Season Review 2019-20: Essex Senior League (Part 2 – Bottom half) [ESL SR 19/20 10.5.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the second of a two-part blog looking back at the Essex Senior League 2019-20 season, as part of my Non-League ‘Season Review’ series.

In this concluding part, I look back at the sides in the bottom half of the division from the dry statistics perspective and my own thoughts on seeing them in action during the campaign, followed by the stats on Top Goal-scorers this season.

For The Top Ten sides in the ESL, add this URL: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2020/05/05/season-review-2019-20-essex-senior-lge-p1/   Thanks for reading.

 

Essex Senior League   (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with most Football at or below Step 3 (Isthmian Premier Division in the local area), the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later.

Beginning the bottom half in 11th are West Essex. The Stags had a season of transition with thirty-one points being gathered in their 24 matches. Their campaign was also blighted by weather-affected postponements though they still struck fifty-one goals (a goals per game average (GpG) of 2.125) and also shelled fifty-one in defence. They won five of their 12 matches away from their Mayesbrook Park home and their strong team ethos spread to their goal-scorers with Michael Mignot (10 league goals), Brad Russell (8) and Hakim Medfai (6) leading the way on that front. It is also notable that they have continued to encourage young talent into the first team this term. I saw them in action defeat Woodford in September, win well at Sawbridgeworth Town and narrowly lose at Cockfosters, the latter two matches both in October. Their attacking pace has continued from last term though I think for most of the season they have been that bit stronger defensively, despite suffering a few heavy losses this term. It may be that their counter-attacking style favours playing away from home, but I believe it is also about longer-term brick-building you feel for the club as they seek to strengthen the youth side of the club to build pathways through to Senior football.

 

In 12th place were Clapton. The Tons had a very strong ‘end’ to the campaign to record thirty-one points also from their 27 matches.  Five of their nine wins this term came in their last eight matches and Julian Charles’ side were nomads, playing at Parkside before finishing the campaign at Southchurch Park. They scored forty goals and conceded 59 in total, though their ten losses from seventeen away matches also impeded them. I saw them twice back in November where they lost at Stansted after a decent start and then gave Saffron Walden Town a test before falling to a loss at home to the Bloods. They struck me as a decent side on-the-pitch though their concentration did let down at times. Deimar Queni led the goal-scoring charts with six league goals so well done Deimar.

In 13th place are Ilford, with Jonny Fowell’s side gaining thirty points from their twenty-eight games. Stats will show that they scored only 31 league goals (a GpG of 1.11) which is the third-lowest in the division this term, though they did concede fifty times at the other end, which on balance is second-best of all the bottom-half sides. Cricklefield was their ‘fortress’ with all league eight wins this season coming from their 15 home games, with only five points coming away from home. Being positive, I have little doubt that Fowell and his strong coaching team will be aiming for a better season next time out. I saw them narrowly best Tower Hamlets at home back in August before giving it their all in a draw with Walthamstow in late January. I found them to be a determined outfit with some talented players who will improve with coaching & experience.

St Margaretsbury ended up in 14th spot with twenty-six points from their 28 games, after a tough end to the season which saw them gain one win in their last ten matches. Tony Wild & Ray Bartlett’s team had issues finding the net, as they scored 36 goals (a GpG of 1.28) whilst shelling forty-eight goals at the other end. Forward Kyle Roberts snared eleven league goals to lessen the threat of being caught in the bottom four. In one of those quirks, I saw them twice against Southend Manor this term. Firstly, in early September where they just edged to a win at home in a real helter-skelter high-scoring battle before Manor returned the favour at Southchurch Park in early January. When I saw them they played quite an open, attacking style and benefitted by having the likes of Ryan Reed on set-pieces too. But in defence, they could be got at, much the same as their rivals in that bottom half. It was announced post-season that Tony Wild has moved across to lead the Youth section next term, with Bartlett taking sole charge of the first team, I’d like to wish both well in their respective roles next season.

A point behind St Mags were Sporting Bengal Utd in 15th, having gathered twenty-five points from their 26 matches, after being deducted three points early on in the campaign. Imrul Gazi’s side have played a attractive style of football for several seasons now, though this term they were that bit more vulnerable defensively, having conceded 62 goals (a GpG of 2.38) this term. Curtley McIntosh led the way in attack with a very respectable twelve league goals, with support from Bobby Redwood who got seven. As mentioned in the previous part of this article, Bengal contributed hugely to a fine match in their draw with Redbridge at Mile End in late September and reminds us that they have a very capable side, even if the consistency isn’t quite there.

