Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 13 Apr) [ESL 11.4.19]

Barkingside v Stanway on Monday night at Cricklefield


Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Preview of the Essex Senior League action this weekend. Issues still need to be settled throughout the division, what are your thoughts on the upcoming ties?

Saturday 13 April

Enfield  v  Clapton   | The Harlow Arena
The E’s entertain Clapton at the Harlow Arena. Matt Hanning’s side have had the last two weeks off with ther last match being a home loss to Barkingside. The Tons meanwhile were held by Hoddesdon at home in their last outing. Both teams will be looking for a win to keep them in contention to finish in the upper part of the bottom half. The E’s have won of their last seven while The Tons are winless in their last five in all competitions. Will have to go for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Ilford  v  Hullbridge Sports  | Cricklefield

Hullbridge head to Cricklefield to face Ilford knowing that a win could ‘seal the dream’ of promotion if rivals Stansted slip up at Redbridge. Ilford are in good nick though as they won against Stanway last weekend and are unbeaten in their last five matches as they seek to stay in the top-half. ‘Bridge won at West Essex last weekend after a battle and one loss in their last ten league matches tells you their consistency levels. Both teams can be ‘slow-starters’ though and tension may also play a part in what could be a battle once again.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Leyton Athletic  v  Takeley  |Wadham Lodge

Leyton face Takeley at Wadham Lodge, facing a simple equation – only a win will be good enough to avoid finishing bottom of the league and therefore most likely face the drop. Ath put in a spirited showing in a narrow loss at Redbridge last weekend, though four straight losses in the league will be hard to overturn. Takeley return to action following a thumping win over Ath’s relegation rivals Barkingside last weekend and they still have an outside chance of finishing fourth if Walden slip up. Four defeats in their last eight matches means Marc Das’ side’s form is a bit patchy though you’d still be surprised if they fell to defeat here. Away win, though I think it will be close.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Redbridge  v  Stansted   | Oakside

The Motormen welcome Stansted to Oakside, with the Airportmen again knowing what they have to do – win. Micky Wetherall’s team won at home to Leyton last weekend and still have a shot at leapfrogging Hoddesdon to get a top-ten finish, which would be some comfort after their position earlier in the campaign. Their home form still isn’t great though and with Stansted coming from behind to win against Woodford last weekend, they know they will be in for a stern examination. Messrs Pittuck & Benterman know their team won;t have an easy afternoon either though I still reckon they will come away with the points in a gritty battle.

Saffron Walden Town  v  Southend Manor  | Catons Lane

Catons Lane is the venue for Saffron Walden’s game with in-form Southend Manor. Walden have had a little break after their disappointing Errington Cup Semi-Final loss at Stansted. Jason Maher’s side need four points from their last two matches to secure fourth spot in their first season back in the ESL. Manor defeated Sporting Bengal last weekend to make it five wins in their last six which gives them a slim chance of not finishing in the bottom five. You still have to back Walden though with their extensive home crowd backing them though.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


St Margaretsbury  v  Sawbridgeworth Town   | The Rec

The Bury face Sawbridgeworth in a match that both sides would want to win. The hosts fell to defeat at Walthamstow last weekend while Sawbo lost at home to Tower Hamlets. Something has to give here as St Margs’ home record isn’t great though nor is Sawbo’s away form. Think we are in for an entertaining draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Stanway Rovers  v  West Essex   | Hawthorns

Finally in the league, Stanway entertain the Stags at the Hawthorns. One win in their last eight games means Rovers could be pulled back into the bottom five. They lost out twice at Cricklefield in the last week, to Ilford last weekend and Barkingside on Monday night. West lost out to leaders Hullbridge but are still in decent form and their hosts will have to close their forwards down well. Kwane Kwateng’s team still have a faint chance of pinching a top-ten finish though need the win here to do it. Will go for a narrow away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Other Fixtures (Sat 13 Apr):

Peter Butcher Trophy Semi-Final: Hoddesdon Town  v  Barkingside Res


Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 6 Apr) [ESL 5.4.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League Preview piece as Scott looks at the first weekend games in the final month of the campaign. Just to advise readers, the last Preview of season will be on Fri 26 April.

