Clapton CFC vs St Margaretsbury preview: First home game at Step 6 for men’s first team

After 5 long years of blood, sweat, volunteers, inspections, checklists, and re-inspections Clapton CFC’s men’s first team can finally join the women’s first team in beginning a home campaign at the Old Spotted Dog!

Of course, we have already had a small taste of what is to come. The final two home fixtures of the 2022/23 season were played here, seeing 3-0 and 5-1 victories as the Middlesex County Football League Premier Division title was sealed, with bumper crowds and superb atmospheres at both games. 

After beginning the new season with two consecutive away games, a draw at Wormley Rovers and a win at Newbury Forest, our first visitors of the new season are St. Margaretsbury FC.

They opened their 2023/24 campaign with a big 4-1 win away at NW London, with new signing Billy Skinner bagging 2.

Last season, ‘The Bury’ finished 10th in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Division 1, right in the middle of the 19-team league table. Goals were spread around the squad – a quite extraordinary 27 different players finding the net across all competitions – with Gerson Artur finishing top goal scorer.

With threats from all over the pitch and higher league experience, this will be a big test.

About St Margaretsbury

The club from St Margarets in Hertfordshire was founded in 1894 as Stanstead Abbotts FC, before renaming as St. Margaretsbury in 1962. 

A Chartered Standard Senior & Youth Football Club in Hertfordshire, in addition to their Mens 1st team, they have an Under 18 Academy team which plays in the SCYFL, youth football between 7-18yrs, and a Women’s team.

Through their long history, they have played variously across the Hertfordshire, South Midlands and Essex regions, last featuring in the Essex Senior League in the 2021-22 season.

Match Information

Clapton Community FC vs St Margaretsbury FC takes place on Saturday 5th August 2023 with a 3pm kick off at The Old Spotted Dog Ground, 212 Upton Lane, Forest Gate, E7 9NP.

Spectator entry will be via the Disraeli Road turnstile and gates from 1pm. Cash and cards are accepted everywhere.

If you have any further questions on the day, look for anyone wearing a pink hi-viz vest or the bar staff who will be happy to answer.


No advanced tickets are needed, just turn up and pay at the turnstile.

Standard admission is now £4 (due to FA minimum pricing at this level), concessions can pay what they want, and under 13s free. A full list of concessions is available here.

Food and drink

The Clubhouse bar will open at 2pm and close at 7pm. As well as a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on sale, we also have coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Bovril, squash and water which are free, donations welcome.

Fusion Foods will be selling hot and cold food – meat, veggie and vegan options – near to the entrance gate.


We will have a eight-page matchday programme available, pick one up for free, donations welcome to cover the printing costs.

Our home and away shirts MIGHT be back in stock. We should have stickers and scarves on sale too. Yes, scarves in summer… Our merch table is near the entrance.

No pyro

Please remember the OSD ground rules eg around pyro; pyro, flares, smoke canisters and fireworks are banned from all football grounds. Any use at the OSD (or indeed CCFC away games) is prohibited and its use in competitive football will put CCFC’s position at severe risk. Anyone in possession of such items may be refused entry or ejected. We can still create a magnificent atmosphere.


There is an accessible toilet with baby-changing facilities next to the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse main entrance is also step-free.

Children welcome

Prams and pushchairs are always very welcome in the OSD, but please avoid blocking walkways.

Watch this space for if and when children can play on the pitch after the game. It usually depends on the weather.

Dogs welcome

Spectators are welcome, in fact encouraged, to bring dogs to the OSD, but please keep on leads.

Bikes welcome

There’s space to leave your bikes inside the Old Spotted Dog Ground, to the right of the outdoor toilets. You can lock them to the fencing. It’s best to arrive early so you don’t have to push your bike through crowds. Please don’t leave them locked to the pitch perimeter as it blocks the walkway.

We are currently working on plans for a better bike parking and locking system – watch this space.


The Old Spotted Dog Ground is at 212 Upton Lane in Forest Gate, London E7 9NP.

Forest Gate station (Elizabeth Line) and Wanstead Park (Overground) are 15 minutes’ walk away, Plaistow (District / Hammersmith & City) is 20 minutes’ walk, and Stratford (National Rail/Overground/Elizabeth/Jubilee/Central/DLR) is 25 minutes’ walk. The Aslef union will be operating an overtime ban as action short of a strike, so this may affect you if travelling on a National Rail route.

If you’ve not been to the OSD yet, here are some even more detailed directions.

Parking is free on the streets to the north and west of the ground (e.g. Disraeli Rd) on Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, parking is restricted on streets to the east and south of the ground (e.g. St George’s Rd and Upton Lane), but there are no restrictions on Sundays. Always check local signage for any changes. And if possible come by public transport, bike or walk

Map of the Old Spotted Dog Ground