The state of play in the Senior League

While clubs still await the return of football, having not played since early December, teams will be keen to analyse where they are ahead of a potential return soon. Teams in the Essex Senior League will hope to return to action as soon as possible with the prospect of another null & void decision in the air.

Hashtag United (PPG: 2.58 – 2nd)

Hashtag United find themselves top of the league by 2-points ahead of Stansted. While the Tags have only played 12-games compared to the 15 of the Airportmen, they have done well to ensure they are well ahead of the chasing pack. The season began a 4-0 victory over Ilford at their new home before they won the next 3, beating Hadley, Takeley and Sawbridgeworth Town. The first loss of the season came against title-rivals Walthamstow as they were defeated 2-1 at the Lodge. The defeat was put out of the minds of Hashtag as they embarked on a 7-games unbeaten run with wins against St Margaretsbury, Woodford Town, Cockfosters, Clapton, Hoddesdon Town and Sawbridgeworth and drew against Southend Manor. When the Tags return to action, they will hope to continue on their unbeaten run while also hoping to extend their gap over the competition.

Stansted (PPG: 1.93 – 5th)

Stansted are second behind Hashtag United but have played 3-games more than a lot of their competitors. The Airportmen have enjoyed their season so far as they look to gain promotion to the Isthmian League. The season began with a draw against Clapton as they were held to a 2-2 draw before winning their next three games; Walthamstow, Enfield and Southend Manor were beaten by Stansted. The first loss of the season came against Hadley as they were beaten 3-1 at home before they briefly put that out of their minds with a good win over Saffron Walden. A shock defeat against Sporting Bengal United at home was any unexpected slip-up but Stansted returned to winning ways as they beat St Margaretsbury before embarking on a 3-game unbeaten run, beating Takeley and West Essex and drawing with Cockfosters. 1-0 wins over Southend Manor and Woodford Town after defeats to Hoddesdon Town and West Essex ensured the Airportmen remained 2nd ahead of Walthamstow and a return to action will see Stansted hope they can close to gap on leaders Hashtag and stay ahead of the following clubs.

Walthamstow (PPG: 2.25 – 4th)

Walthamstow would have hoped to be close to the top of the table after 12-games but dropped points have cost them so far this season as they sit 3rd, 4-points off title rivals Hashtag United. The season began with a 3-1 over Sporting Bengal United at Mile End got the season off to a great start before two-losses at home derailed their cause. Stansted and Southend Manor were victorious at the Lodge but that was soon put out of Stow’s mind as they went on a 3-game winning run, beating West Essex, Hashtag United and Woodford Town. Their 3rd defeat of the season came away to Hoddesdon Town as the hosts ran away with a 4-2 win before the Stags embarked on a 5-game winning run as they beat Sawbridgeworth Town, Saffron Walden Town, Sporting Bengal, Redbridge and Enfield. The focus when the season returns will see Walthamstow hope to overtake Stansted into second-place with their 3-games in-hand while also looking to close the gap on Hashtag United in the battle for promotion.

Cockfosters (PPG: 2.36 – 3rd)

At the start of the 2020/21 season, Cockfosters had found themselves top of the ESL but now find themselves 4th. The season couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for Fosters as they won their opening 6-games of the season; Hoddesdon Town, Enfield, Clapton, Sporting Bengal United, West Essex and Takeley were no match for Fosters before a draw against Ilford and Stansted and a loss against Hashtag United slowed their progress. They returned to winning ways against Hoddesdon Town and Sporting Bengal United. Cockfosters sit a point behind Walthamstow with a game in-hand while they only sit 3-points behind Stansted with 4-games in-hand. Upon the return of football, Fosters will hope to continue on their winning run as they look to challenge for the title and promotion in the Essex Senior League.

Saffron Walden Town (PPG: 1.53 – 6th)

Saffron Walden Town were expected to be challenging for the title alongside Hashtag United and Walthamstow, as they did during the 2019/20 season but a slow start to the new campaign have seen see them further down than they expected. sitting 5th after 15-games. Walden were held on the opening day of the season as they drew 2-2 with Redbridge before they were beaten by West Essex in the second game of the season, Their first win of the season came in the 3rd-game as eased past St Margaretsbury before they were held on the road against Ilford. The struggled to get a good run of results under their belts as their form dipped. The Bloods got victories over Clapton and Hoddesdon Town while they drew against Sawbridgeworth Town and Enfield and lost to Stansted, Southend Manor and Walthamstow. The last 4-games before the winter break had seen Saffron Walden pick up form that they weren’t able to build on. They won 3-games on the bounce, they longest run, as they beat Enfield, Woodford Town and Redbridge before drawing with Ilford at home. When the Bloods return, they will hope to remain unbeaten and move up the table.