Saturday 6th April

Clapton  v  Hoddesdon Town    | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

The Tons host Hoddesdon in a match with two contrasting sides doing battle. Jon Fowell’s side were held at home by Stanway last weekend and then exited the Errington Cup at the Semi-Final stage with a home loss to West Essex. Whereas Hoddesdon also lost at home last weekend to Southend Manor. The Lilywhites need the points to firm up their top-ten position while Clapton are in the chasing pack looking for that top-ten finish. Both teams have been unpredictable in the form stakes of late. Gut instinct says the hosts may edge this one as the management will be looking for a reaction from that midweek defeat.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Ilford  v  Stanway Rovers  | Cricklefield

Stanway travel to Ilford after holding nearby rivals Clapton in Forest Gate last weekend. Ilford defeated bottom side Leyton last weekend & are in good form with one loss in their last six. The Foxes are also in that chasing pack looking to sneak into the top-ten and I’m going for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Redbridge  v  Leyton Athletic   | Oakside

The Motormen entertain Ath at Oakside, as they look to vanquish the memory of a poor home loss to Hamlets last weekend. Leyton are getting to the point where they need wins to overturn the two-point gap to Barkingside after a run of one win in their last ten games following defeat at Ilford last weekend. Messrs Wetherall, Oxby & Hill will really want a better display from the hosts and if it goes well, they could well get the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets  | Crofters

Sawbridgeworth take on Hamlets at Crofters. These two have done battle in all three Cups this year and both are in similar spots in the table, although Hamlets are in the better form. Sawbo lost out at Woodford last weekend which meant they’ve lost seven out of their last eight matches. Hamlets won well at Redbridge last time out though have won two of their last five. Sawbo are a better side at home though hamlets may just have the attacking edge here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Southchurch Park

In-form Manor face Bengal at Southchurch. Adam Peek’s side won well at Hoddesdon last week to cement a run of four wins in their last five matches. Bengal recovered from a narrow home loss to Saffron Walden last weekend to win over Walthamstow in midweek to finally pass 50 points this term. Imrul Gazi’s side know that a win will strengthen their hold on 7th place. Going to go for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Stansted  v  Woodford Town  | Hargrave Park

Woodford are the visitors to Hargrave Park on this year’s designated ‘Kick It Out’ match. The Airportmen battled to a goalless draw with Hullbridge last weekend before hammering Saffron Walden in their Errington Cup Semi-Final in midweek. Woodford won over Sawbo last weekend and have lost one of their last six matches which means they will likely finish 6th.  This is no easy match for the second-placed side though they may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Takeley  v  Barkingside | Station Road

Takeley entertain ‘Side at Station Road. Marc Das’ team were outdone by Walthamstow last weekend and therefore have lost four of their last seven as they will most likely finish 5th. Alex Goldstone’s side got a massive win at Enfield last weekend to leap back off the bottom. If the visitors are going to beat Takeley, this may a point where they can do so. Though you count out Takeley at your peril, given how gritty they are. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Walthamstow  v  St Maragretsbury  |  Wadham Lodge Stadium

‘Stow face the re-jigged St Margs outfit at Wadham Lodge. Walthamstow beat Takeley at home last weekend before losing to Sporting Bengal in midweek, ending a run of eight straight league wins for the high-flyers. St Margs have virtually had to bed in a new team and lost out at home to West Essex last weekend. They will need to play well to avoid a similar fate here. Think we’re looking at a home win but it may not be enough for ‘Stow to have any chance of promotion, if Hullbridge win.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 1

West Essex  v  Hullbridge Sports  | Mayesbrook Park

The Stags entertain leaders Hullbridge in what is another tough away game for Darren Manning’s team. West won big at St Margs last weekend before talisman Michael Mignot got a second straight hat-trick in their good win at Clapton in the Errington Cup Semi-Final in midweek. Hullbridge were held by Stansted last weekend and they will need their ‘A-game’ here to stifle the dynamic Stags forward line and get another huge three points. This could be a really entertaining match, though West will need to defend well.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 29/Sat 30 Mar) [ESL 29.3.19]

Written by Scott W  {Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League Preview piece as Scott looks at the ESL fixtures this weekend.

Friday 29th March

Woodford Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | The Harlow Arena (3G)

The weekend starts with Sawbo travelling to Harlow to face Woodford.
Town lost out last Friday night to Hullbridge though got back on winning form in midweek with an entertaining win at Clapton. Sawbridgeworth lost out to Southend Manor last weekend and sit 16th after a nine-match winless run. Woodford have the form here, with four wins in their last eight matches. Have to go with a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Sat 30th March

Clapton  v  Stanway Rovers    | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

The Tons welcome Rovers to the Old Spotted Dog. Both sides are still in mixed form with Clapton have had three wins in their last six matches, with Stanway having two wins in their last seven games. Jon Fowell’s side lost narrowly at Walthamstow before losing out in a seven-goal thriller at home to Woodford in midweek. Stanway got a win in a closely-fought win over Leyton last weekend. Will plump for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Enfield  v  Barkingside  | The Harlow Arena (3G)