Enfield 1893

Into the bottom four now, starting with Enfield in 16th spot. Matt Hanning’s side had twenty-four points on the board from their 26 matches, thanks in part to a decent run of two wins and three draws in their last eight matches. Defensively they conceded sixty-six goals – the second-worst in the division but to their credit, in the last few matches they did tighten up at the back and had the season continued, they may have ended the season in a better position. One plus for them as well was their new home of Woodside (Bishop’s Stortford) and they got some fine results there, winning five of their 14 matches there this season. In 17th spot was Southend Manor who endured a tough season it has to be said. They gained twenty-three points from their 26 matches, with four of their six league wins coming at Southchurch Park. The principal issue for them was scoring goals, as they scored twenty-eight times during the entire season – the lowest in the division (a GpG of 1.07). When I saw them live though, they did have their moments (particularly in the midway point of the season as they held Sawbridgeworth in November and edged to victory of St Margaretsbury in early January) but earlier in the campaign, lapses of concentration & confidence showed in home losses to Redbridge and Cockfosters.

 

Moving into the bottom two, and in 18th place were Tower Hamlets. They were a point adrift of Manor on 22 points from their 27 games played. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Hamlets had one of the youngest squads to play in the division, certainly this season if not going further back into the league’s history. One for the historians that is. On their day, their pace and exuberance was tough to stifle, but on the other end of that scale is that their inexperience cost them, defensively in particular. They shipped sixty-five goals (a GpG of 2.41) and they didn’t win any of their last ten league matches which did put them in the position that they finished, but ran the top-of-the-table sides close which did earn John Jatto’s side respect.  Finally, bottom of the standings were Sawbridgeworth Town who won eight points from their 28 matches. Two league wins all season kind of sets the tone though what really leaps off the page was the unfortunate defensive record, conceding ninety-nine goals this term (a GpG of 3.53). Their league wins came against Cockfosters at home in mid-November and at Sporting Bengal in mid-February. I saw them lose out at home to West Essex in mid-October where they had promising parts of the game but not enough end product.  When I saw next saw them battle hard for a point at Manor at the end of November, there were signs they were tightening up and their attacking promise was evident too. Ultimately though, you’re forced to concede that it was a very harsh campaign for Sawbo and one they can scarcely afford to see again.

 

 

Finally, here’s the Leading Goal-scorers in the Essex Senior League 2019/20

(Source: essexseniorleague.co.uk)

       
    Club/s League Goals Total Goals (All Comps)
1 Dwade James Walthamstow 27 40
2 George Smith Hashtag Utd 19 26
3 Solomon Ofori Hadley 18 25
         
4 Gavin Cockman Saffron Walden Town 16 20
5 Suiabo Balde Tower Hamlets 15 15
6 Lewis Francis Walthamstow/ Saffron Walden Town 13 17
         
=7 Taylor Tombides Redbridge 12 19
  Curtley McIntosh Sporting Bengal Utd 12 16
  Issac Marfo-Jacobs Hoddesdon Town 12 15
         
=10 Kyle Roberts St Margaretsbury/ Hadley 11 15
  Connor Hammond Stansted 11 13
         
=12 Michael Mignot West Essex 10 15
  Manny Hammond Hadley 10 12
  Ned Clarke Cockfosters/ Hadley 10 10
         
=15 Charlie Cole Saffron Walden Town 9 28
  Bryn Thorpe Takeley 9 15
  Alfie Bartram Hadley 9 12
  Hassan Nalbant Redbridge 9 11
  Cameron Ferguson Hadley 9 9
         
         

 

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 15 Feb) [ESL 19/20 16.2.20]

ESL Badge

Written by Scott W 

Hello and a warm welcome to another of my semi-regular round-up pieces looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action, from Friday 14th January & Saturday 15th February.

Friday 14 January

Woodford Town 3 – 0  Stansted  | Harlow Arena [3G]  | Att: 78

Woodford got their second win inside four days as they defeated ten-man Stansted late on at the Harlow Arena. The Airportmen had a setback to contend with when playmaker Ashaan Siddik was sent off with 18 minutes remaining. The Towners soon took advantage as Yemi Adelani opened the scoring on 75 minutes, and got a second six minutes from time to give Joe Gadsdon & Roy Darbo’s team a comfortable lead. Eddy Mombanza made the points safe with a third for the hosts, two minutes from the end to see Woodford go up to 11th in the table. Stansted’s incredible 12-match winning run may be over though they are in 6th spot, level on points with Takeley just above them.

Saturday 15 February    –   Essex Senior

Enfield  2 – 2  Tower Hamlets  | Woodside  | Att: 71

The E’s were pegged back late on by a resilient Hamlets side at Woodside. Things started positively for Matt Hanning’s side as Rob Hodgson put Enfield ahead on 19 minutes. Ben Bradbury doubled that advantage with 52 minutes on the watch with a well-taken finish. Hamlets finished the stronger and halved their deficit thanks to replacement Suaibo Balde’s spot-kick from 12 yards with 15 minutes yet to play. Bishop Lutula then promptly levelled five minutes later to claim a hard-earned point for John Jatto’s side. In reality, the point does neither side much good, with Enfield second-bottom and Hamlets remaining a point above them in third-bottom, having played a game more.