Hadley (PPG: 2.62 – 1st)

Hadley have played the least amount of games this season due to their run in the cup competitions but still find themselves 6th, 10-points off Hashtag United with 4-games in-hand. The season began with a cruising 4-0 victory over Woodford Town before the Bricks were defeated by Hashtag United in the second game of the season. Hadley returned to winning ways against Takeley and have remained on a winning run since as they gain wins over Stansted, Sporting Bengal United, West Essex, St Margaretsbury and Sawbridgeworth Town. Hadley have plenty of games in-hand over their rivals but still remain in the FA Vase so maybe have further games in-hand when the season resumes. Upon their return, the Bricks will hope to remain unbeaten and rise up the table, hoping to find themselves competing the title.

Hoddesdon Town (PPG: 1.46 – 7th)

Hoddesdon Town have already claimed some big wins this season but find themselves 7th after 13-games. The Lilywhites faced defeat in their opening game as they were beaten by Cockfosters before they won their first game of the season with a 4-3 win over Takeley. Another defeat, this time to West Essex, was soon out of their minds as they went on a 5-game unbeaten run; beating Enfield, Ilford, Woodford Town, Walthamstow while drawing with Clapton. Hoddesdon picked up a win against Sawbridgeworth Town, either side of defeat to Saffron Walden Town and Hashtag United. They beat Stansted at home but faced defeat in their final two-games as they lost to Cockfosters and Enfield by 1-0 margins. The Lilywhites will hope to return to winning-ways upon the return of football and will hope to use their games in-hand to their advantage as they look to finish as high as possible.

West Essex (PPG: 1.41 – 10th)

West Essex have been both dangerous but lacked wins as they find themselves 8th. The attacking threat of West Essex has been highly regarded this season but a dip in form had seen them lose places to team above. They opened the 2020/21 season with a 1-1 draw with Takeley before they won the following two-games, beating Saffron Walden Town and Hoddesdon Town. West faced further defeats to Walthamstow, Cockfosters and Hadley while picking up a huge win against Southend Manor. A 5-1 win over Enfield was not enough to spark a good run of form as they were defeated against Sporting Bengal and Stansted before winning the reserve fixture against the Airportmen and picking up a point against Woodford in an entertaining 3-3 draw. Once football is back, West Essex will hope they can find some form and rise up the table is search of some glory.

Takeley (PPG: 1.45 – 8th)

Takeley sit 9th but were expected to be higher in the table. Struggles throughout the season meant they sit just above the bottom half of the table with teams around them having plenty of games in-hand. Takeley failed to win in their opening 4-games as they drew with West Essex on the opening day before losing to Hoddesdon Town, Hashtag United and Hadley. Their first win of the season came at home to Sawbridgeworth Town in a huge 7-2 win before they faced another defeat, this time to Cockfosters. Neither Clapton or Woodford Town were a match for Takeley as they picked up a further two-wins while a loss to Stansted was soon behind them with a 5-0 over St Margaretsbury and a 7-0 win over Southend Manor. Takeley will hope to return to action and add to their impressive wins before the winter break and they will hope for a better second-half to the season as they hope to finish as high as possible.

Enfield (PPG: 1 – 13th)

After Enfield strengthened their squad in the summer, people expected them to compete higher up the table than they currently sit – 10th. The E’s failed to pick up any wins in the opening month of the season as they drew with St Margaretsbury and lost to Cockfosters, Stansted, Hoddesdon Town and Redbridge. Their first win of the season came at home to Sawbridgeworth Town  before they picked up a good point against Saffron Walden Town. A loss to West Essex was out of their mind with a win against Clapton but that was followed by another defeat as Saffron Walden were victorious as the Prokit Stadium. A win over Ilford and a loss to St Margaretsbury was followed by a win over Hoddesdon Town and a loss to Walthamstow. Enfield will hope not to fall to far behind the team around them who have games in-hand.

Redbridge (PPG: 1.44 – 9th)

Redbridge have only played 9-games of the season but find themselves 11th. The Motormen picked up a good point on the opening day of the season as they drew with Saffron Walden before they faced two-defeats on the spin, losing to Ilford and Sporting Bengal United. The club’s first win of the season came against strugglers Woodford Town before they added to that wins against Enfield, Sawbridgeworth Town and Clapton before a loss ton Walden brought their winning run to an end. That was followed by a defeat to Walthamstow at Wadham Lodge to bring their 2020 to an end. The Motormen will hope to get another winning run going as they look to improve their position, using their games in-hand to move up the table.

