TRUE CLAPTON LEGEND ANDRE THOMAS LEAVES TO STEP UP TO BOSTIK LEAGUE

Andre Thomas pictured at Takeley last month

Coach Andre Thomas has left Clapton after landing the assistant manager’s job at Bostik North side Barking.

A hugely popular figure with  players and fans, Andre spent two silverware-laden years with Clapton as coach, assistant manager and also as caretaker manager.

However, he had recently been shunted from assistant manager to first team coach as Jonny Fowell brought in Colin Reid as head coach and Wayne Seal as assistant manager.

Barking have moved quickly to offer Andre a step up a division as well as being restored to assistant manager level.

The Blues announced the news on Saturday night – in the wake of Clapton’s fine home win against high-flying Great Wakering.

Their statement described Andre as “a passionate and dedicated football man who’s a student of the game. He’s willing to learn and progress by developing his skills and obtain new ones in the process.”

He will be number two to manager Justin Gardner, formerly of Aveley and Billericay Town .

More details to follow…

 

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TONS OF TONS AWAY AT THE OLD SPOTTED DOG – MATCH REPORT, VIDEO AND PICTURES

Hackney Wick 1 Clapton 2

785 at the Old Spotted Dog as the Tons win 2-1 ‘away’ at Hackney Wick

Goals from Jeffrey Cobblah and Hassan Nablani sealed three hard-won points for Clapton against Hackney Wick on Saturday.

And the result crowned an emotional day for the massed Clapton Ultras who, joined by Wick fans and a good number of Non League Day visitors, made up the second-highest Step 5 attendance on the day.

With Clapton fans’ boycott of home games ongoing, this was a rare opportunity for the Tons to get out of the alley and back on the Scaffold safe in the knowledge that their club’s current proprietor would not receive any gate receipts from this game.

The weekend also marked the fifth anniversary of the Clapton Ultras who, joined by friends and allies from all across Europe and closer to home, celebrated in characteristic style.

And it was the jubilant scenes and full-throated support that the Ultras and their guests from all around Europe created which saw the Essex Senior League clash make the news, with top-billing in Non League Day round-ups by the BBC and the Guardian to name just two.

The game itself was a well-contested derby despite both sides showing wholesale changes from their last fixtures.

Clapton had two more debutants in young striker Nead Clarke, and the commanding centre-half Gary Simmonds.

Cobblah gave the ‘visitors’ the lead around the half-hour, converting after a wicked bounce deceived Wick ‘keeper Steven French, before Nalbani doubled the advantage from the spot on the hour.

In between the Tons wasted a series of chances, but were clinging on by the end after Jamie Hardwick’s well-taken effort.

Yet it was the crowd that made the headlines, especially in the context of the Ultras’ unwavering boycott.

The official gate of 785 was the largest the Ultras have ever been part of, home or away, and ten times more than the next best ESL attendance that day.

Remarkably it was alsp more than double the total number of people who have attended all six of Clapton’s league games so far this season.

Happily, half of the gate receipts – a whopping £1575 – is being donated by Hackney Wick to Scope. A great and generous gesture.

The result lifts Clapton back into the top 10 ahead of the visit of title-favourites Great Wakering.

The Ultras will have to make the memory last, at least until the trip to Mile End stadium to face Sporting Bengal on 18 October.

Match reports

The match was given prominence on the BBC’s round-up of Non-League Day, giving a quick background on the court battle over the liquidation of the Old Spotted Dog and subsequent boycott.

On the fans, it added: “The Ultras returned… Their presence seemed to galvanise their idols.”

The Guardian also reported on the game, both on their minute-by-minute live match coverage and also in their league and non-league round-up.

The Newham Recorder also gave the game a short write-up and also had 13 top quality match photos.

Blogger Gareth Platt wrote up his experience, admitttjng the ‘standard of football wasn’t as bad as he feared’ and the match experience was ‘brilliant.’

Video and photos

Lots of views of the penalty

Fun

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But none of the other goals yet. Here’s a bit of footage of the teams arriving though…

And there were loads of pictures taken from the stands…

 

Amateur linesman, professional stance #claptonfc

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Reaction

Jerry Jairette and Lanre Vigo posted their thoughts after the game.

CFC News man of the match: Gary Simmonds.

Attendance: 785.

NON-LEAGUE DAY AT THE OLD SPOTTED DOG! HACKNEY WICK VS CLAPTON FC: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Image result for non league day

It’s Non-League Day this weekend, the annual celebration of football lower down the pyramid.

With no football in the Premier League or Championship due to the international break, it means the spotlight turns to non-league football.

