Non-league enthusiast, Peter Dudley, takes a look at the weekend’s ESL action
Barking v Takeley
Hosts Barking will look to get back to winning ways after last weeks draw at Hullbridge which saw them lose top spot to Clapton. However, the Blues do have games in hand so will not panic just yet but they do come up against a side who are unbeaten in ten games and boost one of the hottest strikers in the league in Charlie Cole so they will be no easy target that’s for sure. Expecting a belter here and a narrow home win.
Pete’s Prediction 2-1
Barkingside v Burnham Ramblers
The hosts have been in fairly decent nick in 2017 with only one defeat in their last seven games. They take on a side who climbed off the bottom of the table after an important win against Hamlets in midweek so they will look to take this form into the game at Cricklefield having won two of their last three games leading up to this one. Expecting another tight battle but ultimately a home win.
Pete’s Prediction 3-1
Basildon United v Ilford
The Bees will be desperate to find some of their early season form after five defeats from their last eight have seen them fall down the table. They come up against an in-form Foxes outfit who are unbeaten in nine league games and scored an impressive win at FC Romania in midweek, their third win on the trot. It’s hard to look past Ilford in this one and I feel they will make it four wins in a row here.
Pete’s Prediction 0-2
FC Romania v Hullbridge Sports
The host’s form has been mixed it’s fair to say recently and Wednesday’s loss at home to Ilford didn’t do their title or top three aspirations any good at all. They welcome a Hullbridge side to Theobalds Lane who hasn’t won in the league for five games now although they did put seven past Tower Hamlets in the League Challenge Cup and also held Barking to a draw last time out so will certainly put up a fight in Cheshunt. I feel that the hosts will prevail, though.
Pete’s Prediction 2-0
London Bari v Wadham Lodge
Hosts Bari come into this one having lost four of their last six whilst visitors Wadham Lodge are unbeaten in four after a more solid run of form which has seen them concede only six goals in their last six games. The flip side is Lodge have only scored eight times in that same period although Bari have conceded twenty in six so are struggling to keep them out. I fancy an away win by a narrow margin here.
Pete’s Prediction 0-1
Sporting Bengal United v Enfield 1893
These two only have one win between them in their last six games, that went to Sporting but both sides have lost four of their last six as they have struggled for form of late. Both were involved in very entertaining encounters last weekend but ultimately lost by the odd goal, which has been how both sides luck has been going recently. It will be interesting to see how they fare against each other and it’s a hard one to call. Going to plump for a good old score draw at Mile End.
Pete’s Prediction 1-1
Stansted v Tower Hamlets
The Airportman have been solid if not spectacular in recent weeks although one defeat in seven is not to be sniffed at. Tower Hamlets have won two games this year, against the bottom two admittedly, whilst they have lost the others as they struggle to pick up points against the other sides. I feel Hamlets will want to bounce back after defeat to Burnham in midweek and they will put up a fight no doubt, but I feel the hosts will prove too strong in the end.
Pete’s Prediction 3-1
Waltham Forest v Haringey & Waltham
These two are in the bottom three of the form table in the last six games and Forest have lost five out of six in that time scoring only once. For H&W it’s about getting back off the bottom after hitting it in midweek although with no wins in their last seven games this may prove tricky. I do have a feeling they may get something from this game and come away with a well-earned point.
Pete’s Prediction 2-2
Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Round Two
Southend Manor v Redbridge
Hosts Manor are in decent form as they have been for the majority of the season as they look to battle for the title with Clapton and Barking. Redbridge have had a mixed start to 2017 but will prove a threat to the hosts and will draw from the knowledge that they defeated Manor at Oakside at the start of November. For the winners it’s a Quarter Final spot away at Barking so will be tough but I feel Manor will prevail to set up a classic no doubt.
Pete’s Prediction 2-0
Here are the Reserves Division games for Saturday:-
Barkingside v AFC Sudbury
Bishop’s Stortford v Stansted
Heybridge Swifts v Thurrock
Sawbridgeworth Town v Redbridge
Waltham Abbey v Hullbridge Sports