Sporting Bengal United (PPG: 1 – 14th)

Sporting Bengal sit level on points with Redbridge having played more games. A loss to Walthamstow on the opening day of the season was behind them as they were held in a stalemate with St Margaretsbury for their first point of the season before their first win was followed soon after as they beat Redbridge at Oakside. Despite a decent start to the new season for Bengal, their faced three defeats on the spin as they were beaten by Cockfosters, Hadley and Southend Manor. A surprise win over Stansted was enough for a brief run of form as they also beat Ilford but a loss to Sawbo quickly ended that. A win against West Essex at Mile End was not enough to reignite a run of wins as they faced a further three defeats on the spin, losing to Woodford Town, Walthamstow and Cockfosters. Bengal will hope they can pick up some wins on their return to action to prevent them falling further down the table.

Southend Manor (PPG: 1.08 – 12th)

Southend Manor had found themselves in the top-4 at the start of the season but soon dropped down as they struggled for results. Despite a loss to Sawbridgeworth Town on the opening day, Manor picked up two wins, beating Woodford Town and Walthamstow before facing defeat to Cockfosters. Losses to Stansted and West Essex, either side of a win over Sporting Bengal United, was followed by wins over Ilford and Saffron Walden Town and a draw against Hashtag United but that was swiftly ended by Takeley in a 7-0 win. Manor had got their revenge on Sawbo in the reverse fixture before they ended the year with a narrow loss to Stansted. Manor will hope they can put results together and continued their rise up the table.

St Margaretsbury (PPG: 1.09 – 11th)

St Margaretsbury find themselves lower in the table than they would hope but a struggle for results have caused their struggle this season. St Mags were held to two stalemates in their opening two-games as they drew with Enfield and Sporting Bengal before they were beaten 5-0 by Saffron Walden Town. A further draw against Clapton was followed by their first win of the season as they were victorious against Woodford Town. The Bury struggled for form as they lost 4 on the spin; losing to Hashtag United, Stansted, Hadley and Takeley but they soon put those losses out of their mind as they won 2 on the bounce with wins against Enfield and Clapton. St Mags will be hoping for a better 2021 as they look to move up the table and hope to build a more positive run of form when football returns.

Sawbridgeworth Town (PPG: 0.8 – 16th)

Sawbridgeworth Town have put a difficult 2019/20 season behind them as they find themselves 4-places off the bottom of the table. Having only picked up 8-points after 25-games last season, the Robins had that many points from the beginning of October. They began the season with a victory over Southend Manor before they were held by Clapton and picked up their second win against Woodford Town. Despite losses to Hashtag United and Takeley, Sawbo picked up a good point against Saffron Walden Town to level their points total of the previous year. They dropped in form as they lost 3-games on the bounce, losing to Enfield, Redbridge and Walthamstow before a brief win over Sporting Bengal was not enough to embark on a strong run of form as they drew with Ilford while facing losses to Hoddesdon Town, Southend Manor, Hashtag United and Hadley. Sawbridgeworth have already done better than last season but will hope they can get another good run under their belts and finish as high as possible upon the return of football.

Ilford (PPG: 0.9 – 15th)

Ilford sit 6th points ahead of both Clapton and Woodford Town but will hope they can rise up the table should football continue. Ilford faced defeat on the opening day of the season as they lost 4-0 to Hashtag United but followed that with their first win of the season as they beat their rivals Redbridge. A draw with Saffron Walden Town didn’t spark an good run of form as the Foxes picked up 1-point in the 4-games that followed with losses to Southend Manor, Sporting Bengal United and Hoddesdon Town and a draw against Cockfosters. Ilford returned to winning ways against Woodford Town before following the result with two-points as they drew with Sawbo and Saffron Walden Town but also faced defeat to Enfield. Ilford should be safe from relegation but will hope to open a gap over the bottom clubs to ensure they are safe.

Woodford Town (PPG: 0.3 – 18th)

Despite a poor start to the season by Woodford Town, they somehow do not sit bottom as they lead Clapton by goal-difference. The Woods faced 10-losses on the bounce as they lost to Hadley, Southend Manor, Sawbridgeworth Town, Redbridge, St Margaretsbury, Walthamstow, Hoddesdon Town, Hashtag United, Takeley and Ilford before they picked up their first points of the season with a win over London-rivals Sporting Bengal United. Woodford faced further defeats to Saffron Walden Town and Stansted before holding West Essex to a draw for an additional point for the tally. Woodford have played 2-games more than Clapton but will hope they can picked up some form and rise up the table to prevent relegation down the pyramid.

Clapton (PPG: 0.36 – 17th)

Clapton search for their first win of the season as they sit below Woodford Town in the table but a matter of goals. The season began with a point against Stansted before they followed that with another point, this time against Sawbridgeworth. An 8-1 loss to Cockfosters was out of their minds as they drew with St Margaretsbury. A loss to Saffron Walden Town was followed by their fourth point of the season as they held Hoddesdon Town but that was followed by a poor run of form as they lost 5 on the spin; losing to Takeley, Redbridge, Hashtag United, Enfield and St Margaretsbury. Clapton will hope to use their games in-hand to their advantage as they look to open a 6-point gap over their rivals Woodford.