their last four matches, the last two of those both being heavy losses to Woodford and Saffron Walden. I have a funny feeling this may be a draw as the visitors have it in them to battle hard, even if the goals have dried up of late.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

West Essex v Takeley | Mayesbrook Park

Pete: Takeley are one of the in-form sides in the division right now and they travel to Mayesbrook Park to take on a West side who have won two in a row so both sides certainly come into this one full of confidence. Could be a tight one here but I reckon the visitors will just sneak this one by the odd goal in three.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Takeley travel to Mayesbrook Park to face a West Essex side who have won their last two at Hoddesdon and Redbridge respectively, without conceding a goal. Marc Das’ side though are ‘riding the crest of a wave’ results-wise of late as they are ten matches unbeaten now. Defensively they have tightened up as well and that could be the difference here against an attack-minded and stubborn Stags side who won this very fixture last season.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Preview: Essex Senior League & FA Vase R3 (Fri 7th/Sat 8th Dec) [ESL 7.12.18]

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello & welcome to this week’s preview at the Essex Senior League action, with Scott and Peter which includes the re-set FA Vase R3 ties which failed to make it due to adverse weather last Saturday.

 

The FA Vase Round Three – Sat 8th Dec

 

Hullbridge Sports  v  Newport Pagnell Town   | Lower Road

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

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The first of the FA Vase ties is at Lower Road as ESL leaders Hullbridge welcome United Counties League side Newport Pagnell Town, who are currently in mid-table in their division. Their visitors pretty much score as many as they concede when it comes to the league side of things though suffered lost at home narrowly to top-six side Oadby Town in midweek. Sports narrowly lost out to Bostik North side Coggeshall Town in midweek. Have to go home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Redbridge   v   Chertsey Town    |  Oakside

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

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

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

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 4

 

Essex Senior League  – Friday 7th December

 

Woodford Town  v  Stanway Rovers   | Harlow Arena

Pete: The hosts are flying right now and will be going for six wins in a row when they welcome Stanway Rovers to The Harlow Arena.  A win for the hosts would see them climb into third and go only two points behind the leaders before the weekend’s fixtures, but they face a Stanway side who beat Sawbridgeworth Town last time out and are a tough nut to crack under Terry Spillane’s stewardship.  Despite this I feel the hosts will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The action this weekend gets underway with in-form Woodford taking on Stanway at the Harlow Arena. Town have had a good week with away wins at Leyton Athletic and Ilford. Stanway lost at Takeley last weekend though recovered to defeat Sawbridgeworth at home in midweek. Dee Safer’s side have won their last five in-a-row and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make that six here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Saturday 8th December

Enfield    v   Tower Hamlets   | Harlow Arena

Peter: Both these sides have won two of their last six although Enfield come into this one after a defeat whilst Hamlets destroyed Clapton at Mile End last time out, so the team’s mindset coming into this one could be different.  Enfield won a recent meeting between these two at Mile End but I feel this one may end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: The Harlow Arena also hosts Enfield’s clash with Hamlets on Saturday. Matt Hanning’s side have been out of action for the last two weeks, mainly due to postponements that are out of their control. Their last two games saw them win at Hamlets in mid-November before being defeated by Woodford in the ‘derby’. Hamlets’ form is up and down as well though a big win over Clapton last weekend means they cannot be taken lightly. Despite going out of the London Senior Cup at Barking in midweek, they may pull off a surprise here. Will plump for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hoddesdon Town  v   West Essex   |  Lowfield

Peter: Hoddy are unbeaten in two games and last time out were on their way to victory until they were pegged back by Walthamstow.  West have lost five of their last six including three straight losses so this immediately points to a home win, and I feel that will be the case here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: An out-of-sorts West Essex travel to Hoddesdon on the back of one win in their last six. In an entertaining match played in difficult conditions, Kwame Kwateng’s side lost out at Sawbridgeworth last weekend. Hoddy are up on a mini-upturn after holding Walthamstow to a draw last weekend though it remains to be seen what impact a heavy loss to Royston Town in the Herts Senior Cup in midweek will have on this match. Both sides tend to concede goals though have to go for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  Ilford   |  Catons Lane

Peter: Walden could go just a point off the top with a win here, and with only one defeat in their last six games they are still in solid form.  Ilford on the other hand are on a three-game losing run although they can cause problems to anyone on their day, but I feel the hosts will have too much in the end.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Foxes have their third league match in a week here at Catons Lane. Martin Haywood’s side gave Stansted a test before ultimately succumbing last weekend in a match I attended. Midweek was rather a different story though as Woodford overpowered them at Cricklefield. The Bloods have already beaten Ilford twice this season in League & Cup. Factor in that Walden had a weekend off last time out & a heavy loss to a strong Billericay Town side in the Essex Senior Cup in midweek and you suspect Jason Maher’s team will want to get back into contention for the ESL title here. I don’t believe it will be an easy match for the hosts though they could well come away with the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 2

 

