Walthamstow FC vs Clapton CFC preview: Friendly test against new groundmates

The CCFC men’s team’s pre-season preparations continue with a daunting weeknight clash against our fellow ground-sharers, Walthamstow FC.

And it is set to be our toughest test of the summer against a side ramping up their preparation for a serious tilt at the Essex Senior League title.

The teams have met before, in a mid-season friendly at the Wadham Lodge Stadium last October.

On that occasion, Stow dominated but could only manage a 1-0 win over a Tons side that had defended resolutely.

It will be Clapton CFC’s men’s team’s first game of the season at their new home, and we are nominally the ‘away’ side.

Player-manager Geoff Ocran told us that learning to get the most out of the bigger pitch will be one objective:

It’s the first game this pre-season on the Wadham Lodge pitch and it’s vital we adapt as quickly as possible to the wider dimensions of the surface. Walthamstow will be another stern test, but a test I’m sure the players will relish as we continue our progress towards the season opener.

In terms of line-up, some of the core of last season’s double-winning squad are back in action for the first time, including Eliot Crosbie and Sherwin Stanley.

There’s also due to be a guest appearance from one of the Clapton Legends squad from May’s friendly match.

Last season, Walthamstow came third in the Essex Senior League, behind Stansted and champions Hullbridge Sports. A team called Clapton FC came eleventh.

Ryan Reed, who also turned out for the Clapton Legends, is one of many eye-catching summer signings who have added further quality to the squad.

At the weekend, the Stow recorded an impressive win over Isthmian Division One South side FC Romania. It was their first win and clean sheet of pre-season.

Then on Tuesday night, they followed that up with a 1-0 victory over another Isthmian side, Canvey Island.

Comms manager Andrzej Perkins gave us a view from the opposition camp:

We’re really looking forward to playing our friends at Clapton CFC again. It will be our fifth pre-season game, so should give us a good indication of where we are against good opposition. After coming so close to the league title last season, everyone’s objective this time around is to go one further and secure promotion back to the Isthmian League. Manager Ryan Maxwell has had the team working really hard in training – though they’d expect no less – and we can’t wait for the season to get going. With just three friendlies left after the game with Clapton CFC, this will no doubt be one of the last chances for players to force their way into the squad.

Walthamstow FC manager Ryan Maxwell told their website: “We recently linked up with Ryan FC so I will be looking to play a few of their players so they can experience football at a senior level.

“It will be a good mix of first team players and youth players.”

Match information

The Wadham Lodge Stadium 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, as usual, free but donations are welcome with a suggested £3 for waged adults.

There won’t be a matchday programme for this one or a foodbank collection.

It’s set to be a scorching Thursday evening on the terraces of Wadham Lodge so make sure you drink plenty of liquids.

Walthamstow FC vs Clapton CFC is on 25th July 2019. Kick off 7:45pm at Wadham Lodge Stadium, Kitchener Road, Walthamstow, London E17 4LL.

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