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.

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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.

 

FA VASE DRAW ANNOUNCED AS CLAPTON ENTER COMPETITION AT FIRST ROUND PROPER

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Clapton will play London Lions or Malmesbury Victoria away in the FA Vase first round after the draw was announced at 1pm today.

The tie between London Lions and Malmesbury Victoria was abandoned due to a serious injury to a player and is being replayed this week.

Clapton will take on the winner of the rearranged game on Saturday, October 21st, which means that the away league game at Redbridge scheduled for that day will unfortunately be postponed.

The winner of the tie lands £825 in prize money while the loser pockets £275.

London Lions, based at Rowley Lane, Arkley in the Barnet area, won the treble last year to clinch promotion to Spartan South Midlands, one step below Clapton in the pyramid.

Their highest ever attendance is 155 so if the tie comes off there’s a very good chance of breaking that record.

Malmesbury, a whopping two and a half hours away from East London, also play at Step 6 at the delightfully named Flying Monk Ground.

Clapton were handed a bye in the two qualifying rounds to the first round proper this season due to the club finishing in the top four last season.

The Tons were knocked out of the FA Vase in the first qualifying round in unusual circumstances last year. After a battling 0-0 draw at Hertford Town, it was found that goalkeeper Yakup Seyer’s registration had not been processed properly.

The FA ordered the replay to be played at Hertford’s Hertingfordbury Park, which saw captain Jerry Jairette forced to go in goal and despite scoring an early goal through Jamie Lyndon, the hosts won 2-1.

Watch the highlights of the first tie below.

 

SERGE PIZZORNO FROM KASABIAN ‘STILL FLOORED’ BY CLAPTON ULTRAS SONG SIX MONTHS ON

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West Essex’s Dan Reading, left, and Serge from Kasabian at the Old Spotted Dog

Serge Pizzorno from Kasabian still talks about his visit to Clapton six months on – and one song from the terraces ‘absolutely floored him’.

The Leicester City-supporting singer was among the 356 at the Old Spotted Dog in March supporting visitors West Essex in a 1-1 draw.

However, perhaps surprisingly the rock star was most impressed by an Ultras’ song based on a dance track – an elongated, rhythmic version of Rui Silva’s Touch Me.

ADan Reading, general manager of West Essex, said: “Serge from Kasabian came down with us last year.

“Clapton in the morning’ absolutely floored him. Still talks about it now.”

He added: “If my memory serves me right, pretty certain he knocked back tickets to West Ham V Leicester to come along.”

And Serge has been invited to the game between the sides at Mayesbrook Park later this season.

West Essex have strong links with the music industry in general, sponsored by indie club night This Feeling and have also been plugged online by Radio X presenter Gordon Smart.

However, Serge is by no means the only musician to have seen the Tons play in the Ultras era either.

St Etienne’s Bob Stanley saw the Tons’ opening day 5-1 defeat at Haringey Borough three seasons ago.

The Tons had a mare, including forgetting their kit, and new manager Mike Walther missed the start of his first game in charge, but Bob was impressed with the Ultras nevertheless.

Infamously, acoustic singer-songwriter Frank Turner visited the Old Spotted Dog on a mate’s stag do last season, prompting a backlash blog. Best not rehash that…

It's my mate @seanedmund 's stag do. We're going to a football match. My first ever. Help.

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Other music types we’ve seen at Tons game in the last few years include Radio 6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq, Hefner singer Darren Hayman and dance act Caribou, aka Daniel Snaith. However, we’ve been unable to provide photographic or social media evidence yet.

None of them can match DJ Locksmith of Rudimental for commitment to Step Five football. He’s played against the Tons several times in recent years for Ilford, under his real name Leon Rolle.

 

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE ADMISSION PRICES 2017/8 SEASON – THE FULL LIST

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The turnstiles at Waltham Forest / Wadham Lodge. Prices at WF have been cut since their relegation to ESL. (Picture courtesy Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game)

How much does it cost to get into Essex Senior League games this season? You’d think it’d be simple to find out but many clubs seem to guard this information as if it were a state secret.