The E’s face ‘Side in Harlow. Matt Hanning’s team got a super win over Stansted last weekend to end a seven-match winless run. Barkingside gave Saffron Walden a battle before ultimately losing out last weekend. One win in their last seven games mean that Alex Goldstone’s side badly need a couple of wins to round out the season to try to leapfrog Leyton at the foot of the table. I reckon this will be a huge battle on the artifical surface. Going for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Hoddesdon Town  v  Southend Manor  | Lowfield

Hoddy welcome Manor to Lowfield. Simon Riddle’s side have had a good week with a win in the derby at St Margaretsbury before getting a creditable draw at Redbridge in midweek. Manor have won three of the last four to pull away from the bottom three after last week’s win over Sawbridgeworth. The Lilywhites are a tough side to beat, and I’ll head for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Ilford   v  Leyton Athletic  | Venue: Cricklefield

Ilford entertain Leyton at Cricklefield. The Foxes won their last league match ten days ago at Sporting Bengal. Then at the weekend, Barkingside Reserves won out on spot-kicks in the Peter Butcher Trophy. Leyton lost at Stanway last weekend before suffering a heavy loss to Walthamstow in the derby in midweek. Leyton have conceded 83 goals thus far this term and will need to be more resolute against a hard-working Ilf side.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Redbridge  v  Tower Hamlets   | Oakside

Hamlets travel to Oakside to face Redbridge. Micky Wetherall’s team lost out at West Essex last weekend before getting a decent draw at home to Hoddesdon in midweek. They have won four of their last eight matches and sit 12th. Hamlets lost out at Takeley last weekend and having last four of the their last six, sit third-bottom. Have to go for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Saffron Walden Town | Mile End

Bengal face Walden in what is an interesting battle at Mile End. One win in their last six for Bengal has hampered their bid for a much-improved record points tally for the club in the ESL and lost last time out at home to Ilford. Walden won at Barkingside last weekend before losing out to Hullbridge in midweek in a match they started well in. Walden are still a very strong side and they are favourites for this one in my mind. The question is ‘How much did Tuesday’s match take out of them?’

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

St Margaretsbury  v West Essex   | The Rec

The Stags travel to The Rec to face the ‘Bury. St Margs began the post-Mitchell era with a loss in the derby with Hoddesdon last weekend. West won well over Redbridge last weekend to get their first win in their last four matches. Kwame Kwateng’s side are one point short of 40 points now. Tough one to predict this, though will head for a narrow away win, given the hosts have had a squad turnover after Mitchell’s departure.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Stansted  v  Hullbridge Sports  | Hargrave Park

The massive match of the weekend takes place at Hargrave Park, as Stansted face leaders Hullbridge. The Airportmen were temporarily grounded by a loss at Enfield last weekend, which ended a run of four straight wins. Hullbridge won at Woodford last weekend before securing a major win over Saffron Walden at Lower Road in midweek. Stansted have only lost three matches at home all campaign while Hullbridge have the best defence so something has gotta’ give here you sense. Factor in centre-back Perry Dunn being out for the last month of the season for Darren Manning’s side and what effect will that have on them?

Bly, are you really asking for a scoreline prediction here? Oh, go on then I’ll stick my neck out. Entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Walthamstow  v  Takeley  |  Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally this weekend, ‘Stow seek to continue their winning run against stubborn opposition in Takeley. Ryan Maxwell’s side backed up a hard-fought win over Clapton last weekend by winning the derby with Leyton convincingly in midweek to make it seven straight wins. Marc Das’ team beat Hamlets last time out but three wins in their last seven isn’t super form really. Hard to go against the hosts and their excellent defensive record, now the second best in the league this term in terms of goals conceded.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 22 Mar/Sat 23 Mar) [ESL 22.3.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Preview piece looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action. Pete has elected to take an extended break from doing these pieces due to the huge number of other commitments on his time, something I fully understand & endorse.

So on that note, this week is a solo piece by Scott. What do you think othis week’s fixtures will bring?

Fri 22 Mar

Woodford Town  v  Hullbridge Sports   | Harlow Arena

Scott:  The action this weekend begins with a very tricky test for Hullbridge as they travel to the Harlow Arena to face Woodford. Woodford have had a break in recent times, though have got three wins in their last six to sit in 6th spot, six points behind Takeley so they are capable of giving Sports a tough evening. Sports have had a poor week, after a loss to Southend Manor last weekend before an under-strength side lost at Brightlingsea Regent in the Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup Semi-Final in midweek. This is a tough one to call (hardly the only one this term) though Sports really need the points to keep up with leaders Stansted. Narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 2  

Sat 23 Mar

Barkingside    v   Saffron Walden Town    |  Cricklefield

Scott:  Barkingside entertain Saffron Walden at Cricklefield as the first of the Saturday ties. Alex Goldstone’s side have had a trying week with a loss to Sporting Bengal in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend before suffering a damaging home loss to Redbridge on Monday night which kept them bottom. The Bloods came from behind to win over Enfield at Catons Lane which put them back up to 3rd, four points behind Hullbridge. Walden will want to finish the season well while ‘Side are starting to run out of games to pick up the points they need to avert the drop. Have to plump for a Walden win here.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 2