This year everything has fallen perfectly into place. Fans have been boycotting home games, but Clapton have been handed an away game. Hurrah!

And as luck would have it, it’s ‘away’ at Hackney Wick FC, who play at the same ground as Clapton.

Confused? We’ll try to explain…

Where and when

The game takes place on Saturday, 7th October 2017 at 3pm.

The venue is the Old Spotted Dog, 212 Upton Lane, Forest Gate, London E7 9NP.

The nearest stations as ever are Plaistow, Forest Gate and Wanstead Park. However, there are some weekend engineering works so check the TFL website.  

If all else fails, it’s a 20-25 minute walk from Stratford station or jump on the 25/86 bus or a taxi at the rank outside.

How much does it cost?

Hackney Wick FC’s admission prices this season are as follows:

£5 adults
£3 students
Free over 60s
Free under 16s

Where does my money go?

For this game, Hackney Wick FC have pledged to donate half of the match takings to the charity Scope. Bravo!  

Hackney Wick are a merger of a club of that name who played in the Middlesex League, and long-time Old Spotted Dog tenants London Bari. They also have a women’s side and eight youth teams.

Do I need to buy a ticket?

No, there are no advance tickets, everyone pays at the turnstiles – in cash, no card! This is non-league football, not the Premier League.

Get there any time from about 2pm. The earlier the better as it should be a big crowd.

Where do I sit or stand?

There is a small seated main stand which fits 100 people only. So if you want a seat, get there early to bagsie one.

Otherwise you can stand anywhere around the ground including grass banks behind both goals.

There is also a covered terrace, recently extended, called the Scaffold. This is the traditional home of the infamous Clapton Ultras.

If you want to join in singing non-stop for 90 minutes, as well as before and after the game, these are the people to seek out and stand alongside.

However, space there is at an absolute premium, so if you are wanting a more chilled experience – a chat with your mates, check your phone, take photos, maybe a bit of a rest from singing, it really is best to stand elsewhere. You’ll get a better view too.

Isn’t there a boycott?

Yes, for Clapton home games.

At the start of the season, supporters group Real Clapton called for action in the wake of the club’s chief executive attempting to liquidate the leaseholding charity that runs the Old Spotted Dog.

With the club’s home for nearly 130 years in peril, RC called on fans to donate to a legal fund to try to stop this happening, That matter is currently awaiting a date in the high court. 

They also asked supporters to take the hard step not to go to home games, as their admission fee would essentially be helping to fund the high court attempt to liquidate the OSD.

This call for a home game boycott was supported by the Clapton Ultras and has meant attendances have fallen by 81%. And that’s not taking into account the club over-stating attendances massively this season.

In reality virtually no one is paying to go into home games now. So until there is an end to the boycott, this is a rare chance to see Clapton play in front of a packed Old Spotted Dog.

Why does the boycott not apply for this?

Because it’s an away game. It’s a simple as that.

Real Clapton have only called for a boycott of home games to avoid funding the legal action. Hackney Wick share the ground but are a different entity.

What about the insurance issue on the Old Spotted Dog?

Real Clapton are also concerned that the Old Spotted Dog may not have public liability insurance given it is currently in the hands of a liquidator.

Clapton FC itself insists that it had already automatically been renewed so there is no problem.

It’s hard for us to prove either way. We are not insurance experts. So we would just advise people to be careful and be aware of any hazards.

Anything else happening?

Image result for clapton ultras food bankYes, the Clapton Ultras will be holding on their regular food bank collections for RAMP, based in nearby Manor Park.

This used to take place inside the ground but the Clapton chief executive banned this a year or so ago.

So you will now find the collecting point outside the Old Spotted Dog pub next door to the ground.

The Ultras have requested tinned food ONLY for this one.

Meanwhile, Hackney Wick say there’ll be various activities, including a crossbar challenge, raffle, penalty shootout and correct score challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXTRAORDINARY SCENES BUT CLAPTON CAN’T DENT TAKELEY’S 100% RECORD

Linesman is held back by Takeley players after a flashpoint with the Clapton bench

Three red cards, two goals and one linesman being restrained – Clapton’s defeat at unbeaten Takeley was certainly packed with incident.

There were debuts for Wilkinson Boateng – our fifth different goalkeeper already this season – and experienced midfielder Lee Flavin as well as a first league start for midfielder Andy Greenslade.

Greenslade and Boateng, along with fellow new recruit Hassan Nalbani, are all former Hackney Wick players seemingly brought to the club by their former manager Chris Davis, who has recently joined Clapton’s ever-expanding coaching set-up.