After a huge amount of chasing, however, we can finally bring you the full table, ranked by adult price ticket from highest (boo!) to lowest (yay!)…

Great Wakering Rovers

£9 adults
£5 concessions
Includes a programme

Wadham Lodge

£8 adults
£4 concessions

Southend Manor

£7 adults
£5 concessions
Free under 16s

Sawbridgeworth Town

£7 adults
£4 concessions

Waltham Forest

£7 adults
£4 concessions (students, unemployed, armed forces, pensioners, NHS staff)
Free under 16s

Takeley

£7 adults – includes a programme
£3 OAPs
Free under 16s

Clapton

£6.50 adults
£3 concessions (pensioners, students, unemployed, refugees)
£1 under 18s
Free under 10s
Free disabled

Clapton’s turnstiles. The ticket prices, at £6.50, are above average for the division

Basildon United

£6 adults
£5 seniors
Free under 16s

Burnham Ramblers

£6 adults
£4 concessions

Tower Hamlets

£6 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s

Everyone gains admission for £5 on Friday night games

Sporting Bengal United

£6 adults
£3 concessions

Enfield 1893

£6 adults
£3 concessions

Woodford Town

£6 adults
£3 concessions
£1 under 16s

Ilford

£6 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s

The home of two Essex Senior League clubs who charge decent prices (picture courtesy Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game)

 

Hullbridge Sports

£6 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s

Redbridge

£5 adults
£4 concessions
£2 under 16s
Free under 11s when accompanied

West Essex

£5 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s
Including programme

FC Romania

£5 adults
£1 under 16s

Hackney Wick

£5 adults

£3 students
Free over 60s
Free under 16s

Barkingside

£5 adults including programme
Free for kids

Stansted

£5 adults including programme
£3 concessions including programme
Free under 14s

 

Some observations

  • It was extraordinarily difficult to find the prices for many, perhaps most, clubs. If your prices aren’t on your website, Facebook or Twitter, and you don’t respond to emails or tweets, you can’t complain if you’re not attracting new or casual supporters.
  • The average price for an adult in the Essex Senior League is £6.11. However, take out the Great Wakering Rovers outlier of £9, and it’s comfortably under £6. Clapton has the seventh most expensive prices for adults though it does at least have a decent range of concessions.
  • A massive congratulations to Stansted, West Essex and Barkingside, who charge the minimum price possible set by the Essex Senior League of £5 AND throw in a free programme to boot.
  • Redbridge too should be singled out for cutting their prices to £5. Last season, their first back in the ESL following relegation, they kept prices at Isthmian levels. Happily they’ve adjusted that now.
  • The same predicament appears to have affected Great Wakering Rovers, who are charging an astonishing £9 in despite relegation. It’s a decision that’s seen active fan group Rovers Rebels first boycott their home games and now switch to following Southend Sports of the Essex Olympian League instead. A big loss to the ESL.
  • Four East London clubs are charging the minimum price of £5 – Redbridge, West Essex, Hackney Wick and Barkingside – of the six clubs in total. And nearly half of the clubs offer free entry to children, of varying age groups. So plenty of cheap football on our doorstep. Bravo.
  • One of those clubs (Hackney Wick) has publicly said it wants to charge less while another (Barkingside) offer a membership scheme as a way to knock £1 off. So hopefully the Essex Senior League will reconsider its £5 minimum charge. What purpose does it serve? We have contacted them to ask.
  • Former ESL club Haringey Borough, after promotion, now offer free season tickets to local residents and have grown a fan base accordingly. But they would presumably have to stop that if they were relegated back to the ESL.
  • The whole issue of concessions is a minefield. Most offer reduced prices to ‘senior citizens’ and ‘kids’, but unclear at what age that applies, and many others don’t specify who is covered by the word ‘concessions’. Why not just list who qualifies for concessions (Children? Disabled? Students? Unemployed? Pensioners?) to avoid embarrassment at the turnstile?
  • Please note we can’t take any responsibility for these prices being correct at the time of your visit. Clubs do change their prices during the season – such as Clapton infamously did last season.
  • Finally, just to emphasise that this list has taken HOURS of research over several weeks. If we have got something wrong, drop us an email claptonfcnews@gmail.com or tweet us and we’ll correct it. If you want to use our research in your own articles, feel free to do so but please give us a credit.