Clapton’s debutant stopper, Robert Dogaru, completed an unlikely trio for his new club on Saturday, becoming the third different goalkeeper to save a penalty in as many matches in little over a fortnight. The Tottenham Hotspur youth player, whose 89th minute diving save turned the match, made an unforgettable first ever start in senior football, as the visitors then claimed victory just minutes later with virtually the last kick at Southchurch Park.
The score line was perhaps harsh on home side, Southend Manor, who tested the young ‘keeper on a number of occasions, particularly in the second half. Having to also contend with the swirling winds whipping off the English Channel just streets away, the seventeen-year-old’s composure held throughout the match leading up to his game changing stop and debut clean sheet.
Dogaru won a contract with Tottenham’s development squad in 2015, having moved to London from Romania just three years previous. The latest deputy for the injured Pape Diagne, Robert becomes the fifth goalkeeper to step in between the sticks for Clapton already this season. A hot topic for The Tons this week, following the controversy surrounding the registration of Yakup Seyer prior to the FA Vase tie with Hertford Town last Saturday.
It’s still unclear who, if anyone, will be available to play in goal for Clapton in the replay at Hertingfordbury Park this Tuesday night, as only players registered before the original fixture will be eligible to play. This complicates matters for Seyer, who saved a spot kick in the original contest and may mean that Jerry will have to put on the gloves again, following his own penalty heroics against FC Romania on Non-League Day.