Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Peterborough United 0 Southend United 0

Rather typically after Posh had been scoring for fun and were in fact the highest scorers in the league, when we finally got a chance to go up there the game finished 0-0.

Peterborough United were held to a 0-0 draw by Southend United with a stoppage time penalty from Chris Forrester being saved by Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley. 

Posh started positively enough with Erhun Oztumer forcing a superb save out of goalkeeper Daniel Bentley while Jack Baldwin fired wide from long-range after some nice skill in a tight area. 

Ben Alnwick made a routine stop to deny Luke O'Neill after a poor clearance from Michael Smith. Alnwick made a much better stop moments later as Tyrone Barnett met a corner kick from the left, the keeper tipping the ball over the bar. 

Conor Washington saw a deflected shot from 25-yards go wide for a corner kick on 21 minutes. Oztumer saw a left-foot shot scooped clear by Bentley after a neat Posh move. 

Barnett had the ball in the back of the net on 33 minutes, but his goal was rightly chalked off for offside. 

Bentley produced a fine stop to push away a looping header from Angol following a Smith delivery with Washington seeing his follow-up blocked. 

Washington burst into the box on 48 minutes, but his fierce effort was palmed over by the impressive Bentley with Wilson firing wide less than 60 seconds later from distance. 

Jon Taylor replaced Harry Beautyman just after the hour mark as Westley made his first change. Taylor saw a shot deflected for a corner before a swerving shot from Forrester was well gathered by Bentley. 

Kgosi Ntlhe replaced Wilson as Posh made their final change - a first appearance in many months of the left-back who has been on the sidelines with a foot injury. 

Southend missed a glorious chance to open the scoring on 75 minutes as Payne found room down the left, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post. 

Posh were awarded a controversial penalty deep into stoppage time with Maddison felled in the box, but midfielder Chris Forrester saw his spot-kick comfortably saved. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Clapton FC 1 London Bari 0

The New Year started off with a win for The Tons at the Old Spotted Dog over their local rivals and lodgers, London Bari.

Ely were playing at King's Lynn, but as it is often difficult for us to get to games on time on a Saturday outside of the local area, I decides to get down the Dog. The Arsenal and Newcastle fans hanging around Highbury on the way down don't know what they are missing.

The pitch was looking a bit worse for wear, but fortunately playable and Clapton were buoyed by the presence of a proper goalkeeper with Senegelase, Pape Diagne making a welcome return. 

To be honest during the game he wasn't called up on too often, but exuded confidence when he was. In fact it was a good team effort all round. Oshin had a very good game, but man of the match had to be Abdeen Abdul at left back. He scored what was to be the winning goal in the first half, and although I don't like giving man of the match to goal scorers, as it seems a bit lazy he did everything. He snapped out any Bari attacks and created chances.

Overall it was a solid effort by the Tons who attracted a big - and as always noisy - crowd to a game that was played under some testing conditions.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ely City Reserves 1 Somersham Town 2

On Saturday our only option was to go down to Ely City Reserves. The game was decent enough with Ely having most of the play, and taking the lead a few minutes before the interval. However despite their dominance the visitors pulled 2 goals back to win the game.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Something's up in East London

I know that after ages of pestering from London based friends I have only recently become a convert to Clapton FC, but I have already got a real fondness for the boys in East London. After years of dross being served up in the Premier League and local league teams taking the piss with ticket prices most of my football has been non league based. I enjoy going to the local teams, but the sense of comeraderie and welcome have been diminishing at the Unwin for a few seasons and there hasn't been an atmosphere for years. Therefore Clapton offer everything that I have been looking for in football for a while.

Unfortunately, something seems to be wrong at the Old Spotted Dog. There is the obvious friction between the chairman, who seems to be intent on bleeding the club dry and the ultras, but there also seems to be a few more deep rooted problems. Since the defeat at the weekend to Stansted there has been a bit of a player exodus and a defeat of 4-1 to Basildon last night has seen the Tons let in 4 goals in a row. I also hear some game show turned up last night, which obviously miffed the fans who are already concerned about their support being turned into a carnival.

The situation although not bleak is concerning. You have players who want to want to play for the club, but due to the financial restrictions can't / won't and a fan club that is becoming slightly fractious. I hear that there was some bitterness last night aimed at not only Basildon but also at other supporters and that the Brigata Italiana were criticised for not paying attention. I am hoping it really is just a storm in a tea cup or that what I am hearing us exaggerated as the Tons have made me look forward to football again.

Stansted FC 4 Clapton FC 3

Another week and another 4 goals let in by the Tons. The game could have been so different with the visitors taking a 3-0 lead into the break. And although it is not his fault you have to wonder what is wrong with the club when they start with a winger in goals.

Anyway, the game got off to a brilliant start with Clapton looking like they thought attack was the best form of defence. They were justly awarded just after 4 minutes when Barnwell put the East Londoners in the lead. 

This started a frantic period where Stansted also came close and the Tons had a shot cleared off the line. We didn't have to wait long for the next goal though, as Barnwell doubled his tally and the Tons lead on 12 minutes with a goal that was as good as you will see anywhere. It's a shame nobody filmed it.

The Tons weren't finished though and the wind started to help them a bit and a long clearance aided by the aforementioned wind aided Cook to score and make it 3-0 to Clapton with 9 minutes remaining of the half.

It really was to be a game of two halves though as Clapton fell to pieces in the second half. On 65 minutes Lakin scored for Stansted; Halamby got their second on 68 and things got a little nervy. Clapton created chances, but were clearly rattled and looked to hope to hang on. They didn't though. The wind was now in Stansted's favour and on 80 minutes Ashwell looked to cross it in for the home team, but it somehow ended up in the goal to give them an equaliser. In the last minute the turnaround was complete when a mistake by the Tons winger keeper allowed Ratcliffe in to make it 4-3.

Shoes off if you love Clapton

I enjoyed myself so much at the Old Spotted Dog on Saturday that when I saw the Tons were playing at the nearest Essex Senior League team to us there was only one place to go on Saturday.

Stansted Mountfitchett with it's Norman castle and thatched cottages was a market contrast to Clapton's East London home, but the locals were friendly and Clapton fans showed up in numbers to help swell the crowd and the bar takings.

The Stansted Ground was all open apart from a stand on one side which strangely for non league football saw us being segregated to the right of the referee's tunnel. The rest of the ground was open with a social club behind one goal which you had to exit the ground to get to.

The Clapton fans were in good voice and we had a brilliant time, but the result was another disappointment for the Tons (see the match report).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

After the match

After the Clapton V Romania game we moved to the pub, the Ultras were still in fine form and there was a tribute to the Deportivo La Coruna fan who was killed by Atletico Madrid fans one year ago.