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

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)

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.

Match Report: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 0 Walthamstow (Wed 3 Apr) [ESL 4.4.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 65

Wednesday 3rd April 2019  – 7.45pm KO

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Walthamstow: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Bengal hold off ‘Stow to obtain record-breaking win

Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

A ‘bonus’ midweek match saw me travel to Mile End to see Sporting Bengal face Walthamstow in what was Sporting’s final home match of the season. Bengal had come into this one in intermitten form at best, while ‘Stow have continued a superb winning run and were still looking to gain ground on the top-two of Hullbridge & Stansted. Bengal fielded Denzel Kobia in goal, with a strong midfield of Ashaan Siddik, Charles Gregory and Steven Carvell, who smashed two cracking free-kicks in their 4 – 3 home loss to Saffron Walden in their previous match. Tanvir Ahmed and teenagers Raul Gazi & Adil Haque were among the substitutes.

‘Stow also named a strong side, with a forward line of ESL Top-scorer Dwade James and Kieran Bishop, with exciting prospect Samrai Gebrai in support. Ollie Fortune and the returning Ryan Ramsay were among their bench. Both sides took a little while to ‘size each other up’ somewhat in the early stages of this contest though Walthamstow arguably had the better half-chances, with talisman Dwade James being denied a one-on-one oppurtunity with home stopper Denzel Kobia by the assistant referee’s flag. Kobia had to also be alert to tip over a Reece Conway free-kick which  arrowed its way into the danger area.

Bengal did respond well as on 18 minutes, playmaker Ashaan Siddik found the ball 20-plus yards out and rifled a drive over the bar. Forward Jay Knight was also predictably causing issues for the well-drilled ‘Stow backline, peeling off to find space ahead of them and after a fine run by full-back Rokib Choudhury down the right, Walthamstow custodian James Bransgrove was ever-aware of the danger to smother the ball ahead of Knight. The Bengal forward also blasted over the bar moments later as ‘Stow uncharacteristically withdrew somewhat in terms of their attacking mindset. You could be forgiven for thinking they were very aware of how significant this match was for them.

It got worse for the visitors eight minutes before the break, as Knight again nipped in, beat his defender and placed his shot well, out of the reach of Bransgrove to break the deadlock.


Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  1 – 0  Walthamstow

I felt at the break that ‘Stow needed to raise their intensity, particularly going forward as although they carried a threat, they couldn’t quite find the final ball needed to pierce a quick Bengal backline. Indeed, it was the hosts who had the first opening after the interval as Knight cut inside well from the left before smashing a low drive from a narrow angle which Bransgrove did well to deny with his legs. To their credit, ‘Stow then had a decent spell and after James had headed wide from midfielder Nicky Symons’ free-kick, the Walthamstow striker spurned a decent chance, skewing a low strike wide of the far post with only Kobia to beat.


On the hour mark, Bransgrove had to make another double-save in a goal-mouth scramble as Bengal knew that they needed a second goal. As we entered the last twenty minutes of the match, an errant back pass by full-back Ross Pope nearly sold Bransgrove short and allowed Knight in though Bransgrove remained composed to gather. Minutes afterward, Bengal talisman Steven Carvell sent in a sweet through ball into the path of Knight though Bransgrove once again came out well to smother.

As the minutes ebbed away, Siddik made a superb lung-busting 50-yard run through the middle into the 18-yard box before Bransgrove gathered at his feet. Bengal did get their reward though in added-time as another telling pass by Carvell found Siddik who slotted home well and realistically end ‘Stow’s promotion hopes.

Full-time: Sporting Bengal Utd  2 – 0  Walthamstow

In terms of stand-out performances, for the hosts, Jay Knight showed his experience with Steven Carvell, Ashaan Siddik and Kamarl Duncan also making important contributions here. For Walthamstow, goalkeeper James Bransgrove did very well to limit the damage, given the one-on-one chances Bengal had. Dwade James and Semrai Gebrai also shone in the ‘Stow forward line.

