Clapton CFC women’s first team lifted the Supporters Direct Shield on Sunday thanks to a 3-1 victory over an FC United of Manchester XI at the Old Spotted Dog Ground.
It was a scratch FCUM line-up featuring several guest players as their squad rebuilds after the recent exit of their manager. CCFC were also a makeshift side with development players stepping up.
Superb goals from Larissa Vieira (2, both from a distance) and Juliet Jacques put CCFC into a 3-0 lead at half-time but the second half was tighter our visitors scored a late consolation through one of those guests.
It was an impressive performance and revenge for our 9-0 thrashing up at Broadhurst Park in 2021.
After goalkeeper Sophia Axelsson‘s final game with the club she lifted the trophy (not a shield, despite them name) to add another cup to the Old Spotted Dog Ground trophy cabinet.
After a quick turnaround, the Clapton CFC men’s first team took on a FC United of Manchester team, who play three levels above and brought pretty much a full-strength team.
FC took the lead midway through the first half through a free-kick from experienced midfielder Charlie Ennis, but just minutes later CCFC hit back. A delightful through ball from Julian Austin found Noah Adejokun, whose burst of speed and tidy finish into the corner brought us level.
Before half-time it was 2-1 to the visitors, thanks to a Cantona-esque chip from FCUM’s Luke Griffiths. Then early in the second half, it could have been game over but Jack Francis kept out Ennis’ penalty awarded for a shove in the box.
The killer third goal did finally come with ten minutes to go from a tap-in from former Bolton Wanderers striker Demarlio Brown-Sterling, on as a sub. It was FCUM who lifted the Brian Lomax Trophy – which was a shield – in front of their supporters, who travelled in very good numbers.
Shout out too to the excellent crowd of 1,153 for the double header of fan-owned football, which is believed to be the first four figure crowd at the Old Spotted Dog Ground for many decades, and particularly everyone who volunteered their time to put the games on.
It’s our club’s second biggest attendance, beaten only by the 1266 who saw the men’s first team’s FC Roast promotion decider at the Stray Dog in Walthamstow in 2019.
Other big attendances have included 909 for the men’s first team vs Stonewall on Non-League Day later in 2019; 902 who saw the men’s first team beat Kensington Dragons earlier in 2023; and the 775 who saw the women’s first team take on FC St Pauli this summer.
The men’s first team season begins on July 29 while the women’s first team start a bit later on August 20. All home games will be at the Old Spotted Dog Ground.