Fellow Non-League writer Matt North was at the match & here is his report: mattnorthfootball.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/match-report-enfield-fc-2-2-tower-hamlets-esl-19-20-15-02-20/

Sporting Bengal Utd  3 – 4  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Mile End  | Att: 35

Sawbridgeworth got a big win at Mile End with victory over Sporting Bengal in what was an extraordinary match. Sawbridgeworth broke the deadlock through loanee Cabham Clarke, who was playing as a forward rather than his usual goalkeeping spot. Fair play Cabham. Bengal did level before half-time through hotshot Curtley McIntosh though the drama hardly ended there. Substitute Adil Haque put Imrul Gazi’s team ahead eight minutes into the second-half. Newcomer Leroy Hlabi equalised again for Sawbo, before Haque smashed in a 30+ yard free-kick to make it 3 – 2 to Bengal. Hlabi got his second to make it level-pegging again before the crucial winner for Town was struck by substitute Kasper Borowicz who reacted first after a penalty was saved by Bengal custodian Ataib Khan.

All in all, Sawbo ended a twelve-match winless run with this morale-boosting triumph whilst Bengal sit in 14th spot, four points above the top three.

 

Matches OFF:
Hadley  P – P  Walthamstow
Hashtag Utd  P – P  Hoddesdon Town
Redbridge  P – P Cockfosters

Takeley  P – P  West Essex

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri 15/Sat 16 Nov) [ESL 19/20 17.11.19]

ESL Badge

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – ESL & Non-League Writer

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up of all seven ESL matches this weekend. Thanks for reading.

 

Essex Senior League

Friday 15th Nov

Woodford Town 1 – 1 Saffron Walden Town | Harlow Arena | Att: 123

Woodford backed up last week’s win at Redbridge with a spirited display against Walden at the Harlow Arena. Anis Mehmeti got the opener for the hosts after twenty minutes and it looked like the Towners were going to consign Saffron Walden to a demoralising defeat. Not so though. Gavin Cockman popped up deep in added time to salvage a point and extended the Bloods unbeaten run to three matches. Woodford rise to ninth as one of four teams on twenty points. Walden lose ground on their rivals and fall to fourth as all of their immediate rivals won this weekend.

Saturday 16th Nov

Enfield  1 – 2   Takeley   | Woodside | Att: 101

Takeley were made to work hard to gain an important win at Enfield. In a match where both goalkeepers excelled, Sam Taylor put the hosts ahead after just four minutes, though that lead lasted all of two minutes before Charncey Dash levelled for the visitors. Mitchell Das’ spot-kick three minutes after the interval ended up being the winner as Marc Das’ team gained a fourth win on-the-bounce to rise up to third, ahead of Walden on goal difference. Enfield remain 14th.

 

Hadley   7 – 0  Ilford  | Brickfield Lane  | Att: 78

Hadley kept up their envied record at home as they smashed Ilford at Brickfield Lane. The damage was surely done in the opening half-hour as Cameron Ferguson’s early brace on 6 and 18 minutes put Jonny Fowell’s side on the back-foot. Sam Edwards made it three for the Bricks six minutes later and the one-sided nature of the match continued after the interval. Solomon Ofori grabbed a double [48’ & 73’] to make it nine league goals* for Hadley this term. Manny Hammond and Sam Lyon also struck late on to make it an incredible 15 goals in Hadley’s last two home games, without conceding. They sit 5th, six points ahead of Cockfosters in 6th after their seventh consecutive league win. Ilf remain third-bottom, nine points above Sawbo.

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  3 – 2  Cockfosters | Crofters | Att: 35

Sawbridgeworth emerged from this battle with Cockfosters with their first league win of the season. Either side of the interval was the crucial time as Myles Passley struck a quick -fire brace [44’ &49’] to really put Ryan Wade’s side up against it. Moyo Jordan-Ajibade backed up a promising start to his time to the club with the third eight minutes later. Wade himself got one back for ‘Fosters with eleven minutes left, though time was running short to force a draw despite substitute George Beattie’s added-time second for the visitors. Sawbo have cut the gap to nearest rivals Clapton to six points. Cockfosters remain sixth though they lose their four-match unbeaten run here.

 

Stansted  6 – 1  Redbridge    | Hargrave Park | Att: 77

The Airportmen had a highlight for their season here as they heavily defeated Redbridge at Hargrave Park. Connor Hammond broke the stalemate with 32 minutes played. Darnel Bromfield made it even-stevens going into the interval, though unfortunately for the visitors, it was not a second half they will recall fondly. Hammond restored Stansted’s lead just two minutes after the break before Ryan Ramsey made it three just shy of the hour mark. A late treble salvo by Sam West [78’], Jack Mitchell [79’] and a Daniel Cheema goal two minutes from time meant Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side made it four straight wins to rise to 11th place. The Motormen have lost four on-the-spin now and stay 15th.