The most eye-catching team news, however, was that last season’s player of the year, Johnny Ashman, was making his first appearance of the season. Johnny is dual registered between Cheshunt and Clapton but this was the first time he wasn’t needed for the Step 4 side.

A promising first half saw the Tons matching Takeley and Ashman making things tick, slotting back in as if he’d never been away.

Then with virtually the last move of the half, Takeley slung a free-kick to the back post and huge striker Stuart Zanone was lurking unmarked to head home.

As the players trudged off on the whistle, manager Jonny Fowell collared the officials, insisting that the free-kick should never have been awarded in the first.

The goal itself was captured on video below:

In the second half, Fowell was forced to watch from the main stand rather than the dugout apparently after being shown a red card for dissent at some stage.

Takeley sat back and protected their lead in the second half, allowing Clapton to press. Early on a glorious header was pushed just over the bar as the visiting Tons sensed an equaliser.

However, within minutes Takeley swept up the other end on a counter-attack, and a good ball threaded through to Mitchell Das was finished from close range.

Game over, essentially, though it became increasingly tetchy, with Takeley getting five yellow cards of their own. And then it boiled up into the extraordinary moment when a linesman had to be dragged away from an altercation.

In the last minutes Clapton centre-half Dylan Ebengo was sent off after a second yellow card. Our understanding is that subbed-off Aundre Spencer threw a water bottle against the dugout in frustration. Here some people claim the water squirted out and went on to or near to the linesman. Others claim the bottle itself bounced in his direction.

Whichever version is correct, it led to the young lino dashing over and standing eyeball-to-eyeball to Spencer. Several Takeley players stepped in to pull him away.

Spencer was shown the red card, the linesman calmed down and the last few moments ticked down without incident.

Match reports

Just a short report in the Newham Recorder for this one.

Reaction

Clapton FC News spoke to assistant manager Andre Thomas and midfielder Johnny Ashman straight after the game

Manager Jonny Fowell gave his reaction to Jacob Ranson of the Newham Recorder later.

Meanwhile captain Lanre Vigo – stepping in for the injured Jerry Jairette – spoke of his pride.

CFC News man of the match: Johnny Ashman.

Attendance: 145.

CLAPTON BLITZ WADHAM LODGE AWAY – VIDEO, PHOTOS, REACTION

Wadham Lodge 0 Clapton 4

Wadham Lodge vs Clapton FC #nonleague #vscofootball #e17 #claptonfc #claptonultras

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The Tons sauntered to a routine 4-0 away win against a new-look Wadham Lodge in the Errington Cup in torrential conditions up in Walthamstow.

Two first-half goals for Aundre Spencer were followed up with strikes from Hassan Nalbani and Jeffrey Cobblah after the interval.

Debutant Andy Greenslade in midfield caught the eye. Relished the flat, zippy pitch and had a Nathan Cook-style presence

It was the first game the Clapton Ultras had attended (inside the ground at least) for over a month after a run of five straight home games. So it made the fans even noisier and the celebrations even sweeter.

The Tons will play Basildon United at home in the next round. Date to be announced.

Match reports

The brilliant non-league blogger known as ‘the Cold End’ was there and wrote that “Wadham had a decent spell during the second half playing some good football but never really created any clear cut goal scoring opportunities.”

On the bond between Clapton players and Ultras, he added: “it really is something that just can’t be replicated further up the football pyramid. ”

Groundhopper Louis Maughan also wrote of his experience at the game, singling out one player for special praise: “Powerful number 9, Hassan Nalbani, in particular was a constant threat.”

Video and photos

The Cold End also uploaded a highlights package of the game – though only managed to catch two of the four goals due to the distraction of rain and the Ultras.

 

#claptonfc #vscofootball #vscosoccer #nonleague #essexseniorleague

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#claptonfc #nonleague #essexseniorleague #vscofootball #vscosoccer

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Wadham Lodge vs Clapton FC #nonleaguefootball #nonleague #claptonfc

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Wadham Lodge vs Clapton FC #nonleague #vscofootball #claptonfc #e17

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#claptonultras #claptonfc #ultras #claptonaway #groundhopping #thechickenbaltichronicles

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Reaction

After the game, we caught up with ex-Tons coach Ray Bartlett, who had just left Clapton and straight away been offered as job as assistant at Wadham Lodge.

He hadn’t started working with them yet but saw some grounds for optimism. He also went into more detail on his departure from Clapton.

Several other players tweeted their reaction after the game..

 

CFC News man of the match: Andrew Greenslade.

Attendance: 133.

