The Tons men’s first team finally defeated Cricklewood Wanderers at the third time of asking, running out comfortable 2-0 winners to stay top of the Middlesex Super 6 League.
The last meeting with Cricklewood had been a behind closed doors 1-1 draw in the final game before the 2019/20 was abandoned. However most Tons remember a chastening 5-0 defeat out in Wembley back in October 2019.
There was to be no repeat this time, though, Clapton were in control from the kick off and were worthy winners.
Clapton started the brighter, with Noah Adejokun up front causing all sorts of problems for the Cricklewood defence. This culminated with the Cricklewood centre half, and captain, being unceremoniously subbed off with barely half of the first half gone.
Unable to cope with the younger Adejokun brother’s movement, he simply climbed over the advertising hoardings and watched the rest of the game from the main stand.
The breakthrough came in the 17th minute, Adejokun’s movement in the box was too much and he was brought down for a stonewall penalty. Stevens stepped up and coolly sent the keeper the wrong way to put the Tons in the lead.
Further chances followed, with Noah, Arthur Wright, and elder Adejokun Josh all going close. A free kick from Samba Banjana also saw an acrobatic, but wholly unnecessary, diving save from the Cricklewood keeper, but the Tons went into half time only 1 up.
The second half started off much the same, Clapton in control but not making their chances count.
There was a scary moment part way through when a clash of heads saw a Cricklewood player knocked out cold, with the game stopped for a lengthy delay as he lay prone on the grass. Thankfully he finally got to his feet, very groggy, and was checked over by paramedics after the game.
Once the game restarted Clapton added a second to make the result comfortable. Stevens robbed the Cricklewood keeper of possession and put the ball into an empty net.
Job done, the Tons could comfortably see out the rest of the game. Bizarrely, the referee then blew for full time 6 minutes early, after turning up 25 minutes late, apparently as he had another game to officiate. There were not many complaints from the visitors, however, who did not look like getting back into the game.
A comfortable win for the Tons, who must now surely be favourites to win this shortened competition. Geoff Ocran and his team are also building a promising platform for next season with a number of key players set to return as well.
Next up, AEK London on Saturday 15th May.
Player of the match
With both goals, there was only going to be one winner, Jake Stevens