Tower Hamlets  0 – 4  Walthamstow   | Mile End | Att: 48

Walthamstow took advantage of an early sending off for Hamlets to complete a comfortable win at Mile End. Dwade James got the opener for ‘Stow with his 15th league goal* of the season for Ryan Maxwell’s side. Steven Carvell got the second at his old ground, with substitutes Ollie Fortune and Lewis Francis wrapping up the points to elevate ‘Stow to second spot. Hamlets drop to 12th after only their second defeat in five league matches.

(*Source = FA Full-Time ESL site)

West Essex  0 – 3  Hashtag Utd   | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 138

Leaders Hashtag extended their lead at the summit to four points with victory over West at Mayesbrook Park, in front of a healthy crowd of 138. The trio of Harry Honesty, Ross Gleed and George Smith got the goals for Jay Devereux’s side as they overcame the spirited Stags, who ultimately lacked end product as they fell to their fourth straight loss to remain 7th.

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 18/Sat 19 Oct) [ESL 17.10.19]

20191012_161733
Archive: Sawridgeworth 0 – 3 W Essex in ESL last week (Image: Scott W)


Written by Scott W
[Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this weekend’s preview of Essex Senior League action on Saturday 19 October, as nine matches take place this coming weekend.

 

ESL Fixtures  –

Friday 18th October

Woodford Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Harlow Arena [3G]  |

The weekend’s action gets underway once again at the Harlow Arena as Woodford welcome Sawbridgeworth. The Towners were held last Friday night by Clapton after a late OG gave the Tons a point. Ross Weare’s side have got two wins in their last five but are adjusting after a influx of squad changes recently. Sawbridgeworth showed some spirit before going down at home to West Essex at home last weekend which extended their winless run. The results may start coming for Lee Mackman’s side soon though this is still a tough test on paper. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

 

Saturday 19th October

Enfield  v  Southend Manor   | Woodside |

Saturday’s action starts with Manor’s trip to Enfield. The E’s have had a disappointing week, with a long away-day at Harborough Town resulting in their exit from the FA Vase last weekend, followed up by a loss at North Greenford Utd in the Middlesex County Cup in midweek. Southend’s Manor’s form is also mixed of late, with two losses in their last four matches, though new Michael Walther has brought in new players of late so it make time for his new-look squad to gel. Think there will be goals in this one. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Brickfield Lane |

The Bricks look to get their league campaign back on track as they welcome fellow high-flyers Hoddesdon. Hadley suffered a rare home loss to exit the FA Vase as Milton Keynes Robins won last weekend. In the ESL though, they have only conceded one goal in four home matches to date so that tells you something. Hoddesdon were involved in a corker of a match in their loss to Hashtag, having had a two-goal lead thus ultimately fell to a heavy defeat, their first loss since the opening day of the campaign. Therefore, manager Simon Riddle will want a reaction from his side, though piercing the second-best defence in the league will be tough. Narrow home win for the hosts for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Updated: Walthamstow v Redbridge | Wadham Lodge |

The Motormen’s match with ‘Stow has been switched to Wadham Lodge as Oakside is not sufficiently recovered from the week’s weather to host. Redbridge have had their last two league matches postponed, so you have to go back to October 5th for their last league game, a win at Southend Manor. Ryan Maxwell’s Walthamstow side are a different proposition though (with all respect to Manor) as they continued their FA Vase run into Round Two with a good win at Broadfields Utd last weekend,  and won well at St Margaretsbury the midweek before that. ‘Stow have a very stingy defence, the best in the league having only conceded one goal in their six matches so far. Micky Wetherall’s side are strong going forward though can be a tad leaky defensively and ‘Stow will know they need to win their games in hand on the top two. Hard to see anything but an a win for Walthamstow here

 

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  Cockfosters   | Catons Lane  |

Walden return to the league action after a hugely admirable win in their FA Vase Replay with Biggleswade Utd in midweek. They welcome Cockfosters to Catons Lane, looking to continue their unbeaten league run and keep tabs on leaders Hashtag Utd. Cockfosters were in action in midweek after being thwarted by the weather last weekend. The ‘Fosters won on penalties at Ilford to advance to the last four of the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Their away form does not favour them here, with one win in five matches and therefore, have to go with a win for the Bloods here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Stansted  v  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Hargrave Park

The Airportmen welcome Bengal to Hargrave Park, with arguably both sides in need of a win. Paul Pittuck’s & John Watters’ side picked a morale-boosting win in the FA Vase last weekend over Aylesbury Vale Dynamos. Their league form recently though isn’t great as four straight defeats see them third-bottom at present. Bengal have been defeated in their last two home matches, to West Essex and most recently, St Margaretsbury. This could be a highlight match of the weekend. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Takeley  v  Hashtag Utd | Station Road

