PREVIEW – MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AT MILE END STADIUM

This Monday Night Football will not be televised. Tower Hamlets will be hoping Clapton bring some of the crowds that they have seen in recent seasons. The Ultras appear to enjoy a visit to the ground with a running track that is 10 minutes walk from Mile End tube station. The view from the stand is impressive, if a little far, and the echo created by the singing makes it a special place.

Tower Hamlets changed their name from Bethnal Green United, presumably in a cynical attempt to gain more support by having a greater catchment area. In the process doing the opposite by becoming so anonymous that no one cares (who says they are from Tower Hamlets?). Newham FC learnt this lesson when they changed from London APSA, losing their identity and history. Only to return to their original name this season. They are not alone, The Motormen were Ford United from the old factory works, changing to Redbridge and in the process losing their solid working class roots to cover an area that already has Dagenham & Redbridge, Barkingside, and Ilford.

Form guide:
Tower Hamlets got spanked 8-1 at Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday in the London Senior Cup. But to be fair to the boys in black and white (should be green!), they were playing opposition two tiers above them. In the league they are unbeaten in the last three games. Drawing 0-0 in the Mile End derby with Sporting Bengal, thrashing London Bari away 5-0 (attendance: 16), and beating Enfield 1893 aka The Zombies 3-1. Currently they are 17th collecting 14 points from 13 games.

Clapton FC News put together a piece on Johnny Fowell’s first month in charge last week, which gave him an average points total of 1.5 a game, losing 5 in 9 games. The Tons are currently 8th in the league, with 25 points having played 15 games.

Head to head:
Although Clapton finished 9 places above Tower Hamlets in the 2014/15 season and 10 places above them in the 2015/16 season, both teams appear to be evenly matched when it comes to playing each other.

In the 2014/15 season, both teams recorded wins away from home. Clapton winning 1-0 at Mile End with Tower Hamlets beating the Tons by the same score but may stick in people’s head as there was an International Woman’s Day tifo on show at half time.

For the 2015/16 season, Clapton lost 1-0 again on the famous Friday night (Against Modern Football – except when it’s on Friday nights). But the Tons managed to get their revenge by winning 2-0 at home with Briggsy and Cookey providing the goals.

Players to watch:
O’Neil Rowe – has scored 4 in the last five for Tower Hamlets.

For Clapton fans it will be interesting to see whether Johnny Ashman can produce the goods that we know he is capable of.

Prediction:
Scrappy game, but expect goals – 2-2.

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