Clapton CFC vs Hackney Wick preview: Men’s first team face in-form visitors

Clapton Community FC vs Hackney Wick takes place on Saturday, March 16 2024 with a 3pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.

It’s a huge game for the Clapton CFC men’s first team as they host the division’s top form side Hackney Wick at the Old Spotted Dog Ground on Saturday.

Having lost two games in a row, CCFC are in need of a win to keep their Eastern Counties League play-off push on track. However, they couldn’t ask for a harder game than the division’s most in-form team who are suddenly right in the play-off picture themselves.

This fixture sounds like a derby but of course neither side play in the borough of Hackney despite what the names suggest. As it’s the closest game they’ll get to Hackney Wick, however, we’re expecting a decent away following.

The opposition

Hackney Wick FC was founded in 2015 and originally played at Mabley Green in the Middlesex County Football League. In 2017 they merged with London Bari and moved up into the Essex Senior League. They now have 16 youth teams and 2 adult teams.

Off the pitch, they offer educational workshops, sporting opportunities, mentoring and access to work routes, particularly for those at risk of gang life. Their members and players also volunteer their services for free to the Hackney community. The Wickers in the Community charity aims to tackle gun, knife and gang culture. They also have an iconic shirt sponsor in Top Boy, the Netflix show.

Form guide

The Wickers have won seven in a row to give them a good chance of a late surge into a play-off spot – particularly if they win this one. They’re the fifth top scorers in the division too.

Previous meetings

The first competitive meeting between the two teams came in October when CCFC won 3-0 away at Witham Town’s ground, where Hackney Wick groundshare. Previously we played a behind-closed-doors friendly in August 2020 at Wadham Lodge Stadium during a storm, winning 2-1.

Players to watch

Three players have hit double figures this season – Victory Akam (17), Leonardo Pola Lopete (13) and Sebaihi Mohammed (11).

For CCFC, Suleyman Zahmoul will be in the spotlight, having left us to go to Hackney Wick, but then returning to us after a couple of games.


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, bucket hat, scarf and badge 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.

Tickets for the Harlow Town game on the last day of the season are limited in number and will be available to buy in person at the game.


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