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.




The FA Vase draw was announced today but Clapton are already through to the first round proper

Clapton have been drawn away at FC Clacton in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

The trip to the Essex seaside to face the Eastern Counties League club, who play at the same level as Clapton, will be on August 5th, the week after the Essex Senior League campaign begins.

If the Tons get through that, they’ll earn £1,500, then face Norwich United at home in the preliminary round two weeks later, August 19th.

Get past the Isthmian League North side and there’s just another 12 wins before we see Jerry Jairette lift the FA Cup trophy at Wembley.

Meanwhile Clapton did not feature in the FA Vase draw after being handed a bye to the first round proper for finishing in the top 4 in the Essex Senior League. They will make their debut on October 21st.

The Tons are also in the FA Youth Cup, and will travel away to Thurrock or Aveley during the week of September 18th.

Last season the team was withdrawn days before their tie due to lack of players, following the axing of the club’s youth system, but New Revolution Sports have stepped in to relaunch it now.

All three draws were made today behind closed doors at the FA HQ and published online this lunchtime.



All back to Hertford Town’s lovely ground – pic by @somaticjet

Why did Clapton FC remain in the FA Vase despite fielding an ineligible player – yet Guildford City were kicked out for a similar offence?

That was the question many have been asking in the last week as the fiasco of the on-off tie with Hertford Town rumbled on.

So the punishment for playing a ringer in a drawn game is a replay? That’ll teach ’em.” – Ladderman on the Non-League Matters forum

I thought they had an ineligible player? Shambolic decision on the face of it.” Chasing Robson-Kanu on Twitter

What is the difference? One removed but one can stay. Typical of you FA” Venkysout on Twitter

Even the Hertford manager Gavin Kelsey suggested Clapton should be thrown out – “rules are rules”.

The issue was also discussed on the Non-League Football podcast – on which Caroline Barker’s guests hailed the decision as a victory for common sense.

Here are the facts as we understand them 

  • Different rules were breached by Clapton (16c) and Guildford (15ii) – therefore it’s not surprising there would be different outcomes
  • Guildford played a loan player – expressly forbidden under any circumstances. It’s not a question of late paperwork, he could never have been allowed to play
  • Yakup Seyer, who hasn’t played anywhere else since his spell at the Tons last season, told Clapton FC News that he signed the registration forms as normal and on time
  • Here is the key part – the FA ruling said it was satisfied “the club did not know and could not reasonably have known… the player was ineligible
  • The only conclusion to be drawn from that is the club did what it had to do – submit the registration by 12 noon on Friday – and the error was outside of its control

So that leaves three options

  • A technical error (stray email or fax machine out of paper, perhaps?)
  • An Essex Senior League error
  • An FA error

We asked the Essex Senior League for comment and to help clear up the confusion.

A representative of the ESL said: “Unfortunately this is not something the league is able to comment on.

“Clapton FC and The FA are the appropriate bodies to discuss the replay situation with.”

In the meantime, both clubs have been messed around, forced to rearrange games and are out of pocket – and fans have to pay full whack for entry to the rearranged game.

That match takes place tonight at Hertford Town FC’s ground, 7.45pm. Yakup Seyer will not be allowed to play.





Around 50 Clapton fans made the trip up to Hertford – now they need to go again

Clapton FC have today been ordered to replay their FA Vase tie with Hertford Town after a probe into a late player registration.

The FA’s panel ruled that goalkeeper Yakup Seyer was ineligible for the game – which finished 0-0 – but decided NOT to kick out the Tons.

Instead the game will be played again, at Hertford Town’s ground on Tuesday, September 20th with extra time and penalties to deliver a result in the night.

In a further sanction, Clapton won’t get a share of gate receipts and will have to pay their own transport costs. The admission cost for supporters remains the same too.

It’s still unclear what exactly happened with Seyer’s registration, or the reason why a ‘discretionary’ decision was made to keep Clapton in the competition.

However, Town’s manager Gavin Kelsey felt the Tons should have been out of the competition, tweeting: “Not one for seeing clubs thrown out but rules are rules.”

The Blues’ general manager Loucas Xenophontos told the Hertfordshire Mercury: “We only concern ourselves with things we can control.”

