Clapton CFC vs Sporting Hackney preview: Chance for men’s team to measure up against league rivals

Pre-season started with a win against Wanderers FC, from a level below. Then last week’s loss to Lopes Tavares from a higher league. This Saturday, Geoff Ocran tests his team against a Sporting Hackney side in our own MCFL Premier this season.

The two teams have met before, at Mabley Green last pre-season, when CCFC bagged their first ever goal and first ever win. Eliot Crosbie, Josh Adejokun and Romelle Pile fired the Tons into a 4-0 lead, but Sporting grabbed two late consolations.

A similar result at The Stray Dog this time round would lay down a good marker for the coming campaign.

Ocran told us:

The Lopes game was a good test as we thought it would be. They are about a month ahead in terms of pre-season and fitness but I felt we were always competitive in the game. If anything the scoreline flattered them as their third and fourth goal were late on in the last 10 mins. Sporting Hackney are league opposition so we will look to field a stronger side to gauge where we are at the moment playing against another Step 7 side. If it’s anything like the friendly last season then it will be an entertaining, highly contested game.

Pride of Hackney

Saturday’s opposition have been playing on Hackney Marshes since 1986 and are currently the highest ranked football team in the borough.

But the Parrots, as they are nicknamed, endured a tough season last term. They were hampered by injuries to key players, eventually finishing eighth.

They are managed by Peter Harrington and Dan Portsmouth, who guided them to the MCFL Premier title in 2013/14. But lack of suitable facilities in Hackney prevented them from climbing the pyramid.

In 2014/15, the management duo briefly worked under Mike Walther at Clapton FC, before returning for a second stint.

This will be Sporting Hackney’s first game of pre-season. Harrington told us that there would be seven or eight regulars from last year and a few trialists on show:

Especially with the news that the MCFL Premier League has 17 teams this season, a big squad is going to be essential to any team if they want to be competitive.

On their hosts, the co-manager added:

Having been assistant manager at Clapton FC when Geoff was a player, before the formation of Clapton CFC, I watched with interest how he would cope in his first season as manager. I messaged him straight away when I saw the result that meant Clapton got promotion. He has done a great job. As have the whole of Clapton CFC. To achieve what you have in just one season is incredible. I cannot think of a better start to our season than a trip to The Stray Dog.

Match information

The Stray Dog is about 20 minutes walk from Walthamstow Central station.

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 is free. There won’t be a matchday programme for this one.

Before the match, we have a clean-up session for both The Stray Dog and Wadham Lodge grounds (where our women’s and men’s teams will be playing, respectively).

The more pairs of hands the better, so if you can make it along early please bring a pair of gardening gloves!

Clapton CFC vs Sporting Hackney FC is on Saturday, July 20th at 2pm, at ‘The Stray Dog’, Wadham Lodge Sports Ground, Kitchener Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JP.

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