Southend Manor   v   Takeley   |  Southchurch Park

Peter: Takeley come to the Essex coast in fine form having won five of their last six games and could go joint top with a win here, whilst Manor themselves have won their last two games against the bottom two to give themselves some much needed confidence.  Feel this will be a tough one for Takeley but one they will win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Takeley travel to Southchurch Park to take on a Manor side that are showing signs of recovery with league wins over Barkingside and Leyton Athletic recently. Marc Das’ side are in superb form however, with a victory over Stanway last weekend further cementing the award of ESL ‘Manager of the Month’ for the boss this week. That run has carried Takeley to third spot, only three points adrift of the leaders in Stansted & Hullbridge. Pitch in Manor’s home record so far this term and have to say it’s a away win for me in what could be a battle.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Sporting Bengal Utd   v   Leyton Athletic   | Mile End Stadium

Peter: Sporting come into this one having not won in two league games whilst Leyton haven’t won in their last six games.  These two were supposed to meet last week but the game fell foul of the weather, however despite the visitor’s lowly position in the table this will be a hard game for the home side.  It’s one they will win though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Bengal welcome Leyton to Mile End as they seek to climb back into the top six. Imrul Gazi’s side have had a week off due to two postponements, one of which was ironically the reverse of this fixture. Leyton need to stop a run of ten matches without a win soon while their hosts have only lost three of 17 matches so far this term. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

St Margaretsbury   v   Clapton   |  The Recreation Ground

Peter: The hosts have only lost one of their last six games although they have only one won of their last three, so take that however you want to.  Clapton have lost their last two games and four of their last five, including a thumping at Mile End last Friday night, so are not in the best of form.  Expecting Dash and co to win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: St Margs entertain the Tons in this intriguing contest at the Rec. The hosts have been among those with games called off due to adverse weather of late while Clapton suffered losses at Tower Hamlets last weekend and at home to Walthamstow in midweek. Incredibly, five of their six wins this season have come away from the Old Spotted Dog. Max Mitchell’s side have only lost one of their last seven outings and because of that, I’ll go for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Stansted   v   Sawbridgeworth Town    |  Hargrave Park

Peter: The Airportmen ended a run of three games without a win with a battling win over Ilford last time out to go top on goal difference, and they now face another battle against local rivals Sawbridgeworth Town whose form is mixed to say the least, with three wins, a draw and two defeats in their last six, so hard to know what Robins side turns up.  No doubt a tough one in this fixture but I feel the hosts will edge this one, like they did in the FA Cup earlier in the campaign.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: These two lock horns for another round of their feisty ‘derby’ at Hargrave Park. Both sides won last weekend and the form book somewhat ‘went out the door’ the last time the sides met just ten days ago, that encounter ended in a draw. John Watters’ team fell to defeat at Stanway in midweek though I can see this one being another bruising encounter. Narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Fixtures: Bostik League Premier & North (Sat 1st Dec) [BLP & BLN 30.11.18]

Written by Scott W

Hello and welcome a run-down of the fixtures in Bostik League Premier & North divisions this weekend, subject to the worsening weather having an impact. Hope this list may assist you in giving you a ‘Plan B or C’ if it is needed.

** 3G indicates Artifical pitch

 

Saturday 1st December

Bostik League Premier Division 

Brightlingsea Regent  v  Burgess Hill Town   | North Road

Carshalton Athletic   v   Enfield Town   |  War Memorial Ground

Dorking Wanderers  v  Tonbridge Angels   |  Meadowbank (3G)

Folkestone Invicta   v  Merstham   |  Moatside

Harlow Town  v  Bognor Regis Town    | Harlow Arena  (3G)

Kingstonian  v  Haringey Borough    | King George’s Field

Lewes   v   Leatherhead  |  the Dripping Pan

Potters Bar Town   v   Margate    |  Parkfield

Whitehawk  v  AFC Hornchurch  | Enclosed Ground

Wingate & Finchley  v   Corinthian-Casuals  | Summers Lane

Worthing   v   Bishop’s Stortford    |  Woodside  (3G)

 

Bostik Division North 

Barking   v   Bowers & Pitsea   | Mayesbrook Park  (2pm KO)

Basildon Utd  v  Coggeshall Town   | Gardiners Close

Brentwood Town  v  Felixstowe & Walton Utd   |  Brentwood Arena

Bury Town  v  Dereham Town    |  Ram Meadow

Canvey Island  v  Soham Town Rangers  | Park Lane

Grays Athletic  v  Heybridge Swifts  | Parkside (3G) (2pm KO)

Great Wakering Rovers  v  Tilbury  | Burroughs Park

Maldon & Tiptree v Romford   | Park Drive

Mildenhall Town  v  Aveley  | Recreation Way

Witham Town  v  AFC Sudbury  |  Spa Road

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

FA Vase image

Written by Scott W and Peter D

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

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

Hullbridge Sports  P – P  Newport Pagnell Town   | Lower Road

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

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

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

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Redbridge   P – P  Chertsey Town    |  Oakside

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

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

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

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 4

———————-

Essex Senior League

Friday 30th November

Tower Hamlets  v  Clapton  | Mile End Stadium

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

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

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

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Saturday 1st December

Hoddesdon Town  v  Walthamstow   | Lowfield

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

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

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

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Leyton Athletic   v  Woodford Town   | Wadham Lodge/ Kitchener Road

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

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 3

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

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 4

Sawbridgeworth Town  v   West Essex   | Crofters End

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

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

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

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

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

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

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

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

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Stansted   v   Ilford     |  Hargrave Park

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

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

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

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Takeley   v   Stanway Rovers    | Station Road

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

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

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

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

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