Needham Market chairman Mark Morsley has praised the Clapton fans for their non-stop singing from outside the ground during the recent FA Cup clash.
Members of Real Clapton FC called for a boycott of games while chief executive Vince McBean tries to liquidate the club’s historic Old Spotted Dog in the high court. The Clapton Ultras fan group are respecting the decision, meaning games are being played in front of very sparse attendances.
But around 100 Tons supporters gathered outside to watch the game over the fence and sing in support of the team in their third FA Cup tie of the season.
Vastly experienced Morsley, who moved upstairs at the end of last season after a 19-year management career, admits he’d never seen anything like it before.
Speaking on the Mid Kent Mental Isthmian Show, Morsley said: “It was quite an experience, I have to say.
“Something happened that I’ve never seen before. Basically in previous games they’ve had a lot of supporters there. They’ve had a row with the owner now and all sorts.
“I was sitting in the stands and this guy who’s been watching them 30 years, really nice fella, tells us the story about these young people.
It’s a banana skin as well. Not the greatest pitch in the world.
“We’ve been playing for 15 minutes and all this noise breaks out. I’m thinking, is it a riot or something?
“At the far end, there’s this wall, with a big fence in front, and there must have been 100 supporters popping up, climbing up and all sorts.
“And they sing the whole game. I thought, fair play to them. The owner was walking by and he was getting a bit of grief.
“This guy in the stands says he thinks there is some skulduggery going on.
“Once we got the first goal it was fairly comfortable. To be fair, when our team went off, we
won 3-0… all these lads are cheering us, clapping us and saying well played.
“They played Clacton away in the FA Cup and they brought about 150. And they had the atmosphere, no trouble, just a right good craic.”