Clapton CFC vs Barkingside preview: Men’s first team start 2024 at top

Clapton Community FC vs Barkingside takes place on Saturday, January 6 2024 with a 3pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.

Happy New Year!

It may feel like the half-way point of the season, but the Clapton CFC men’s first team have actually played two-thirds of their games. Incidentally, the 28 league games played so far is four more than we played for the entirety of last season.

That leaves us 14 games over the next four months, with half of those at home. With just 3 women’s first team home games left too, let’s make the most of the last 10 games at the Old Spotted Dog Ground.

Since our last home game, CCFC have ground out a win and a draw from two hard-fought away games despite missing a full team of players through injuries, suspensions and Christmas trips away.

Hopefully we will have patched up more of the team for Saturday’s first game of 2024 as we host Barkingside and the top scorer in the division at the Old Spotted Dog Ground.

The opposition

Barkingside FC, established in 1888, have won a number of honours throughout their long history, including league titles and cups, while playing variously in the London, Essex, and South Midland Leagues. They have played at this level since 2019, consolidating as a solid mid-table side.

Form guide

Barkingside are tenth in the table, so will be hoping for a push towards the play-off places in the second half of the season.Their games are typically tight affairs – in all their games since September, they’ve either drawn, lost by one goal or won by one goal.

Previous meetings

This is the first time we’ve hosted Barkingside. In the away game at Cricklefields Stadium in November, we squeezed past them 2-1 thanks to a last minute winner. In 2019 we played a friendly which was our first ever 0-0 draw.

Players to watch

The ‘Side boast the league’s top scorer, Fred Agyemang, who has hit the 20 goal mark already. He’s formerly of Basildon United, Fisher and Cockfosters. Last season’s top scorer, Michael James-Akerele, has 6 in 11 games too.


No tickets are needed, just turn up and pay. Spectator entry will be via the Disraeli Road turnstile from 2pm.

Standard admission is now £4 (we are not allowed to charge less), concessions can pay what they want, and under 13s are free. A full list of concessions is available here.

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 2pm until 7pm. 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.

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 also have hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Bovril) and water and squash 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.

Hygiene bank collection

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

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


You can buy a home or away shirt, a red or black beanie, a scarf or snood on the merch stall. The stall is open before the game, at half-time, and afterwards, only.

We will have an 8-page matchday programme available at the entrance and merch stall, pick one up for free, donations welcome to cover the printing costs.


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 too please.

If/when Clapton CFC wins a game, children are invited to join the players in their post-match celebration on the side of 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