Finally, it was great to see the reaction of the Bengal management staff & players post-match as they knew they had broken the club’s points record in the league for the second successive season. Credit has to go to boss Imrul Gazi and his team. You also have to say that Walthamstow’s long winning run has been superb and as the club’s Twitter feed mentioned prior to this match, they have had some season this term compared to last.

Sporting Bengal Utd   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

Denzel Kobia (GK), Rokib Choudhury, Joshua Adeji, Corey Cameron, Kamarl Duncan (Capt), Moddu Jammeh, Charles Gregory, Ashaan Siddik, Steven Carvell, Jay Knight, Curtley McIntosh

Goal-scorers: Jay Knight [37′], Ashaan Siddik [90’+3]

Booked: McIntosh   | Subs Not Used: R Gazi, Ahmed, Haque, Tandon

Walthamstow  | Player-Manager: Ryan Maxwell

James Bransgrove (GK), Ross Pope (Jaffa Hussain 87′), Kyan Gulliver, Reece Conway (Capt), Craig Pope, Gus Douglas, Jack Folan, Nick Symons (Tage Kennedy 73′), Dwade James, Kieran Bishop (Ollie Fortune 79′), Semrai Gebrai

Booked: Conway    | Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Ramsay

Referee: Gary Baker

Match Report: Sporting Bengal 2 – 2 West Essex (West won 3 – 4 on Pens in Errington Cup – Wed 20 Feb) (ECC QF 21.2.19)

The Errington Challenge Cup – Quarter-Final

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: 40

2018-19 Season: Match 52

Wednesday 20th February 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

West Essex: Yellow & Black Hooped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Penalties sees West Essex through to Errington Cup Semi-Finals

Players before KO (Image: Scott W)

Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with added photos by Andy Wilkins (Twitter: @wilkins_media)

The third of three midweek matches this week took me to Mile End for this hotly-anticipated Errington Challenge Cup Quarter-Final between top-seven side Sporting Bengal and mid-table West Essex. Sporting named a strong starting XI with Richard Robins in goal, playmaker Ashaan Siddik and front three of Steven Carvell, Mario Embalo and Curtley McIntosh, who scored four goals in a league match only days before. West Essex also showed they meany business with Jack Coker retaining the goalkeeper’s jersey, with a midfield of Samraj Gill, Callum Bloss and Joe Lefley supporting Hakim Medfai and Michael Mignot in attack.

It was the visitors who really got off to a flyer in this contest and broke the deadlock barely a minute in. A ball in from midfielder Callum Bloss was sent up for talismanic forward Michael Mignot to run onto. In doing just that, Mignot outpaced two Bengal defenders before slotting home well, low past Robins. The hosts were somewhat stunned as the Stags continued to have the better of the early knockings of this match, though Robins did well to deny Mignot on two separate occasions. Sporting started to came back into things as centre-back Kamarl Duncan’s header was parried well by West custodian Jack Coker.

Minutes later, Ashaan Siddik played in forward Mario Embalo who fired over the woodwork for the home side. Soon after, an error by visiting centre-back Nick Walk allowed Embalo in on goal though the Sporting forward was unable to keep the ball under control as Coker gathered at his feet before he could get a shot away.

Just shy of the half-hour, a brilliant run down the left flank by energetic midfielder Callum Bloss ended with a fine cross which found Mignot though he poked his effort wide. Kwame Kwateng’s side did get that crucial second goal eight minutes before half-time as Mignot slotted home very well from a narrowing angle.

Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  0 – 2  West Essex

As strong as West were at the start of the first-half, Sporting came out in the second period a different side and pulled a goal back on 53 minutes as a super ball in from the right wing found substitute Reside Coxi-Sebastiao who made no mistake from close range. Bengal continued to show their authority on the game though Coxi-Sebastiao fired over when one-on-one with Coker and centre-back Charles Gregory’s effort was straight at the Stags stopper midway through the second-half.