Enfield     v    Stansted     | Harlow Arena

Scott: Stansted continue their title push as they face Enfield. The E’s will want to avoid another defensive horror show after their conceding five in their last two league matches. In fairness, that was against Hullbridge and Saffron Walden so the fixture gods haven’t been kind to them in that respect here. Stansted have been grinding out wins of late, with wins at Sporting Bengal and Hoddesdon in their most recent matches. They may find the Harlow Arena 3G pitch more to their liking though the points are the priority for them. Enfield can definitely a pose a threat on their day so it’s another tricky away tie for the Airportmen here. Nevertheless, I’ll head for an away success here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor   v   Sawbridgeworth Town   | Southchurch Park

Scott: Manor welcome Sawbridgeworth to Southchurch. Adam Peek’s side will be looking to finish the season well following a big win over Hullbridge last weekend which left them ten points clear of the bottom two. Sawbridgeworth’s league form has continued to stagnate recently and are winless in their last eight matches. They did hold Walden recently though losses at Leyton Athletic and Clapton in the last week haven’t helped their morale. Both sides could still win this one though, so I’ll go for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

St Margaretsbury   v   Hoddesdon Town             | The Rec

Scott: St Margs face local rivals Hoddesdon, two days after the sudden departure of management team of Max Mitchell and Tony Faulkner to Bostik South Central side Hertford Town on Thursday. Micky Nathan and Tony Wild are in caretaker charge for this one. St Margs lost to Barkingside last weekend which ended their fine run, while Hoddesdon have battled hard in recent matches before falling to narrow defeats against high-flyers Hullbridge and Stansted in the last two weekends. I have a feeling it may be ‘third time lucky’ here for Simon Riddle’s team.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Stanway Rovers     v   Leyton Athletic    | Hawthorns

Scott: Stanway welcome Leyton to the Hawthorns. Rovers have lost their last three matches, with defeat at Walthamstow last time out. Since then, they’ve dropped to 14th spot. Leyton got a massive win over Sawbridgeworth last weekend to leap off the bottom of the standings to end a long run without victory. Stanway have got more wins at home still so it will be hard though Ath will still fancy they can do something here. Draw.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 1

Takeley            v      Tower Hamlets            | Station Road

Scott: Takeley face Hamlets at Station Road. Marc Das’ side had a week off last weekend though lost out at home to Sporting Bengal in their last game. The hosts will still aim for a top-five finish. Hamlets lost out to Aveley Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend, after a home win over Leyton the previous Monday. AJ Ashinike’s side have tightened up defensively in recent weeks so it could be a hard match though I still will plump for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction:  3 – 1

Walthamstow        v   Clapton                    | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Scott: High-flying Walthamstow take on the Tons at Wadham Lodge. ‘Stow have won their last five league games as they seek to ‘gate-crash’ the top two. They won at home to Stanway ten days ago though the Tons have hit form in recent weeks. Three wins in their last four was secured following a midweek win over Sawbridgeworth which sees them in 11th after all the midweek action. Think ‘Stow will continue to rack up the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

West Essex    v    Redbridge       |  Mayesbrook Park

Scott: Finally, the Stags welcome the Motormen at Mayesbrook Park. West are winless in their last three matches and their home form continues to pose them problems – with two wins in 15 home matches thus far. They sit 15th, but are only seven points adrift of Ilford in 10th. Redbridge have hit form though with three wins on-the-reel following big wins at Clapton and Barkingside recently which sees them up to 12th in the table. West have had a week or so off due to their Errington Cup tie at Clapton falling foul of the elements last weekend. Have to go for an away win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3 

Preview: Essex Senior League & Cups (Fri 15/Sat 16 Mar) [ESL 15.3.19]

Written by Scott W

Hello and welcome to this week’s ESL Preview piece, with added action in the Peter Butcher Trophy and Errington Cup this weekend.



