Clapton CFC vs Basildon Town preview: Big home test for men’s first team

It’s been an unbeaten start in the league for the Clapton CFC men’s first team but on Saturday it gets tougher with the visit of last season’s runners-up Basildon Town.

CCFC did fall to defeat in midweek in the league cup away at Hutton FC, but player-manager Geoff Ocran made seven changes and suffered four injuries so you perhaps can’t read too much into it.

Both teams have players who know where the goal is. CCFC’s last two league games yielded a whopping 11 goals while Bas player-manager Marcus Bowers scored 28 goals last season. He was this division’s second top goalscorer, with strike partner Harry Brown in the top ten himself with 18.

Basildon Town – not to be confused with Isthmian League side Basildon United – were a major force in the Essex Olympian League for many years, but were unable to be promoted due to the ground grading.

So in 2021/22 they moved to ground share with United and promotion came at the first attempt as runners-up. In their first campaign at Step 6 last season, they finished second again, an agonising point behind champions Frenford, and then lost in the play-offs to Stanway Pegasus.

This season Bas have moved to ground share at East Thurrock United’s Rookery Hill. They’ve continued the good form and will be one of the promotion favourites.

Match Information

Clapton Community FC vs Basildon Town takes place on Saturday 12th 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 2pm. 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 hot drinks and tap water at the bar which are free.

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

Bucket shake

We’ll be holding a bucket shake at the game for UCU Union strike fund for members at East London’s Queen Mary University who are in dispute over pensions, working conditions, casualisation and pay.

Volunteer stall

We will have a volunteer stand at every home game from now on. If you’re interested in volunteering, pop along to a game and speak to a member. There’s loads of volunteering opportunities and we’d love for more people to get involved. Look for the table by the merch stand.


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

There are limited numbers of both home and away shirts plus scarves and a few bucket hats on the merch stall at home games.

The stall is open before games, at half-time and a bit after the game but not during the match itself.


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. Make sure all children are behind the perimeter fencing during games please.

Kids can play on the pitch (weather permitting) after the game but not before or at half-time.

Pitch access

The Grounds committee need to request all spectators keep off the pitch before games and at half-time. They need to carry out safety pitch inspections before play begins, which are voided if people have gone on the pitch.

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