Clapton CFC vs FC Star London preview: 2019 kicks off with E17 derby

A home clash with FC Star London sees Clapton Community return to action after a three week break. The visitors are a Romanian heritage side who have recently changed their name from AFC United. 

Last season they finished third in this league. The year before, they actually came top, but could not go up due to complications with their promotion application.

This campaign got off to a frustrating start, when admin delays in processing clearance for overseas players meant they had to forfeit their first three games.

Since then, Star’s results have lived up to their strong track record. In fact in the three games when they have been allowed to take to the field, they have been unbeaten. 

In November they defeated Hereford Palace 5-1 and Eastfield 1-0.

Their only game in December was a 3-3 home draw with Ealing Town, who comprehensively defeated Clapton before Christmas.

In spite of their unfortunate handicap, they are aiming to repeat last season’s top three finish.

Star will be making the short hop across the North Circular from their base at Walthamstow’s Peter May Sports Centre. The return game will be played on the 16th of March.

New year new Dog

Saturday’s match will see the grand opening of Clapton’s temporary stand.

Hopefully the weather won’t be as bad as the last game of 2018, where the shelterless fans were lashed by icy rain. Even if the forecasts are correct and it is dry, the new structure will add to the atmosphere.

The Tons will be at full strength on the field, only missing Jordan Odofin, who has signed for Cambridge City.

Tons manager Geoff Ocran gave us his thoughts in the run up to the game:

Disappointing end to the year for us against Ealing considering the start we had and the chances to really to kill the game. But no real excuses from us as they were more clinical on the day and played the conditions slightly better. 

We start the year with three very tough fixtures which could set up our season. FC Star have made a steady start from the games they have actually competed in. It’s vital we build some form of momentum going into the Stonewall and Samurai games so the work begins this Wednesday at training.

Match information

Our temporary home, The Stray Dog, is about 20 minutes walk from Walthamstow Central station, going past at least five pubs along the way.

Turn onto Hoe Street and follow the road all the way along (past the junction with The Bell pub) until Chingford Lane. Continue past Sir George Monoux 6th Form College and take the first right onto Brookscroft Road then left onto Kitchener Road.

You can catch a bus along that route too. The 357, 34, 97, 215 will all take you to the top of Brookscroft Road from Walthamstow Central (approx 12 minutes).

There’s also plenty of car parking space available at the ground. The postcode for your satnav is E17 4LL.

Entry to the game is completely free (but we welcome donations, suggested £3 for waged adults).

We’re on the pitch just left as you enter the Wadham Lodge car park. Look out for the Stray Dog sign! There’s a pitchside bar selling cans of lager, cider and soft drinks.

The toilets and full bar – selling a fuller range of draft beers and more – are in the main building in the car park.

There will be hot food available from Fusion Foods by the entrance.

We’ll also have our brilliant programme for sale at £2.

There is a food bank collection for this game on behalf of Walthamstow-based charity Eat or Heat. Please check the list of what they need.

Clapton CFC vs FC Star London is on Saturday, Januaru 5th at 2pm, at ‘The Stray Dog’, Wadham Lodge Sports Ground, Kitchener Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JP. You can join the Facebook event here.

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