Clapton, meanwhile have yet to officially comment on the row.

The statement on the FA website

“The members also considered a charge raised against Clapton FC in relation to the playing of an ineligible player, Yakup Sayer, in their tie with Hertford Town.

“The club was charged with an alleged breach of FA Vase Rule 15(h)(i) and whilst it was acknowledged that the competition rules had been breached, the members were satisfied with the explanation and mitigation provided within the submissions made on behalf of Clapton FC.

“As such the members exercised their discretionary power, in accordance with FA Vase Rule 16(c), not to remove Clapton FC from the competition.

“The members ordered that the First Round Qualifying tie be replayed to a conclusion at Hertford Town on Tuesday 20 September 2016 and it was decided that the gate receipts from the tie shall be retained by Hertford Town, with Clapton FC responsible for their own travel costs.

“There was no order as to a fine or costs.”



Yakup Seyer, topless in centre, celebrates a big win for Clapton in the dressing room at Newham FC last season

The Clapton player being probed over a possible late registration has insisted he signed in time – and challenged opponents Hertford Town to settle the FA Vase game on the pitch.

The FA are understood to be investigating whether goalkeeper Yakup Seyer was registered too late for the game at picturesque Hertingfordbury Park on Saturday, which finished 0-0.

It meant the replay at the Old Spotted Dog scheduled for last night was postponed while the FA decide on what action, if any, needs to be taken.

According to the Hertfordshire Mercury, the verdict is due tomorrow. The punishment, if the charge is found to be proven, could range from a fine to expulsion from the tournament.

Yakup came in for the injured Pape Diagne and was arguably man of the match including a penalty save, on his first appearance of the season for Clapton.

However, the former Billericay Town stopper says he has played for no one else since his two games for the Tons last season, and signed the relevant forms BEFORE Friday’s noon deadline.

When asked by Clapton FC News if he knew what was happening, he tweeted: “Unfortunately I haven’t got anything about that. Last club I played was Clapton last year..And I signed everything last week:(”

And he also challenged Hertford to play the replay, rather than accept any possible route to the next round handed to them by the FA on a box-ticking technicality.

Yakup, who used to play in the North Cyprus Super League before moving to the UK, tweeted: “Personally If I don’t win any game on the pitch I will never try to win outside of the pitch. I think they should come to a replay.”

Despite breaking the news on Monday night, Hertford have insisted it was the Essex Senior League and the FA themselves that launched the investigation.

The club’s general manager Loucas Xenophontos told the Mercury: “It’s something the Essex Senior league and the FA initiated – we had no idea there was an issue.”

Both sides have missed out on a four-figure share of gate receipts for the replay on Tuesday, which was set to attract a bumper crowd on the hottest day of the year.

The winner is due to play Brantham Athletic in the next round on September 24.



Clapton’s FA Vase First Round Qualifying replay against Hertford Town, due to be played at the Old Spotted Dog tomorrow night, has been postponed with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Hertford Town broke the news on Twitter, with the Non-League Paper’s Steven Coney reporting that the tie “has been postponed ‘subject to FA investigation'”

It is unclear what the issue is but Steven later told Clapton FC News: “These FA investigations are normally concerning ineligible players… so it could well be that.”

The Clapton official Twitter page has confirmed the game was off – and the reason: “Tomorrows game against @HertfordTownFC has been postponed pending an investigation from The FA. We’re back in action Sat vs @southendmanor.”

That means there is NO Tuesday night game. The Tons’ original opponents for that night was Basildon United in the ESL, but they have scheduled a friendly against Hannakins Farm.

More information as we have it.


Clapton’s fixture against Basildon United this week has been postponed due to our FA Vase replay.

The Tons will be facing Hertford Town this Tuesday (September 13th) instead after Saturday’s 0-0 AET draw at Hertingfordbury Park.

The cup game is due to be new manager Jonny Fowell’s first game in charge following Andre Thomas’ five game stint as caretaker manager.

Thomas said after the game: “Proud to say I was the manager of Clapton FC.

“5 Games I learnt from, enjoyed, and hopefully made an impact. #Tons”

The Bas game, which was scheduled for Tuesday, has yet to be rearranged.