Fri 15 Mar

Barkingside  v   Sporting Bengal Utd |  Cricklefield  |

Scott: The weekend’s action gets underway on Friday with the Peter Butcher Trophy taking centre stage. This Quarter-Final sees ‘Side face Bengal with both sides two matches away from the final at AFC Hornchurch’s Bridge Avenue. Barkingside got a huge victory at St Margaretsbury last weekend in league action to aid their battle against relegation. Bengal also got a fine win away from home, at Takeley last weekend to reach 50 league points once again. This could be quite a tie, who wants it more? I’ll go for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2




Cups – Errington Cup Semi-Final
Clapton   v   West Essex     | Old Spotted Dog  |


Scott: The Stags have one of their biggest matches for some time as they travel to Clapton for this Errington Cup Semi-Final. The Tons lost heavily at home to Redbridge last weekend while West were held at Leyton Athletic last time out. Both sides can concede goals so it could come down to who performs better on the day. The Stags are no pushovers with their committed style though I’ll go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Cups – Peter Butcher Quarter-Final


Tower Hamlets      v    Aveley Res   | Mile End  |

Scott: Hamlets welcome an Aveley second-string side that are breezing their way to the to the Reserve Division title. The hosts did fight back well to defeat Leyton on Monday night, following a home loss to Woodford 48 hours earlier. The Millers however have scored 16 goals in their last two league matches so don’t be surprised if they keep that knack up here. Might be a surprise in the offing here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2



Essex Senior League
Hoddesdon Town   v   Stansted   | Venue: Lowfield  |


Scott: Stansted face a tricky trip to Lowfield to face another stubborn side in Hoddesdon. Hoddy gave Hullbridge a tough test before eventually falling to defeat last time out while Stansted powered past strugglers Southend Manor at Hargrave last weekend to keep top spot. Hoddy have the joint-fourth best defence in the league so I believe this match will be a test for the Airportmen and their free-scoring forwards. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2


Hullbridge Sports    v    Southend Manor   | Chadfields (Tilbury FC)   |

Scott: Hullbridge face Manor in what could be another tough game in a match moved to Tilbury’s Chadfields surface, due to Lower Road being ‘out of commission’ because of the weather. Local derbies can knacker the ‘form book’ somewhat as we’ve seen this season, Stand-in boss James Wakeling will remain in ‘caretaker’ charge with boss Manning still banned although both will be ecstatic with a fine comeback win at Enfield in midweek. Manor could still do with points to confirm safety though defensively they will have to be sharp to repel the likes of Hornsley, Scarborough, Wright and new signing Yemi Adelani. ‘Bridge still need to play well though too though anything other than a home win will be considered a ‘slip-up’ by the home faithful.


Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Leyton Athletic    v    Sawbridgeworth Town | Wadham Lodge Stadium  |

Scott:  Leyton entertain Sawbridgeworth in a match both sides could do with winning. Ath need the points to get off the bottom while Sawbo would surely like to finish the season well. Both teams got draws last weekend, Ath at home to West Essex while Sawbridgeworth surprised a few (yes, including us) by playing well in a draw at home to Saffron Walden. Ath lost at Hamlets in midweek as well as new boss Morgan LaForce continues to seek a turnaround in form. I’ll head for a narrow away win, despite Ath finding the net a little more often in recent games.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Saffron Walden Town   v    Enfield    | Catons Lane  |

Scott: Finally in a shortened league fixture list, Enfield face the tough task of heading to Catons Lane to face Saffron Walden. These two faced off only ten days ago though with Walden winning that particular battle though the Bloods haven’t quite been at their best in recent matches which sees them eight points adrift of top spot following that draw at Sawbridgeworth. Enfield’s form has been decent with only two losses in their last seven games though they will need to get the midweek home loss to Hullbridge ‘out of their systems’ pretty quick. Another bit of news is Dan Trendall has left Walden to join St Neots Town recently so we wish him well with that move up. Home win for me here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 9 Mar) [ESL 8.3.19]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League preview with Peter & Scott, looking at this weekend’s ESL action on Saturday 9th March. Pete got the win last week in the prediction to reclaim a decent lead in the standings with the weeks running out until season’s end.

Saturday 9th March

Clapton   v   Redbridge    | Old Spotted Dog |

Pete: The Tons are in fairly good form having won three of their last five, and they have won their last two games at The Old Spotted Dog too and welcome a Redbridge side who lost 6-0 in their last away game although that was sandwiched in between two 4-1 home wins, so inconsistency is the name of the game here.  Gonna go for a narrow home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: This weekend’s full programme starts at the OSD where the Tons welcome goal-laden Redbridge. Jon Fowell’s side are in decent nick of late and are scoring goals, as evidenced by their home triumph over West Essex last weekend. They still have a shot at a top-half finish after three wins in their last five league games. Redbridge put four past Sawbridgeworth last weekend  though need to improve their form away from Oakside if they are continue to rise up the standings. Think this one will be a tough battle and will head for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Hullbridge Sports   v   Hoddesdon Town  | Lower Road