As we entered the latter stages of the 90, attacking midfielder Steven Carvell’s free-kick was well-parried away from immediate danger by Coker. A flash point came with twenty minutes remaining as West forward Hakim Medfai was dismissed for what was a adjudged to be a dangerous tackle on home skipper Duncan.  This further affected the visitors as there was a degree of tetchiness creeping in to the match.

The hosts did level things up with eight minutes to play as a peach of a cross from Carvell found Coxi-Sebastiao whose first effort rebounded off a post and then bundled it in on the second attempt from point-blank range. Bengal had a chance to win the tie in added-time as as another Carvell delivery found Embalo though the latter headed wide when well-placed. West had a half-chance as well seconds later as substitute Izzy Ogedy-Uzokwe headed back to Bloss who blazed his strike over.

After 90 Mins: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 2 West Essex

So, as the teams couldn’t be separated, the dreaded spot-kick lottery was required. Rokib Choudhury and substitute Codey Cameron netted the first two for Bengal while Callum Bloss and Michael Mignot responded in kind for West to leave it 2 – 2 after the first two kicks each. However, Mario Embalo and Symeon Taylor both missed their respective penalties so that score remained.

Charles Gregory and Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe netted the next spot-kicks to make it 3 – 3 though crucially, Coxi-Sebastiao missed which allowed Nick Walk to strike the winning penalty to see West to the Semi-Finals to face Clapton.

Result: West Essex won 4 – 3 on penalties (2 – 2 after 90 mins)

In summary, both sides showed their strengths at times and it could’ve gone either way though Sporting will be disappointed with their start to the match. West may have been similarly disappointed that they didn’t have the match won by half-time though the attending fans certainly saw an enthralling Cup tie with twists & turns. Thanks to Sporting for their hospitality.


Sporting Bengal   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

Richard Robins (GK), Rokib Choudhury, Tanvir Ahmed, Kamarl Duncan (Capt), Charles Gregory, Joshua Adeji, Bobby Redwood (Reside Coxi-Sebastiao 46’), Ashaan Siddik, Mario Embalo, Steven Carvell, Curtley McIntosh (Codey Cameron 73’)

Goal-scorers: Reside Coxi-Sebastiao [53’ & 82’]

Booked: Duncan, Siddik  | Subs Not Used:  Ngandu, R Gazi

West Essex    | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Sanchez Hardy (Capt), Emanuel Wazola, Nick Walk, Josh French, Sam McNally, Callum Bloss, Samraj Gill (Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 76’), Joe Lefley (Symeon Taylor 76’), Michael Mignot, Hakim Medfai

Goal-scorers: Michael Mignot [1’ & 37’]

Booked: Mignot, Hardy | Sent Off: Medfai | Subs Not Used: Bromfield, Matthews, Woodbridge


Round-up: Essex Senior League & Cups (GBT & ECC) [ESL 17.2.19]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to my regular round-up of Essex Senior League (ESL) action. This week we saw a mixture of League & Cup action though we did see plenty of goals.


Friday 15th February



Tower Hamlets  2 – 1 Ilford   | Mile End Stadium  | Att: 29

The League action got underway on Friday night with Hamlets coming from behind to beat unpredictable Ilford at Mile End. Callum Maltese had put the Foxes ahead, though strikes from Flavio Jumo and Wale Odedoyin turned the game around and sent Hamlets to consecutive league wins to pull further away from the bottom three. Ilf’s third loss in their last seven sees them remain in 11th on goal difference as one of four sides on 35 points after the Saturday action.


