The start of the Essex Senior League is right around the corner. Teams have completed their pre-season and all will feature in the FA Cup during the week before getting underway in the league. How will all the teams do as they play league matches again for the first time since March?
West Essex vs Takeley – Friday 4th September, 7.45pm
The season will kick-off on Friday Night as Takeley travel to Barking to face West Essex. Neither had a stand out season last term but Takeley did pick up some big wins including victory over Walthamstow. The only game in the league that was played between these two clubs ending in a convincing victory for the visitors, winning 5-1. It may not be as easy this time around but I think Takeley will win the first game of the 2020/21 season.
Score prediction – 2-3
Cockfosters vs Hoddesdon Town – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Cockfosters welcome Hoddesdon to Chalk Lane for their first game of the season. Hoddesdon Town weren’t competing at the top of the table but proved hard to beat on occasions whilst it’s Cockfosters second season in the ESL. Both game ended 1-1 last season which was a fair result for both sides of similar quality. I think this will also end in a draw.
Score prediction – 2-2
Enfield vs St Margaretsbury – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Enfield, under their new name, will welcome St Margaretsbury to Woodside. Both clubs were competing towards the bottom of the table with neither having a standout season. The only game in the league last season ended 3-all in the reverse fixture. I think Enfield will win this after strengthening their squad from last year.
Score prediciton – 2-1
Hadley vs Woodford Town – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Hadley impressed last season as they claimed some huge victories. They beat Hashtag United whilst picking up draws with Walthamstow and Saffron Walden. Woodford spent the majority of their time around mid-table. I think this will be a comfortable victory for Hadley as they will certainly be competing for a top-4 place.
Score prediction – 4-0
Hashtag United vs Ilford – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Hashtag United were fighting for their second promotion in two seasons and will look to do the same this year (the expunging of the season means it didn’t exist). Ilford grew into the season and became a tough opposition for even the strongest of teams. It will be a tough game for Ilford as I think Hashtag will win this game.
Score prediction – 3-1
Redbridge vs Saffron Walden Town – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Redbridge will also face a tough game on the opening day as they welcome Saffron Walden to the Oakside. Redbridge were 8th when the season was voided and competing with Hoddesdon and Takeley for a top-6 spot. Walden sat top of the league but had played 3 games more than both Stow and Hashtag, so would have found it tough towards the end of the season. I expect Walden to be competing for the title once again and also expect them to win the first game.
Score prediction – 2-5
Southend Manor vs Sawbridgeworth Town – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Both Manor and Sawbo were fighting at the bottom end of the table last season as they struggled for form. Southend sat in 17th-place whilst Sawbridgeworth sat rock bottom and 14-points adrift of 18th-placed Tower Hamlets (who have since moved on). Both clubs will be hoping for a better season, all-round but I think Manor will claim the first victory as they had beaten Hashtag United on the opening day of last season.
Score prediction – 1-0
Sporting Bengal United vs Walthamstow – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
The only other title-chasers will travel to Mile End as Bengal host Walthamstow on the opening day. This fixture last season ended 2-0 to Walthamstow but the Stags also won 5-0 in the FA Cup at the Lodge. Walthamstow will hope for a strong start and I think they will get that.
Score predicition – 0-2
Stansted vs Clapton – Saturday 5th September, 3pm
Stansted will welcome Clapton to Hargrave Park. Stansted were fighting towards the top end of the table, competing with the likes of Takeley and Hoddesdon Town for a 5th-6th place finish while Clapton were fighting for a mid-table finish. Both will hope for the best start but I think the hosts will get the victory.
Score predicition – 3-0