FORMER LONDON BARI MANAGER SWITCHES TO CLAPTON

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Chris Davis, back row far right, with his London Bari side before the club merged with Hackney Wick

Former London Bari and Hackney Wick manager Chris Davis is returning to the Old Spotted Dog, it is understood.

The Newham Recorder was first to report that Davis will become part of the coaching set-up at Clapton, a month after departing Hackney Wick.

He spent over three years in charge of London Bari before they merged with Wick, where he lasted just three games before departing by mutual consent.

The news comes in the wake of Tons’ first team coach Ray Bartlett quitting though it’s not clear what role Davis will take up.

One source confirmed to CFC News that Davis had joined but believes that he may be working with the academy set-up.

The Tons’ management and coaching team already includes manager Jonny Fowell, assistant manager Andre Thomas and head coach Colin Reid.

Fowell declined to confirm or deny Davis’ appointment but told Clapton FC News that an official announcement will be made on the club website next week.

The news about Davis, who has a UEFA B coaching licence, was revealed in this week’s Newham Recorder East London Football Podcast.

Sports editor Matt Withers said: “In non-league circles the only thing that caught my attention is Chris Davis, who left Hackney Wick, former manager at London Bari, is now back at the Old Spotted Dog. Is he coaching for Clapton?”

Football reporter George Sessions replied: “Apparently so. There seems a lot of comings and goings at Clapton at the moment…”

“There’s not many fans going!” quipped Withers.

Sessions added: “Yes, of course. Jon Fowell brought in another coach. He already had Andre Thomas and Ray Bartlett. Obviously Ray has left.

“You now have four coaches at Clapton. The thing is, only two people are allowed to stand in the technical area anyway. So you’ve got a lot of chefs at Clapton

“Chris is a lovely guy and good coach because of what he did at London Bari. He was doing a lot better at Hackney Wick than the current guy. So I’m pleased to see him back involved.”

Last week CFC News exclusively revealed Bartlett had quit after two years at Clapton, intending to take a break from football.

However, he was immediately tempted by the challenge of becoming Essex Senior League basement club Wadham Lodge’s assistant manager.

Watch our Facebook Live interview with Bartlett after the two clubs met in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy on Wednesday night, the Tons running out 4-0 winners.

FANS’ FAVOURITE KRISTIAN HAIGHTON REVEALS WHY HE’S LEFT CLAPTON

Fans’ favourite Kristian Haighton announced this week that he was leaving Clapton after two seasons.

The utility man posted a Twitter message about the ‘hard decision’ he’d made while praising some ‘great people’ and ‘incredible fans’ at the club.

He arrived at Clapton the beginning of 2015/6 from the Swedish third division and quickly formed a reputation with the Tons as a solid and classy operator across the defence or midfield

Having been one of the most consistent picks in the last two years, even captaining the side many times, Haighton had been in and out of the side this time round.

So we asked him if lack of playing time was the reason why he was leaving the Tons.

Haighton told CFC News: “No, I’m not moving on due to lack of appearances. The lack of playing recently was due to myself and my availability.

“I’ve been looking to move back home to Felixstowe and commute into London for work therefore journey times etc wouldn’t be ideal for Saturday fixtures.

“Also, last season we finished second which was amazing! Obviously all the boys want to push and play for promotion but unfortunately due to the standards of our facilities even if we were to finish top this season we wouldn’t be able to go up! Unless a lot of changes happen at the club.

“So of course I’m hoping to work hard and get my head down and join a club with the ambitions to push for promotions and that has the same drive as myself.

“I’m not saying Clapton didn’t have this but there are a lot of things currently in the way that are stopping that from happening.

“All I know is there is a quality squad at Clapton that deserve to play higher and deserve this for their efforts especially for last season. I think the fans deserve this too!”

One of Kristian Haighton’s modelling shots

As well as being one of the most physically fit players, Haighton was one of Clapton’s Spice Boys, one of several easy-on-the-eye faces who also worked as a model.

We can’t pass up the opportunity to remind you he also made a TV appearance as ‘handsome man eating scotch egg’ in a furniture ad.

We also asked about his highlights with the Tons and unsurprisingly the discussion went straight to the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy final win in 2015.

He said: “It was a pleasure to play for Clapton and I feel lucky to have captained such a great team especially under your support. And with such a talented squad.

“My favourite moment was winning the cup final in the first season with the club, That day was just perfect, fans, the squad, even to the celebrations afterwards,

“Another personal moment that I’ll always cherish is hearing my chant from you amazing fans for the first time!

“I’d never had that before and from then on I felt welcomed as if I was part of the family.”

The reaction from fans and players showed he will be much missed – and manager Jonny Fowell said he’s welcome back any time.