Errington Challenge Cup – Quarter-Final


Barkingside  0 – 4  Saffron Walden Town | Cricklefield  | Att: 115

I attended this match, here is my report: 


Saturday 16th February



Enfield  3 – 1 Southend Manor   | Harlow Arena  | Att: 58

An extraordinary game ended up with compounding both the E’s good week and Manor’s current predicament. The E’s took the lead after six minutes through skipper Ben Bradbury. Ernold Haxhiu [49’] made it 2 – 0 to Matt Hanning’s men. The hosts would have feared the worst after being reduced to nine men as Luke Thomas and centre-back Jacob Dixon were both dismissed. Manor couldn’t take full advantage of the situation despite Grant Francis pulling one back for Adam Peek’s side on 69 minutes. Jimmy Cox restored the E’s two-goal cushion though five minutes later and they held firm to extend their unbeaten run to three matches and rise to 13th. Manor’s winless stretch continues as they remain in 18th, six points clear of Barkingside.


Leyton Athletic  2 – 6  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Wadham Lodge Stadium |

Sporting laid siege to the Leyton goal with this big win at Wadham Lodge. Curtley MacIntosh became the first Bengal player to score four goals in a ESL match, backed up by a brace by Reside Coxi-Sebastfao to send Sporting back up to 7th spot. Stanley Green and Okwute Izuchukwu got the Ath strikes though it was fairly scant consolation. Leyton remain in prime danger at the foot of the table though what could also be important is they now have the worst goal difference in the division with -40.


Errington Challenge Cup – Quarter-Final

Hoddesdon Town  2 – 4  Clapton  | Lowfield  | Att: 84

The Tons came back from an early setback to record a fine win at Lowfield. Connor Bolton opened the hosts’ account after two minutes and that lead did hold until the break. After the interval was an entirely different story as three goals in 15 minutes changed the course of the tie. Jacob Kromann’s brace [pen 46’ & 49’] and Bryan Kyungu’s strike on the hour brought that about before Oliver Gnandi brought the home side back into contention at 3 – 2 with 18 minutes left. Clapton roared back and rounded out the scoring through Giovanni Palmer on 75 minutes. Jon Fowell’s side take their place in the last four of the Errington Cup.


Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy: Semi-Finals

Stansted  1 – 0  Walthamstow  | Hargrave Park  | Att: 88

The Airportmen got some measure of payback for their league loss last weekend by edging to the win over Walthamstow to make the Final of the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Callum Ibe got the only goal on 32 minutes and that ended up being enough to defeat a stubborn yet depleted ‘Stow side who could only name a solitary substitute on the bench.


Stanway Rovers  0 – 4  St Margaretsbury  | Hawthorns  |

St Margs stormed to a memorable victory to also take their place in the Gordon Brasted Trophy Final on Easter Monday when they face Stansted. Charncey Dash’s double further endorsed his stand-out campaign to keep tabs on the leading goal-scorers in all competitions. Phil Lowen and the in-form Connor Scully added further gloss to the score-line. Stanway fell to only their second loss in their last five in all competitions.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 26 Jan) [ESL 27.1.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to my final blog piece of this weekend, looking at the action in the Essex Senior League this weekend, which saw 40 goals scored in a hugely entertaining array of matches.

Friday 25th January

Woodford Town  0 – 1  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Harlow Arena | Att: 40

Sporting Bengal grabbed a narrow though nevertheless important win over Woodford. Tanvir Ahmed got the only goal on the stroke of half-time to get their first win in four matches. Woodford saw talented prospect Jaden Thompson-Brissett leave for Brentford’s “B” Team this week, we wish him well. Town have now not won any of their last six matches, they drop to sixth after the Saturday matches. Bengal rise to seventh.

Saturday 26th January

Barkingside  4 – 1  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Cricklefield  | Att: 50

‘Side picked up a hugely important three points to move off the foot of the ESL table. The hosts struck on six minutes through Mario Gjini. Isaac Marfo-Jacobs added a brace [34′ & 64’] while Derek O’Halem also struck on the hour. Sawbo did pull one back though were second-best here, though they remain 10th. Barkingside’s third win in their last six moves them a point clear of Leyton, who drop to bottom.