Pete: Sports know if they win their remaining games they will be crowned champions of the division regardless of what anyone else does, but they welcome a tough Hoddesdon Town side to Lower Road and will remember their 5-1 win over their opponents in cup over the festive period, so Hullbridge will need to be aware of their visitors here.  I do feel though that the hosts will win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: Hullbridge take on plucky Hoddesdon at Lower Road. Sports nabbed a last-gasp winner at Sporting Bengal last weekend to keep the promotion race in their hands. They are unbeaten in their last six games though Hoddy powered past ESL Reserve Division side Tiptree Jobserve in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend and cannot be underestimated. They may only have attained two wins in their last seven ESL matches though they can still chase a top-eight finish. As long as ‘Bridge can keep their focus, they could well get the win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Ilford    v   Enfield   | Cricklefield   |

Pete: Both these teams come into this one off the back of home defeats, but both have not been in bad form prior to that, so a good contest should be played out at Cricklefield.  The visitors would leapfrog their opponents with a victory here, and they could go into the top-half too if results go their way.  Ilford could put a four-point gap between themselves and the bottom half with victory themselves, but I have a feeling Enfield will win this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Ilford are at home once again, this time entertaining Enfield. The Foxes ‘got the job done’ last week in the derby with Barkingside and sit 10th at present, though six teams are within five points reach of them before this weekend in a very tight bottom-half of the table. The E’s did well to hold Woodford in a derby of their own at Harlow last weekend though did lose out at home to Saffron Walden in midweek in what was their first loss in seven games. I’ll go for a slight upset here and head for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Leyton Athletic   v   West Essex   | Wadham Lodge Stadium  |

Pete: Every game is a must win now for Leyton and they welcome a West Essex side to Wadham Lodge who haven’t been in the best of form lately, so the second-bottom side could look at this one as a possible three points perhaps.  But West still have a very good squad to chose from and will pose a big threat to the hosts, and I see an away win here to be honest.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: The Stags are the next visitors to Ath at Wadham Lodge. The hosts are still searching for a much sought-after victory though fell to defeat at rivals Southend Manor last weekend. Kwame Kwateng’s side lost at Clapton last weekend though will present a challenge to Leyton’s recently altered side if they are near their best. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Sawbridgeworth Town    v    Saffron Walden Town  | Crofters |

Pete: On paper you’d say there is only one winner here, The Robins are not in the greatest of form lately and have slipped to 15th, whilst Walden are challenging for promotion in third spot currently.  The hosts can take heart from Walden’s 4-0 loss at Takeley last weekend although the visitors did bounce back in midweek to end Enfield’s unbeaten run, and this is a derby match too, so form doesn’t always mean much in these types of games.  But I feel the visitors will have too much firepower for their opponents and will take the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: The Bloods are on the road for the third straight match as they travel to Crofters to face Sawbridgeworth. Sawbo’s form hasn’t been good of late, undoubtedly affected by the loss of forward Joe Wright. Walden recovered from a rare ‘off-day’ at Takeley last weekend to win at Enfield in midweek to keep them in the promotion hunt. If Jason Maher’s side are ‘in the mood’ then there could well be goals here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3


St Margaretsbury   v   Barkingside  | The Rec |

Pete: Barkingside are another side along with Leyton who realistically have to win all their remaining games to have a chance of survival, but they come up against probably the most in-form side in the division in sixth-placed St Margs, and after they began March with a 5-0 success at Stanway Rovers, you would be foolish to bet against them in this one.  Side have been much improved under Alex Goldstone though and will pose a threat, but I feel the hosts will triumph here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: On a list of which sides they’d want to face right about now, in-form St Margaretsbury would not be ‘top of the list’ for ‘Side as they head to the Rec. Max Mitchell’s team have impressed in their five-match undefeated streak – which in turn sees them in 6th spot. By contrast, Barkingside have lost their last four though need to keep up their enterprising forward play from the Cricklefield ‘derby’ last weekend which on chances created, they would have won. That said, I have to go on balance here, which leads me to another home win for ‘Bury.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Stansted   v   Southend Manor  | Hargrave Park |

Pete: Both these sides scored massive victories last time out for differing reasons, hosts Stansted defeat Sporting 2-0 at Mile End to open up a four-point gap at the summit, whilst Manor defeated Leyton 2-0 at Southchurch Park to open up an eleven-point gap to the bottom two and give them breathing space for the run in.  The pressure though will be on Stansted to win this game though, so it all depends how they deal with that, but I believe they have enough to win this game despite this having won under pressure before.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Manor head to Hargrave Park to face leaders Stansted. The Airportmen returned to league duties in midweek with a battling win at Sporting Bengal to extend their cushion at the summit to four points. Manor ended their winless run with what may be a priceless success over rivals Leyton last weekend though will face an altogether tougher proposition here I reckon.  Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Stanway Rovers   v   Walthamstow  | Hawthorns  |

