Clapton CFC vs Sport London e Benfica preview: Women’s first team host leaders

Clapton Community FC vs Sport London e Benfica takes place on Sunday, March 24 2024 with a 2pm kick off at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, Forest Gate, East London.

With five games to go, Clapton CFC women’s first team still have an outside chance of sneaking into top spot and the one promotion place.

But we’ll have to win most if not all of those five, starting with the leaders Sport London e Benfica, who we’ve never actually beaten before. Nevertheless, to still have something to play for at this late stage is an achievement in itself.

This will also be the team’s first home league game of 2024 having had six away league games in a row so we’re hoping for a big crowd to cheer them on.

The opposition

Our visitors are affiliated with the world famous Sport Lisboa e Benfica. Last season they finished in sixth place, in their second season at this level, having risen up the leagues very quickly.

The men’s team folded around a decade ago but reformed last year in the Middlesex County Football League Combination and won promotion to Division One and the Middlesex County Junior Trophy. The club also have youth football and futsal teams.

Form guide

SLE Benfica have lost just one league game all season, away at Actonians Reserves. In the 10 games since that game, though, they’ve won 9 and drawn one.

Previous meetings

We’re looking for our first ever win against The Eagles at the fourth attempt. On the first day of this season, we were 1-0 up at half-time through Marta Casanovas but lost 2-1. Last season, we drew 0-0 at the Old Spotted Dog Ground, our first ever goalless draw. The return game a few weeks later saw them edge it 2-1 despite an equaliser from Casanovas again.

Players to watch

SLE Benfica boast the second and third top goalscorers in the division in their ranks, with Kimberley Castro on 21 and Kendal Drake on 16.


No tickets are needed, just turn up and pay at the turnstile. Spectator entry will be via the Disraeli Road turnstile from 1pm with kick off at 2pm.

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

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. We usually have two beers on tap – Pretty Decent Lager and Old Scaffold Daze, our own IPA.

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.

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 towels


You can buy a shirt, beanie hat, bucket hat, bobble hat, scarf, badge and tea towel on the merch stall. The stall is open before the game, at half-time, and afterwards, only.

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

Tickets for the CCFC men’s first team game versus Harlow Town 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 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