Clapton  1 – 2  Takeley  | Old Spotted Dog  | Att: 32

The Tons lost out late on to in-form Takeley. The hosts took the lead thanks to Giovanni Palmer. However Takeley responded strongly and levelled through Matt Gill on 57 minutes. Coby Miles’ 85th-minute goal proved to be the winner for Marc Das’ team who are now unbeaten in their last five matches to go back to second spot. The Tons fall to 14th.

Saffron Walden Town Town  7 – 0  Leyton Athletic  | Catons Lane  | Att: 257

The Bloods decimated Ath to send them bottom whilst also strengthening their promotion credentials. Walden were only a single goal ahead at the break, through Charlie Portway’s penalty on 33 minutes. It was a wholly different story in the second period. Dan Trendall made it two a minute into the 2nd half, Portway got his second on 49 minutes to make it 3 – 0. Centre-back Matt Frew got a quick-fire brace [65′ & 73′] to add to the visitors’ pain, which was further engrained through Karolis Atutis’ goal on 83 minutes before Trendall got his second on the 90 to complete the rout. Leyton have now conceded 11 goals in two matches without replay, particularly in the latter 45 minutes of those two matches. They are also winless in 11 matches now while Walden have won four in-a-row now, residing in 4th spot – nine points off leaders Stansted with two games in hand.

Southend Manor  0 – 2 Ilford | Southchurch Park  | Att: 48

Two goals early on assisted the Foxes to a good three points at Southchurch Park. Danny Haigh’s 7th minute goal put Ilf ahead. Collins Atubrah made it two on 12 minutes and that was the catalyst for a solid display which ultimately gave them the win. Manor are winless in their last five games as they remain 17th. Ilf are up to 12th.

Stansted  5 – 0  St Margaretsbury  | Hargrave Park  | Att: 71

The Airportmen extended their unbeaten stretch to ten matches with this powerful victory over St Margs at Hargrave. Callum Ibe continued his stellar season with the opening goal on seven minutes. James Peagram made it two ten minutes later and although the visitors restricted their goal-hungry hosts for some while after that, the latter stages saw Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s side add more polish on the goals front. Ibe got his second on 83 minutes, before Jack Mitchell struck [87′] and Moses Carvalho made it five in second-half added-time. Stansted extend their lead to six points at the summit while St Margs drop to 8th.

Stanway Rovers  2 – 1  Hoddesdon Town  | Hawthorns | Att: 56

Stanway fought back from behind to claim another late win, this time over Hoddy. Scott Hayes put the visitors ahead on 29 minutes. A double dose of Kemp turned the tide though as first, Tyler Kemp levelled [63′] before Scott Kemp’s 90th minute winner which gave Terry Spillane’s side their third win in their last five matches to go 11th. Hoddy stay 9th.

Tower Hamlets  1 – 1  Hullbridge Sports  | Mile End  | Att: 48

Hullbridge were unable to bypass a resilient Hamlets side and had to settle for a point at Mile End. Hamlets’ goal from Wale Odedoyin while Sports’ strike came from the penalty spot which Adebola Sotoyinbo successfully converted. Hamlets ended a four-match losing run here though they remain third-bottom and only six point clear of Barkingside now. Hullbridge drop to third and are seven points adrift of leaders Stansted, with two matches in hand.

Walthamstow  5 – 1  Redbridge  | Wadham Lodge Stadium  | Att: 61

Walthamstow powered to a big win over ten-man Redbridge at Wadham Lodge. Dwade James opened the scoring on 25 minutes from the penalty spot before Correy Davidson made it a two a minute before half-time. Redbridge’s team-talk may have been somewhat undone barely a minute into the second period as Leon McKenzie made it three for the hosts. James got his second of the afternoon with 20 minutes to go before McKenzie got his brace as well in added time. ‘Stow’s 5th win in their last six sees them rise to 5th place. Redbridge remain 16th.