The ‘big match’ this weekend surely takes place at Station Road as Takeley welcome in-form Hashtag. Marc Das’ side exited the FA Vase last weekend with a narrow loss at Wellingborough Town, after being held by a spirited Southend Manor at home the midweek before. Hashtag are in prime form after a superb comeback win at Hoddesdon last week extended their winning run to eight matches. Goalkeeper Louis Hawes (formerly of Basildon Utd & Great Wakering) has also been added to the squad this week to compete with regular stopper Tim Pitman. The likes of George Smith and Ryan Adams will take some stopping at present and while Takeley are quite capable of producing a brilliant defensive showing, the Tags may well edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Tower Hamlets  v  Clapton | Mile End Stadium

Hamlets welcome the Tons to Mile End. Both sides are finding wins hard to come by, though Hamlets did produce an impressive performance to win well at Southend Manor last weekend. That win was their first in five matches, while the Tons got a point at Woodford last weekend. They are winless in three matches though with both sides being unpredictable, I’m going head for a stalemate here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

West Essex  v  St Margaretsbury  | Mayesbrook Park

Finally for this weekend, the Stags welcome a similarly in-form St Mags side to Mayesbrook. West made it four consecutive league wins with success at Sawbridgeworth last weekend, while Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side win at Sporting Bengal made it one loss in their last six matches. This has the hallmarks of a bruising encounter with technical players in both sides. The crucial factor may be how the visitors’ defence deals with the likes of Taylor and Mignot. Expect this one to a very hard-fought match.

Scott’s Prediction:  2 – 1

That’s your Preview for this week, thanks for reading.

 

Match Report: Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 3 West Essex (Sat 12 Oct – NL Day) [ESL 19/20 12.10.19]

ESL Badge

Essex Senior League

Venue: Crofters

Attendance: TBC

2019 – 20 Season: Match 28

Saturday 12th October 2019 – 3pm KO (Non-League Day)

Sawbridgeworth: Red & Black Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Shorts

W Essex: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

 

 

Stags overcome battling Sawbo at Crofters

Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 3  West Essex

Report & Photos by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

On this year’s “Non-League Day” I made a first visit to Sawbridgeworth Town’s Crofters for their match with West Essex in the Essex Senior League. The contrasts here pre-match were stark – Sawbo were yet to win in their nine matches and were without a point while West had won their last three matches on-the-reel. Conditions did not favour expansive football with the dreary rain playing its part here.

Anyway, as for the teams and Sawbridgeworth were without forward Harry Bushell and midfielder Lamarr Douglas with Brandon Bullman between the sticks, a defence of skipper Ryan Willsmer, Louie Webster, Frankie Oatham and ex-Hullbridge youngster Angus Poole. Leon Lewis led the home side’s attack alongside Myles Passley with the likes of former Ilford winger Lion Docaj on the substitute’s bench. West named a back four of Sanchez Hardy, academy product Sam McNally, skipper Tom MacLeod and Josh French with a front three of Hakim Medfai, Michael Mignot and Symeon Taylor. Callum Bloss and Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe were on the bench for Kwame Kwateng’s team.

It was the visitors who started proceedings brightly, though to be fair to Sawbridgeworth they defended stoutly. Six minutes in, a good through ball by Stags forward Hakim Medfai put Michael Mignot in on goal with only home stopper Brandon Bullman to beat, though the angle was against him and the ‘keeper gathered well. Moments later from Medfai’s corner, West forward Symeon Taylor headed wide as Sawbridgeworth couldn’t find their rhythm in the early stages of this game.

Just past the quarter-hour, Lee Mackman’s side did venture forward though were frustrated in their efforts to seize the initative. The visitors went straight back up the other end where Bullman was called into action again to clear ahead of the onrushing Taylor. West broke the deadlock midway through the half as a rapid counter-attack saw Mignot turn provider as his pass found the buccaneering run of centre-back Josh French who stroked home a calm finish past Bullman.

Sawbridgeworth did create a few half-chances, with winger Moyo Jordan-Ajibade heading wide before the half-hour though it was the visitors who had the majority of the attacking play. Credit to Sawbo centre-backs Frankie Oatham and Angus Poole though as they dealt with the onslaught well, particularly in the air with clearing headers.

Half-Time: Sawbridgeworth  0 – 1  West Essex

You felt there was more drama to come, particularly as the atmosphere got increasingly tetchy towards the end of the first-half. Mignot had the first chance after the interval as he was one-on-one with Bullman though the glovesman denied him on the edge of his area. Minutes later, Sawbo started arguably their strongest period of the match as Poole’s header was gathered by visiting custodian Jack Coker. The Stags continued to create decent attacking moves though couldn’t quite make the most of them.

