One more game down and hopefully another week closer to the Old Spotted Dog Ground with Clapton CFC still top of the division, although just two games in.
This fixture was one we had to accommodate elsewhere while we work towards finally getting games in the OSDG. Thanks again to Matchday Centres for hosting us and helping us out of a hole.
Last week’s debutant goalscorer and star player Greg Moorse had a twinge and was not available while another debutant, and nominee for player of the match, Junia Charlton, pulled up injured in the warm-up.
A few past players were dotted around the 3G cage pitch to witness our first ever fixture against the boys from the Bush.
It was obvious early on that Shepherd’s Bush were riding high after their title-winning promotion season last year and were winning territory early on, though without much end product.
The half progressed and we saw Taylor played through with the keeper to beat. Another chipped attempt after last week’s goal but the beautifully coiffured goalkeeper got his fingertips to the ball, still nil, nil.
Shepherd’s Bush were upping the pressure, as Jack Francis spread himself to thwart a decent opportunity.
Then a free kick on the edge of the Clapton Community box was lashed over as James Briggs picked up the first yellow card for a pull, tug, kick (I am not sure which).
Shepherd’s Bush were well on top at this point, as another shot trickled past the post, though well covered by Francis.
Clapton CFC won a free kick around the halfway line, and we know with Briggsy on the pitch anything is possible. He looked up, the keeper was off his line, aim … fire. The ball sailed over.
The Shepherds Bush attackers continued to play on the front foot. A clever through ball saw the central striker through one on one again with Francis. Another great save, but the ball bounced back to the attacker who swivelled and into the net.
Shepherd’s Bush one nil to the good with 35 minutes gone. The visitors look composed, Clapton Community not quite as slick as last week.
However, as the saying goes it only takes a second to score a goal. With 40 minutes on the clock, the ball was pushed into Adejokun in the left hand channel, who controlled, turned his man and fired low across the goalkeeper and it’s one all.
Another early free kick from Shepherd’s Bush saw a low shot saved by Francis. A Clapton Community corner saw the goalkeeper flapping, as Charlie Fagan headed home, only for the referee to blow for a foul.
Clapton Community were now pushing with Arthur Wright causing the Bushmen more problems as he moved further forward.
On 75 minutes, a backward lunge stroke kick from the defender on Wright looked like a trip … no said the referee, no penalty.
With 77 minutes on the clock sub Reggie Nelson came on to make his Clapton Community debut. 80 minutes and a chance. Taylor wide on the right, beat his man, sent in a cross, it took an awkward bounce but Nelson slipped under the ball, and the chance is gone.
Shepherds Bush were still very much in the game and had a loud penalty appeal themselves while another chance, a low shot from the edge of the area, crept narrowly wide.
Wright was again played in by Adejokun, but the flag was up as he finished past the Shepherd’s Bush keeper.
One final shot from Shepherd’s Bush saw Francis claim the ball, and the referee blew the whistle to end the game.
A competitive point against a good team we had not seen before. Put it in our back pocket and move on to next week.