Clapton CFC vs Sutton United U23 preview: Season starts for women’s first team

The first league game of the season for the women’s first team is finally here and we welcome new opponents to the Stray Dog on Sunday, September 5.

Sutton United join us in the Greater London Women’s Football League Premier Division having finished second in the Division 1 South last season.

They were sandwiched between two other sides who have also been promoted to our division, Bromley who were in first, and Walton Casuals Reserves in fourth.

Last season the team were Under 21s, now they’re Sutton United Under 23s, presumably to keep more of last season’s squad intact.

The Sutton United first team plays one level higher than us, in the London & South East Regional Women’s League Division One North.

This season the U23s have had to move from Sutton United’s ground due to the 3G pitch being torn up after the men’s team was promoted to the Football League.

So SU U23s will now call Banstead Athletic FC’s Merland Rise ground in Tadworth home – not as grand as Gander Green Lane but a very decent Step 5 men’s team ground.

In pre-season they’ve had some big wins – 11-0 and 5-1 – so add that to the promotion and we’ll be facing a side full of confidence.

The Tons meanwhile have played three higher level clubs in pre-season, losing all three including the FC United of Manchester game.

However, they did notch up a big 6-0 win over Upton Park Ladies, two divisions below. 

With some departures and new signings, it’s a slightly different CCFC squad. It’s a hard game to call so get behind the team from the start.

Head coach Claudio Gomes said:

I’m very excited to finally start the 21/22 season and with the hopes that it is one where we can play football throughout and with no Covid-19 breaks in between. 

We aim high, we aim to win, but not at all costs. We aim to win with organised and exciting football. 

Not only do we want the players to enjoy the game, but we also want our fans to enjoy watching us and have the motivation to continue coming back.

Overall, I feel that the team is now better prepared and understand the game to a greater extent and we aim to show exactly that on the pitch against Sutton United U23.

Match information

Clapton CFC vs Sutton United U23 is on Sunday, September 5 2021 at 2pm at the Stray Dog, Wadham Lodge, Kitchener Road, Walthamstow.

Advanced tickets are not needed, you can just turn up. Entry as usual is free but with donations welcome, with a suggested £3 for waged adults.

We will have a mini programme available for suggested £1 donation.

The Matchday Centres bar will be open, please follow their signs as a one-way system is in operation. You can take your beers out to pitchside, of course.

Covid rules

The pandemic is by no means over and not every adult has had the chance to have both jabs yet. So although the government and FA have scrapped all rules, we are continuing with the safety measures below. We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable.

  • If you’re arriving by public transport, a reminder that face masks are still compulsory unless exempt
  • Spectators are encouraged to wear face masks indoors, such as when visiting the bar or toilets
  • There’s hand sanitiser at the entrance and a QR code for those checking in on the app
  • Free NHS lateral flow tests are available if you wish to take a test before the game
  • You can donate on the day or in advance to reduce cash handling
  • Please follow the signs around the site and instructions from matchday volunteers
  • Spread out around the ground as much as you can

Please do not attend if…

  • You are ill or have symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • You’ve tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 10 days or someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • You’ve been told you’ve been in contact with someone who tested positive by NHS Test and Trace or pinged by the NHS COVID-19 app
  • You have arrived from abroad (not including Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or other parts of the UK) and are within your required quarantine period.


  • Wadham Lodge 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. It will take about 12 minutes.
  • There’s also car parking space available at the ground or on streets nearby.

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