 

Then on the hour mark, Sawbo forward Myles Passley’s strike was well-blocked by French around the penalty spot area before Passley was frustrated again as another effort was well-denied by fellow centre-back Tom MacLeod. Sawbridgeworth were in the ascendancy at this point, being assisted by central midfielder Evaristo Kitoko and left winger Moyo Jordan-Ajibade, with the latter making a good run before Kitoko’s shot was also closed down by a stubborn visiting backline.

As we approached the latter stages, West were still looking a threat at times with Mignot’s pace and movement once again posing problems for the stretched home defence. On 71 minutes, home ‘keeper Bullman was dismissed for a rash challenge on Taylor which meant the hosts were down to ten and with no substitute stopper on the bench, full-back Louie Webster donned the jersey for the remainder of the contest.

The visitors continued to push forward, sensing the need to put the game away and Mignot was denied well by stand-in ‘keeper Webster with ten minutes left. Taylor’s improvised toe-poke then cannoned off a post before midfielder Joe Lefley’s sweet pass played in Mignot who blasted home despite a good effort from Webster to keep it out. Greg Frederick got a late third for West in added-time after the unfortunate home defence had blocked two previous efforts. The hosts had the final chance as substitute Martell Solarin’s drive was well kept out by an unsighted Coker though it was the visitors who claimed the points.

Full-Time: Sawbridgeworth Town  0 – 3  West Essex

In summary, although they perhaps were not quite at their free-flowing best, West ultimately did enough to claim the points. The slippery surface and unending rain did play its part in that though Forward Mignot was again a thorn in the opposition defence’s side with Josh French also having a good afternoon, as did Symeon Taylor and full-back Sam McNally, who made several good runs forward too,

Sawbridgeworth do have positives to take from this match I feel, even if they didn’t threaten for long periods of the match. As I said earlier, centre-backs Oatham and Poole were a tough barrier to break down while Moyo Jordan-Ajibade was a good outlet on the left flank for the hosts with his pace and crosses. Central midfielder Evaristo Kitoko also looked to get the attacks going for the hosts too with sme neat passing at times.

Finally, I’d like to thank Sawbridgeworth for their hospitality today and wish both sides well for the rest of the season.

Teams

Sawbridgeworth Town  | Manager: Lee Mackman

1. Brandon Bullman (GK), 2.Ryan Willsmer (Capt), 3. Louie Webster, 4 Michael Folkes, 5. Frankie Oatham, 6. Angus Poole, 7. Prince Alozie (17. Lion Docaj 51′), 8. Evaristo Kitoko (16. Martell Solarin 73′), 9. Leon Lewis (14. Tommy Harris 77′), 10.  Myles Passley, 11 Moto Jordan-Ajibade

Booked: Kitoko  | Sent Off: Bullman (GK) | Subs Not Used: B James, McQuillan

West Essex   | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

1. Jack Coker (GK), 3. Sanchez Hardy, 2. Sam McNally, 4 Tom MacLeod (Capt), 14 Josh French, 6. Emanuel Wazola, 8. Greg Frederick, 10. Joe Lefley, 9. Hakim Medfai (11. Callum Bloss 68′), 7. Michael Mignot, 12. Symeon Taylor (20. Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 84′)

Goal-scorers: Josh French [22′], Michael Mignot [83′], Greg Frederick [90’+1]

Booked: Wazola, Hardy, Mignot, Medfai | Subs Not Used: Walk, Woodbridge

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 16/Sat 17 August) [ESL 19/20 15.8.19]

20190807_201148
Still from Hashtag Utd v S Manor on August 7th (Image: Scott W)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to another of my weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. After a frenetic two weeks of ESL & FA Cup matches which involved replays for a few of our sides, the league programme to take centre stage, hot on the heels of the Replays that two of our sides had in midweek.

 

Friday 9th August – 7.45pm KO

 

Woodford Town v West Essex   | the Harlow Arena

The weekend kicks off with Woodford back in action just 48 hours after their battle with White Ensign in the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round Replay which went to extra-time on Wednesday night. They face a West Essex who also went out of the FA Cup this week so both teams may feel they have to ‘get back in the saddle’ with a league triumph. If both sides play near their best, this could be another corker of a match given both teams’ attacking nature. Have to go with my gut instinct which says a narrow West win, purely because they’ve had three more days to recover from their last match than their hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saturday 10th August – 3pm KO

 

Enfield    v   Cockfosters  | Woodside

Our look at the Saturday action begins at Woodside as Enfield welcome Cockfosters. The E’s haven’t had the best week with a loss in their long trip to Fairford Town last weekend in the Cup before getting narrowly beaten by Hoddesdon in midweek, also at home. Their only win in their opening three has come at home though, ten days ago at home to Stansted so there are signs they could make their new home a fortress, which you sense boss Matt Hanning & co will want to do. Cockfosters may be ‘riding high’ after progression in the FA Cup with a win over Eastern Senior League South side Leyton Athletic last weekend, which was followed by a super comeback to draw at home to Ilford in midweek. Player-boss Ryan Wade scored twice in that latter match and I can see this one perhaps being a draw as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Brickfield Lane

