Clapton CFC vs Cannons Wood preview: Men’s first team take on high-flyers

Clapton Community FC vs Cannons Wood takes place on Saturday, September 30 2023 with a 3pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.

The Clapton CFC men’s first team take on one of the division’s high-flyers Cannons Wood in our first home game for three weeks.

It’s the start of an astonishing run of SIX home games in three weeks for the men’s first team, plus another couple for the women’s first team! It’s going to be a super busy time for all players, coaches, committees and supporters, please get to as many games as possible as it’s truly the make or break period for both teams.

The opposition

The club formed in 2019 as a YouTube team initially but entered the Essex Alliance League and won promotion to this level last season. Originally known as DTFC, they rebranded as Cannons Wood in 2022 with the name said to be inspired by the Canons Brook estate in Harlow. where they played at the time. They’ve since moved to groundshare at Aveley FC.

Form guide

Cannons Wood may be top of the division by Saturday, depending on the result of their midweek game against Wormley Rovers. Either way, it’s been a superb start and they’ll be among the promotion favourites.

Clapton CFC meanwhile enjoyed a great early spell but have been stuttering since, with three draws in a row, and we are without a win in six.

Previous meetings

This will be our first ever meeting with Cannons Wood.

Players to watch

Tricky winger Khadean Campbell is well known in East London non-league circles and is no stranger to the Old Spotted Dog Ground. New signing Harry Brown scored 19 goals in 24 games for Basildon Town in this division last season.


No 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.

Bucket shake

We’ll be holding a bucket shake for Awkwaaba to help with costs for running their sessions. Hackney-based Akwaaba is a social centre for migrants to rest, play, learn and for mutual support. Akwaaba’s kids project welcomes children of all ages and looks after 40+ young people each week. While parents/carers take part in workshops and classes, volunteer at the centre or just enjoy a break, the children enjoy free activities including arts and crafts, dance workshops, martial arts and skateboarding. Many Akwaaba families face severe hardship due to the ‘hostile environment’ and austerity. We’ll be welcoming some of the Akwaaba kids as our special guests at the game too! If you can’t make it or want to donate online instead, you can donate 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 water at the bar which are free.

Fusion Foods will be selling hot and cold food – meat, veggie and vegan options. We also have Hackney Gelato on sale in the clubhouse.


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 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.

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.

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

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.

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