Clapton CFC vs Newbury Forest preview: Men’s first team in big home reunion

Clapton Community FC vs Newbury Forest takes place on Saturday, January 20 2024 with a 3pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.

There are just 12 games left for the Clapton CFC men’s first team – six away, six at home – in their battle for a promotion or play-off place. Last week CCFC lost away to strugglers St Margaretsbury 4-3 meaning the rest of the chasing pack moved closer to us at the top of the table.

Having been able to field a settled side in autumn, it’s been a period of much-changed line-ups every week as injuries and suspensions have mounted up. However, just as many eyes will be on the opponents’ team sheet too, as former CCFC favourites Arthur Wright and Tafari Nicholas may make a welcome return to the Old Spotted Dog Ground.

The opposition

Founded in 2003 as a Sunday league side, Newbury Forest moved into Saturday football in the Romford and District League in 2008. Progression to the Essex and Suffolk Border League followed and then the Essex Olympian League. The club successfully applied to join the new Division One South of the Eastern Counties League for the 2018 season. They topped the table when the 2020-21 season was curtailed due to COVID-19 then last season finished 16th.

Form guide

It’s been a season of running hot and then cold for Newbury Forest but they’re on fire at the moment with three wins in a row, including promotion contenders Cannons Wood last weekend. Those wins have helped revitalise their bid to sneak into the play-offs themselves.

Previous meetings

We’ve met once before, in the second game of this season at Newbury Forest’s Oakside Stadium, with CCFC winning 4-2 for our first three points at this level. The aforementioned Arthur Wright was in fine form with 2 goals with Julian Austin and Dean Bouho also on the scoresheet.

Players to watch

Arthur Wright is now with our visitors and has 10 goals this season, split evenly between both teams. Their top scorer, however, is Chaka Barnett, with 12 goals for Newbury Forest plus 5 for Sporting Bengal in Step 5. Solomon Ogunwomoju, Jerold Cobblah and Reuben Campbell are dual signed with Step 4 Redbridge. Meanwhile another ex CCFC star. defender Tafari Nicholas, is also in their squad. 

Pre-match Palestine tifo

Clapton Punks have arranged a tifo display and have asked for supporters taking part to bring a Palestinian flag to raise before kick off in the Scaffold as the players come out. There will also be a bucket shake for the International Resource Network who are a grassroots, volunteer run organisation in the West Bank.


No tickets are needed, just turn up and pay. Spectator entry is 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 be open from 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. We also have reusable cups now.

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 shirt, beanie, 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.

With the recent frost, this is even more important.

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