The Bricks return to ‘home comforts’ after a good win over ESL side Redbridge in the FA Cup last weekend. Anthony Clark’s team have scored ten goals in their three matches in League & Cup thus far so that is a record they will want to keep adding to at this early stage of the season. Bengal were overpowered by Walthamstow in the Cup last weekend and will seek to avoid a repeat here. Imrul Gazi’s side are not one to under-estimate though in my view they will need to improve defensively to get anything out of this away-day. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Cricklefield

Ilford are at home once again as they welcome the Lilywhites to Cricklefield. Morgan LaForce’s Foxes have had a mixed week at best. Last weekend wasn’t a happy one as they exited the FA Cup with a home loss to Eastern Senior League South side Harwich & Parkeston. That said, their midweek exploits was better as they battled to an entertaining draw at Cockfosters, which was their first points of the campaign. Hoddesdon have had a brighter week with a good win over Brantham Athletic in the FA Cup before a good away performance in the win at Enfield on Wednesday night. If Simon Riddle’s side keep stern in defence then it could be an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Redbridge   v   Hashtag Utd  | Oakside

The Motormen entertain Hashtag Utd at Oakside. Micky Wetherall’s side played their part in their recent two matches, before succumbing to successive defeats at Hadley and Takeley in the FA Cup and league respectively in the past week, despite four goals in those two games. Jay Devereux’s Hashtag outfit will be buoyed after a late five-goal flourish in a hefty win over Tower Hamlets in midweek at Chadfields. This is a tricky one to call as both sides have the firepower to score goals though will narrowly go with ‘the Tags’.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets  | Crofters

Sawbo welcome Hamlets to Crofters. These two sides had many battles last term though since then both have had rather extensive squad changes and their recent results suggest that those changes will take time to settle. Sawbridgeworth went out of the Cup with a home loss to Step 6 side Halstead Town last weekend though did score in that match. Hamlets did triumph in the Cup last weekend with a battling win over Selsey at Mile End though had a chastening end to their match at Hashtag in midweek. Manager Damien Briggs will want to get that out result out of his team’s systems. Instinct says a narrow win for the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Saffron Walden Town  | Station Road

Takeley face Saffron Walden in an early-season belter at Station Road. Marc Das’ side has started the season in a spritely fashion and backed that up in the last week with wins in League & Cup. First, a good victory at Crawley Green in the Cup last weekend was followed by a hard-fought win at Redbridge in the league in midweek. Forward Bryn Thorpe has notched five goals in all competitions already though this match represents arguably their toughest test yet. Walden also progressed in the FA Cup with a narrow win over Baldock Town last weekend and you do sense their forward line will click into goal-scoring touch sooner or later. Takeley powered to a good win in this fixture last season so Jason Maher’s team may have that in their minds too. Draw in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Walthamstow  v  Stansted       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally this weekend, another potential corker awaits as ‘Stow entertain Stansted at Wadham Lodge. Ryan Maxwell’s side have started the season as they mean to go on, in regards to goal-scoring. They progressed in the Cup with a big win over Sporting Bengal last weekend though following that match, it was revealed that promising forward Samrai Gebrai has departed for Step 3 Canvey Island. Stansted had a hiccup last Sunday as they crashed out to Eastern Senior League South side Barkingside in the Cup as they seek to settle following minor squad changes recently. This may be closer than some think though hard to go against another home triumph.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

That’s all for this edition of the ESL preview blogs. Check back on Sunday/Monday  when I’ll have the round-up of what happened in this weekend’s matches of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.

Preview: Essex Senior League Matchday 1 (Sat 3rd Aug) (ESL 19/20 1.8.19)

20190427_171758
Hullbridge won the ESL last term, who will get their hands on the trophy in April? (Image: SW)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to the first of a new season of weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. The opening day sees everyone except Hashtag Utd in action and two of the fancied sides at home. Two of the new clubs in Cockfosters and Hadley are also face their debut in the division with intriguing opposition.  Here are my thoughts on the nine matches this weekend.

Saturday 3rd August – 3pm KO

 

Clapton  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Old Spotted Dog

It’s the beginning of a new era for the management at Clapton as Glen Kendall takes charge for the first competitive match as the Tons welcome the Lilywhites to the Old Spotted Dog. Previous incumbent Jon Fowell did well in his near three-season reign in East London, though this is no easy initiation, given Hoddesdon’s very decent defensive record last term which was the joint fourth-best with Takeley.

