Clapton CFC vs Fulham preview: Big home cup tie for our women’s first team

Clapton Community FC vs Fulham takes place on Sunday, November 5 2023 with a 2pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.

The Clapton CFC women’s first team have spoiled us with many memorable cup games over recent years and Sunday’s League Cup tie should be another whatever the result.

Fulham are possibly the most prestigious – and arguably best – team we’ve played so far. But a one-off game at our own Old Spotted Dog Ground… who knows.

The opposition

Fulham became the first women’s football team in Europe to turn full-time professional in April 2000 with star players like Rachel Yankey, winning a cabinet full of trophies over the next few seasons. The latest incarnation of the club formed in 2014 and has been in the London & South East Regional Women’s Premier Division since, going close to promotion in third in the last two seasons. Their usual home is the club’s training ground Motspur Park but last year they set a new attendance record, 3,181, in a game held at Craven Cottage.

Previous meetings

The two teams have not met before.

Form guide

At the moment Fulham are second top in their division, which is one level above us. They’ve played some teams we’ve previously met – beating Enfield Town 8-0, Dorking Wanderers 4-0, Sutton United 4-1 but drawing with Ashford United 1-1. Meanwhile Clapton CFC are unbeaten at home in the league so far this season.

Players to watch

Striker Sophie Manzi (a summer signing from Dulwich) is the division’s top scorer with 13, with Georgia Heasman just behind on 8, while super-sub Ede Buchele has 7 despite only starting one game.


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

Admission for women’s first team games is by donation, with a suggested £4 for waged adults to match the charge for the men’s first team, but any amount or none at all is fine.

Spectator entry will be via the Disraeli Road turnstile from 1pm with kick off at 2pm.

Cash and cards are accepted everywhere in the ground – cash is quicker at the turnstile to help prevent queues but card quicker elsewhere.

Food and drink

The Clubhouse bar will open at 1pm and close at 6pm.

Please help the club by purchasing drinks from the bar. The premises are licensed so we ask you not to bring your own alcohol into the OSD. The profits from the bar are invested in maintaining the grounds.

We have a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on sale. Two beers are on tap – Pretty Decent Lager and Old Scaffold Daze, our own IPA.

We also have hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Bovril) and water at the bar which are free, please help yourself.

We have crisps, nuts, and Hackney Gelato on sale in the clubhouse.

Outside, Fusion Foods will be selling hot and cold food – meat, veggie and vegan options.

Wrap Up London coat collection

You can donate old coats as part of the Wrap Up London campaign at either game this weekend.

There will be a drop off point near the entrance with coats and jackets of all sizes are gratefully received, from puffa to parka and duffle to down. 

There will be plenty of other chances to donate if you can’t make these games with collection points running up to December 3. – check the website for more details.

Hygiene bank collection

The hygiene bank collection is back at all home games. Our charity partners Magpie Project support mums and young children in temporary accommodation. They need:

● Toothpaste ● Toothbrush ● Shower gel ● Shampoo ● Deodorant ● Sanitary towel

At the moment they’re also appealing for canvas/tote bags so please do donate if you have spares.

The collection box will be at the main entrance.


We will have a 4-page matchday programme available, pick one up for free, donations welcome to cover the printing costs.

There are limited numbers of shirts, scarves, pin badges and keyrings on the merch stall. The stall is open before the game, at half-time, and afterwards, only.


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 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 at 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 games but not before or at half-time.

If/when Clapton CFC wins a game, children are invited to join the players in their post-match celebration 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, next to the main stand. You can lock them to the fencing. 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.

Any questions?

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


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