Pete: Rovers come into this one not in the greatest of form, and after losing 5-0 at home last time they welcome another tough opponent in fifth placed Walthamstow, who are looking to sneak up and snatch the title away from the top four.  Stow are certainly getting up a head of steam now and will take no prisoners in their pursuit of glory, and I feel they will be too much for the home side here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Stanway face Walthamstow in another enticing battle at the Hawthorns. Terry Spillane’s side are in the midst of a blip just now following a heavy loss at  home to St Margaretsbury last time out, though have the experience to stifle a ‘Stow side who have lost just one of their last six matches. Ryan Maxwell’s side know that their win at Sawbridgeworth , twinned with results elsewhere last weekend only endorsed their slim promotion chances and that motivation may be enough to get the job done here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Takeley   v   Sporting Bengal Utd  | Station Road  |

Pete: Hosts Takeley laid down a marker in their last home game by hammering local rivals and promotion challengers Saffron Walden last time out, and they welcome to Station Road a Sporting Bengal side who have kind of hit the buffers in 2019 after a wonderful first half of the season.  Bengal did push both Hullbridge and Stansted close in two recent home games, but failed to score and lost both, and I feel it could be a similar story here too as Takeley continues to keep the top three honest.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Scott: Takeley face another interesting test as out-of-form Sporting Bengal visit Station Road. On paper, it looks pretty clear that Marc Das’ side may well get the points to keep them in the top four, especially since they won well over Walden last weekend. In saying that, Imrul Gazi’s side may have lost their last three matches after their home loss to Stansted in midweek, scoring only one goal in that time though their form will resurface at some point you feel. It just may not be here though, I have a feeling the hosts will prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0


Tower Hamlets   v   Woodford Town | Mile End  |
Pete: These two sides have very different styles of football lately, Hamlets seem to be solid and tough and make themselves difficult to beat, whilst Woodford play some delightful attacking football, none more so when they thrashed Redbridge 6-0 at home recently.  But both sides form has been mixed of late so picking a winner could be tricky, but I’ll plump for a narrow away win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: Woodford make the trip to East London to face Hamlets. AJ Ashinike’s team has really tightened up defensively of late, as both Walden & Walthamstow could only record narrow wins against them. Woodford are finding the net better recently though as nine goals in their last two matches demonstrates. They were still held by Enfield last weekend though in an entertaining affair. My gut instinct says Hamlets will need to defend well here to stifle the Towners’ free-scoring forwards. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 2 Mar) [ESL 1.3.19]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League Preview piece as Peter Dudley and Scott W look at the ESL fixtures this weekend (Sat 2 March). Scott caught up in the Predictions stakes after a win last week – coming into the run-in, who will best who this weekend?

Also, catch Peter & Scott fronting the Grassroots Football radio show this week here:


Saturday 2nd March

Clapton v West Essex | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: It’s 14th vs 13th in Forest Gate as The Tons welcome West Essex to their Old Spotted Dog ground, and they won here the last time they played so will look to take that into this one, whilst the visitors lost a tight one against the league leaders at home last time out. Could be tight this one so going for a score draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Tons welcome the Stags to the OSD. Jon Fowell’s side won at home to Barkingside last weekend though remain in the bottom half, while West Essex are among the pack attempting to get into the top ten and narrowly lost out to Stansted last weekend. This has the makings of another tight affair and I’ll plump for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Ilford v Barkingside | Cricklefield ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Cricklefield derby as Ilford ‘host’ Barkingside in a game the visitors must win if they want to keep any realistic hopes of avoiding the drop. The Foxes did lose at home last time out too against an in-form St Margaretsbury side, but form does go out of the window in these games so even though both lost last time out that counts for nothing in this one. I do fancy Ilford to win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Cricklefield ‘derby’ returns and what a time for it as well. Both sides lost out last weekend, Ilf at home to St Margaretsbury and ‘Side at Clapton though bottom team Barkingside arguably need the points more here. The Foxes have been scoring though in recent matches so this could be a factor, even though the ‘form book’ scarcely applies to local derbies. Will go for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Redbridge v Sawbridgeworth Town | Oakside

Pete: It’s been a weird few days for the Motormen, defeating Southend Manor 4-1 last weekend before succumbing 6-0 to a rampant Woodford Town side in midweek, so quite what Redbridge will show up remains to be seen. They take on a Robins side who have been off-the-pace for a few weeks now, so confidence won’t be high in their camp, and I feel the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth travel to Oakside. The Motormen had a mixed week to say the least with a big win over Southend Manor last weekend before a heavy defeat away to Woodford in midweek. They have goals in their side now though as they face one of the poorest defences in out-of-form Sawbo, who haven’t won in four matches. They gave Walthamstow a battle at home last weekend though they need goals at present. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Southend Manor v Leyton Athletic | Southchurch Park