Though as they say, the new season is a ‘new book’ to be written and I can see this one being a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Hadley  v  Enfield   |  Brickfield Lane

Hadley enter the ESL fray with a home encounter with Enfield, who finished last term in mid-table. The ‘Bricks’ as they are known, are managed by Anthony Clark and riding high after a 3rd-place finish in their last season in Spartan South Midlands league, prior to their transfer to the ESL. Included in their stats from last term is the small fact that they had the joint-best defence alongside champions Biggleswade.

The first question some may pose is how they will adapt to the rigours of the Essex Senior League and facing an E’s side who will know they have to improve defensively this season will be a good opener. Matt Hanning remains in charge of Enfield though they have moved ground to share at Bishop’s Stortford’s Woodside this season.

I’m hoping to attend this match and it could be a gooden. Have to go with a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Stansted  | Cricklefield

The Foxes start another new campaign with a new management team, led by ex-Leyton Athletic boss Morgan LaForce. His brief you suspect is to match or better last season’s 10th place finish, which constituted a very respectable season on-the-pitch.

They entertain Stansted, a side who have also seen a change in the dugout. Last season’s co-boss Marc Benterman has headed off to Witham Town though that role has been filled pretty much by ex-Sawbridgeworth Town stalwart John Watters. The Airportmen lost out by five points to champions Hullbridge in the league but after being triumphant in both the Gordon Brasted Trophy and Errington Challenge Cup Finals, you trying telling them it wasn’t a really good season!!

Stand-out goalkeeper Charlie Turner may have moved on though most of the squad remains from last season, and they will be aiming for another strong campaign. Away win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Redbridge   v   St Margaretsbury  | Oakside

Meanwhile, Redbridge welcome ‘Bury to Oakside on the opening day. Micky Wetherall’s team will be looking to harness the strong end to last season they had to get their 12th-place finish after their woes in the first half of the campaign. St Margs had their own tough spell last term, though under new boss Jon Fowell, they will hope for another decent campaign. My gut says there might be goals in this one and therefore I’m plumping for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  West Essex  | Catons Lane

In their own opening match of the campaign, much-fancied Saffron Walden face the Stags at Catons Lane. Jason Maher’s side have recruited well over the summer and will want to ‘lay down a marker’ in the opening month of the season you feel.

That said, West won this exact fixture in February and they begin their season with a series of league away matches, due to the pitch issues at landlords Barking , where they play. This match on paper sounds a tough assignment for Kwame Kwateng’s side so early on so in that respect, will head for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Sawbridgeworth Town   v  Woodford Town   | Crofters

At Crofters, Sawbridgeworth begin their new era under former Reserve team boss Lee Mackman, with Woodford Town being the visitors. From what we hear on the grapevine, there have been squad changes at Sawbo and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly they find their rhythm.

Woodford may have lost skipper & centre-back Jack Grosvenor to Walthamstow though the bulk of their promising squad remain and on the back of an impressive 6th place last term, if Dee Safer’s team keep that ‘winning habit’ they could be in for another strong campaign. Away win here for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Southend Manor  v  Sporting Bengal Utd     | Southchurch Park

Sporting Bengal begin their season with a trip to Southchurch Park to face Manor. Another ‘new dawn’ is starting at the Southend-based side though manager Adam Peek will have learned much from a tough campaign last term you suspect.

Imrul Gazi’s side is broadly the same as last season though influential skipper Freddy Tandon moved on during the close season, signing for Eastern Senior League South side Frenford. Their last two campaigns in the league have both broken club records in terms of points gained and this match could be a tough battle to start for both teams. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Cockfosters  | Station Road

Takeley entertain new ESL outfit Cockfosters at Station Road. Forward Reece Barrett has returned to the club, where he will be joined by stalwart goalkeeper Ronnie Yates and midfielder Mitchell Das once again. Cockfosters recruited former St Margaretsbury assistant Tony Faulkner in the summer alongside Ryan Wade and Nick Mountford. The North London side only just kept their Step 5 status in the Spartan South Midlands league last term and we’ll see how long it takes for them to adapt to the ESL.

Home win, in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Walthamstow  v  Tower Hamlets       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally, one of the ESL ‘Title contenders’ in Walthamstow face Tower Hamlets at Wadham Lodge. ‘Stow have added the likes of Ryan Reed and Jamie Bennett to what was on paper at least a strong squad from April. Importantly, prolific forward Dwade James remains their focal point for goals.

By contrast, Tower Hamlets’ squad are in the middle of a rebuild after they saw boss AJ Ashinike depart to join former mentor Allan Fenn at Fisher FC. The Mile End side may take time to settle into the season though here they may well face a ‘Stow side hungry to get off to a strong start. Have to say home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

That’s all for the opening day’s preview. Check back on Sunday when I’ll have the round-up of what happened at the start of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.