The teams in huddles just before kick-off

The Clapton Ultras drummed up a huge crowd of 468 to Mile End stadium – the Ton’s biggest away game following for many decades.

The largely dreary game didn’t live up to that historic billing, however, with no goals and limited chances at either end.

Given the astonishing numbers of fans at the game, however, there was plenty of coverage online. Here it is:

Match reports

Jacob Ranson of the Newham Recorder wrote in his match report that: “The visitors had more of the ball… but Hamlets had better chances. Only a superb save from Emmanuel Olajide denied the home side a breakthrough.”

Scott Lanza wrote on the Essex Senior League official website that: “Both teams needed a win to kick-start their campaigns but ended up having to share a point.”

Groundhopper Louis Maughan wrote on his Got Seats blog that: “In the end both sides could have won it, but a draw was a fair result for equally matched teams. It was a shame the game couldn’t match the lively atmosphere.”

Photos and videos

The highlight of the match, from a Clapton perspective, was this superb low save by Emanuel Olajide late on.

Non-league groundhopper Richard Brock uploaded several clips during the game on his YouTube channel – including the one below of the teams entering the field.

Various others at the game posted pictures, such as these below:


#claptonfc #claptonultras

A post shared by @ interesting_thinkpiece on

#ClaptonUltras #ClaptonFC #KeepSmiling

A post shared by Aidan JR (@generaladnan) on

The Clapton FC Facebook page also posted a few snaps.

Players and coaches

We spoke to assistant manager Andre Thomas and defender Quincy Egbajale on Facebook Live after the game. Watch it below:

Andre also spoke to Jacob Ranson of the Newham Recorder about his disappointment with the draw, but added: “We’ll take the positive of our fourth consecutive clean sheet.”

CFC News man of the match: Emanuel Olajide.

Attendance: 468.



The Essex Senior League has finally released the fixtures for the forthcoming 2017/18 season and the first handful of games feature some new faces as well as familiar faces and old rivalries.

Clapton start the season this Saturday away to Basildon United at the Stuart Bingham Stadium – a repeat of our opening fixture in the 2015/16 season.

The Bees have appointed the former Basildon Town management team of Mark Harrison and Liam Wallace in the summer, following the departure of Aaron Bloxham.

Former assistant manager Lee Connor has been appointed as the club’s new chairman and will be hoping United can improve on their 9th place finish last season.

The following Wednesday we travel to Cricklefield Stadium to face our old rivals, Ilford.

It has been a summer of uncertainty for The Foxes after they were controversially voted out of the ESL at the AGM. However they successfully appealed to the FA and have now been reinstated.

Former Clapton captain and current Ilford boss Allan Fenn will be hoping for a title challenge this season after signing a string of impressive players including last season’s league top scorer James Peagram who netted 45 times in all competitions for champions Barking.

Following our trip to Clacton in the FA Cup, we return to league action on Saturday 12th August for our first home game, against Woodford Town 2017.

Woodford is the new name of the team formerly known as Haringey & Waltham, and going further back Greenhouse Sports, Greenhouse London, Mauritius Sports Association and Mauritius Sports & Pennant.

Town have a familiar look at least in the dugout, with former Wadham Lodge manager Tony Ievoli taking the hotseat, assisted by former Tons assistant manager Neil Day.

It is not known what links the setup has to the historic Woodford Town who, with Vince McBean as their chairman, shared the Old Spotted Dog with Clapton in 1999 before going bust in 2003.

Woodford, whose Snakes Lane ground burnt down but has not been redeveloped, will play at Broxbourne, where Eton Manor were based last season.

We then travel to Mile End Stadium on Friday 25th August to face Tower Hamlets. Last season 308 fans piled through the gates for the corresponding fixture, also on a Friday night, and no doubt Hamlets will be hoping for a similar or increased attendance this season.

AJ Ashinike has returned as manager and has recruited some impressive looking players, including former Barking and Ilford hotshot Wale Odedoyun and will be hoping his team can improve on their 20th place finish last season.

The rest of the fixtures are still being finalised and will be put on our fixtures page soon.


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.

Scrappy game, but expect goals – 2-2.