Clapton Community FC vs NW London FC takes place on Saturday, September 2 2023 with a 3pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.
The Clapton CFC men’s first team will look to quickly bounce back after losing their long unbeaten home record last week against Dunmow Town.
The visitors scored two identikit goals for a 2-0 win and the CCFC team could not take their chances in a game that descended into chaos with two red cards and a hailstone storm.
But that defeat should not take too much gloss off the very promsing start to the season after promotion, with the team in sixth with three wins, two draws and a defeat.
Saturday’s opponents NW London provide a unique challenge in the Eastern Counties League, playing free-flowing, attacking football.
This will be the CCFC team’s 50th home game in the league, having won 32 of the 49 previous games, drawn 11 and lost 6. For 148, against 77.
This is our eleventh meeting with NW London having started our journey together in the Middlesex County Football League. There’s been seven competitive games where we’ve notched up three wins, two draws and two defeats, plus three friendlies.
NW London FC was founded in 2015 by manager Wasim Khan and secretary Samir Naji who are both from North West London, hence the name. They have ambitions to reach the professional leagues within the next 10 years.
Both clubs have had iconic shirts produced by Rage Sports, theirs with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the front. We also co-organised the Middlesex Super 6 League together after the Covid lockdown.
Our away tie in the Anagram Records Trophy in 2022 was marred by a row over increased ticket prices, which was hopefully resolved as the next game a few months later was free entry.
We were both promoted from the First Division Central & East in 2019 then The Gorillas were promoted to the Eastern Counties League one season before us. In their first season at this level, they finished just above the relegation zone.
This time round they’ve had a slow start again but have played the fewest games in the division. They have recorded two good wins in cup action, including 5-1 in the FA Vase against another old name, London Samurai Rovers.
Players to watch
Alex Kozak has scored in every game so far this season, league and cup, having been top scorer with 12 goals last season.
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.
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.
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 water at the bar which are free.
Fusion Foods will be selling hot and cold food – meat, veggie and vegan options.
If you’re interested in volunteering, pop along to a game and speak to a member. Look for the table by the merch stand. There’s loads of volunteering opportunities and we’d love for more people to get involved.
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, a few bucket hats, pin badges and keyrings 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.
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.
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
Spectators are welcome, in fact encouraged, to bring dogs to the OSD, but please keep on leads.
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.
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