Clapton Community FC vs Hutton takes place on Saturday, February 3 2024 with a 3pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.
The promotion and play-off chase is well and truly hotting up as two of the top four sides meet at the Old Spotted Dog Ground on Saturday.
CCFC have been top of the table since mid December but may well have been knocked off the top of the table by Saturday, depending on midweek results.
This is the third of three home games on successive Saturdays, but after this one we have just three left, out of nine games.
In a quirk of the fixture list, two of those nine games are against Hutton, who lie in fourth place but could leapfrog us by winning their two games in hand.
Although we’ve not played them in the league before, we have met in two cup games, both won narrowly by Hutton.
Hutton won the Essex Olympian Premier Division last season, and were promoted to the Eastern Counties League Division One South like us. Also like us, they’ve acquitted themselves fantastically well in their first season at this level, sitting in the play-off places. Manager Matt Singh has been in charge since 2020.
The Tons, as they are nicknamed, were formed in 1928 and groundshare at Billericay Town. They are one of the largest clubs in Essex with a massive 70 teams and are building a new ground at Wynbarns Farm in Shenfield for all its youth teams, which is due to open next season.
Hutton lost against Wormley Rovers last week as part of a tough run of games against fellow promotion chasing sides. They’ve got a lot of those big games out of the way meaning they arguably have an easier run-in than most.
Earlier in the season we lost 2-1 away in the league cup, despite taking the lead through Julian Austin. It wasn’t our first meeting though, as CCFC had its first competitive home fixture against Hutton FC in September 2018 in the BBC Essex Senior Cup, losing a 5-4 thriller in front of a crowd of over 400.
Players to watch
Andrew Webster is their top scorer, having excelled in the EOFL for Leigh Ramblers last season. Stephen Judge is also in the top 20 scorers in the division despite a long-term injury.
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, please help yourself. There is no charge but feel free to put some change in the donation box.
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, badges and tea towels 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.
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 and snow, this is even more important.
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.
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, 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.
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