West Essex  5 – 2  Enfield  | Mayesbrook Park   | Att: 36

I attended this hugely entertaining match at Mayesbrook, my report is here:


Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 15 Dec) [ESL 16.12.18]

Written by Scott W  (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to another of round-up articles, looking at this weekend’s weather-affected action in the Essex Senior League on Saturday 15th December.

Friday 14th December

Barkingside  P – P Walthamstow  (due to a frozen pitch)

Woodford Town  P – P  Southend Manor   (due to problems associated with the Harlow Arena)


Saturday 15th December

Clapton  P – P  Hullbridge Sports  (due to a unplayable surface)


Leyton Athletic   0 – 2  Hoddesdon Town | Kitchener Road  | Att: 12

Hoddy emerged with the points from this battle at Kichener Road. Jack Lee gave the visitors the lead after just five minutes and that lead doubled on 28 minutes as Oliver Gnandi struck to consign Ath to another defeat which keeps them second-bottom. Hoddesdon stay in 8th place.


Redbridge  1 – 2  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Oakside  |  Att: 32

I attended this match, and you can find my report here:


Saffron Walden Town  3 – 5  Stansted  | Catons Lane  | Att: 251

Stansted won a pulsating encounter at Catons Lane. The Airportmen hit the ground running quickly as early goals from Callum Ibe [8′] and the returning Connor Hammond [17′] put them in a decent position. The Bloods are known for their own goal-scoring talents and club stalwart Spike Bell pulled a goal back on 20 minutes before an OG on 35 minutes brought the scores level. Ibe got his second of the afternoon two minutes into the second half though that lead barely lasted ten minutes before Lewis Francis smashed home a penalty on 58 minutes. Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s team had the final say though as strikes by Jack Mitchell [65′] and debutant James Peagram [86′] saw the visitors back to the ESL summit.

For more on this match, check out my Non-League colleague Pete Dudley’s report here:


Sawbridgeworth Town  2 – 0  Stanway Rovers  | Crofters | Att: 41

Sawbo struck early in each half to claim the points over a out-of-form Stanway outfit. Recent signing Julien Lloyd broke the deadlock on six minutes before Lewis Deamer [49′]  made it two on his return from a long injury lay-off. John Watters’ side kept going to continue their upturn in form which sees them up to ninth spot now. Stanway’s woes away from home continue as they stay 14th.


St Margaretsbury  1 – 2  Enfield  | The Recreation Ground  | Att: 27

Enfield produced a fine second-half comeback to overcome St Margs at the Rec. Charncey Dash got his name on the score-sheet again on eight minutes and you may have thought this would be another grey day for the E’s. Not so as bang on the hour mark, Dan Chambers levelled things before a rare strike by Matt Thoma with three minutes left sealed all three points and end their three-match winless run and rise three places to 15th. St Margs drop to 10th spot.


Tower Hamlets  A – A llford  | Mile End

The remorseless rain had an impact on this match as it was called off at half-time, with a new date to be determined.


West Essex  2 – 5  Takeley  |  Mayesbrook Park  | Att: 18

Finally for this weekend, Takeley powered past the Stags to win their 9th match in their last ten. The hosts initially took the lead as Izzy Ogedu-Uzokwe struck on ten minutes. This stirred the visitors up and they were level eight minutes later through Mosope Oguntuga and ended the half well ahead thanks to a brace from Jason Todd [25′ & 40′[ with a strike by Alex Martin sandwiched in between with 35 on the watch. Cameron Gray made it 2 – 4 with seven minutes remaining though Todd completed his hat-trick from the spot with two minutes left. Marc Das’ side are now only a point behind leaders Stansted in 3rd, behind Hullbridge on goal difference. West drop to 11th.

For more on this match, you can catch fellow Non-League writer Scott Lanza’s report here:

That’s all from me, for more on all things ESL, check out