Pete: This is a rather important fixture at the bottom end of the table as third-bottom Manor host second-bottom Athletic with the hosts currently holding an eight-point lead over their opponents, so which way this result goes will certainly change that dramatically one way or the other. Manor have had two draws either side of a disappointing loss at Redbridge lately, whilst Leyton did manage a clean sheet in their last game to gain a point too. I feel though that the hosts may grab a very important win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This is arguably the most important match of the weekend as Manor entertain Leyton. Manor had a disappointing defeat at Redbridge last weekend though did have a promising rearguard action in a scoreless draw with Tower Hamlets on Wednesday. Adam Peek’s side is another team who need goal-power at the moment, as do Leyton, who got a goal-less draw against Enfield last weekend. This could well be a scrap though the hosts may just prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd v Hullbridge Sports | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have dropped to eighth in recent times after a dip in form this calendar year, and Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at home to St Margaretsbury was a poor night all round, so they won’t be chuffed at seeing second-placed Hullbridge roll into town after they recorded a very important win over Takeley last time out. Expecting the Bridge Boys to get the job done here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Bengal seek to recover from a poor midweek loss to St Margaretsbury in midweek as they face high-flyers Hullbridge at Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side did hold Stanway last weekend though face a strong ‘Bridge back-line. Hullbridge won over Takeley last weekend before a comfortable Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup win over Kelvedon Social in midweek. The hosts will have to start well to stay in this one I feel though ‘Bridge as well need to ‘stay on the gas’ or they could slip up. Despite that, it’s hard not to head for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Stanway Rovers v St Margaretsbury | Hawthorns

Pete: This is a repeat of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Semi-Final tie in which the visitors breezed 4-0, but you rarely see the same result twice. However, the visitors have had a brilliant February and will be high on confidence against a Stanway Rovers side who have recently broke into the top ten so have certainly been solid that’s for sure. I still feel the visitors will win this one but maybe not as easily as the semi-final success.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This fascinating clash sees Rovers face in-form St Margs. Max Mitchell’s side won here well in Cup action recently so Terry Spillane’s team will want some measure of revenge to level that out. Rovers were held by Bengal last weekend while St Margs have won at Ilford and Bengal in the last week. Stanway need to cut off the visitors’ supply of goals I feel to get anything out of this one though I also suspect the recent four-match unbeaten run will continue for the ‘Bury. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Takeley v Saffron Walden Town | Station Road

Pete: Big clash at Station Road as 4th takes on 3rd, and you have to say that Takeley are the ones who need the victory the most although the top five are only separated by ten points, so anything can happen down the stretch as they say. Walden could go second if they win and Hullbridge slip up, but even if that does not happen a win for the visitors would still open a five-point gap to their opponents, so this is why it’s important the hosts do not lose this one. Thinking it may end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Another cracker-jack encounter takes place at Station Road. The hosts started well before losing out at Hullbridge last weekend and defeat here may be a big dent in their top-four aspirations. Walden ground out a narrow win at Tower Hamlets last weekend as they look to keep tabs on Stansted & Hullbridge above them in the table. The highest-scoring side in Step 5 in the country in Walden as ever will take some stopping and as such, it’s an away win for me. Could be a real battle though given Takeley’s defensive qualities.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Walthamstow v Tower Hamlets | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Pete: Stow need a win to keep their promotion hopes going, a win for them and slip ups above could see them into fourth and only a point off third place Walden, but they will come up against a hard-working Hamlets side who have picked up some useful results lately as they pull away from that bottom two, now thirteen points clear of it, so they can probably relax with a result here. I feel that the hosts will have too much for them ultimately though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: ‘Stow face Hamlets in what could be a passionate encounter at Wadham Lodge. Hamlets have only conceded one goal in matches this week, against Saffron Walden and Southend Manor respectively so this will give the much-heralded Walthamstow front-line a challenge. ‘Stow did win fairly well at Sawbridgeworth last weekend and if they avoid under-estimating the visitors then they should pick up the points here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Woodford Town v Enfield | Harlow Arena ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Harlow Arena derby as Woodford take on Enfield, and the hosts come into this one after a 6-0 demolition of Redbridge, but the visitors are unbeaten in five and have kept three clean sheets to boot, so they will not be an easy side to break down. The visitors could also break into the top ten with victory too, so this would be a good achievement for them, whilst Woodford would remain in the top six with the points. Think this one could end a draw though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Finally this weekend, it is the Harlow ‘derby’ between co-tenants Woodford and Enfield. Woodford recovered from last weekend’s narrow loss to Hoddesdon with a six-goal hammering of Redbridge on the 3G in midweek. Dee Safer’s team are looking to stay in the top six and face the E’s who are unbeaten in their last five now. My gut feeling says there will be goals in this one and that it will also be a hard-fought encounter. Narrow home win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

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