Benfleet vs Clapton CFC preview: Men’s first team visit the league leaders

Benfleet vs Clapton Community FC takes place on Saturday, March 30 2024 with a 3pm kick off at Canvey Island FC, Park Lane, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 7PX.

There’s just four games to go for the Clapton CFC men’s first team this season as the push for the play-offs continues.

Last week’s 5-2 win at Park View was a real return to form and means qualifying for the play-offs is still in our own hands. Three wins would clinch a play-off spot even if the others in the race win every game.

That’s easier said than done when the run of games is very tricky, starting with a trip to league leaders Benfleet. They are on a sensational run of form with 12 wins in 13 games but still can’t afford a slip-up in the race for automatic promotion with Wormley Rovers. However, we did edge a close game 2-1 at the Old Spotted Dog Ground which suggests we have a fighting chance.

The opposition

Benfleet FC was founded in 1922 and started in the Southend & District League the joined Essex Olympian League in 1972. In 2018 due to an FA restructure they were promoted to the new Division One South of the Eastern Counties League, a three-division jump, moving to Canvey Island FC’s ground in the process. In 2022 they finished third but lost in extra time in the play-offs to Halstead Town. Last season they were agonisingly pipped to a play-off spot on the last day of the season. They have started to redevelop their historic Woodside Park ground so they can move back to Benfleet.

Previous meetings

The teams met at the Old Spotted Dog Ground in November, with two Noah Adejokun goals sealing a brilliant 2-1 win in front of 465 crowd.

Players to watch

Rhys Fatt has 20 goals – including in the game at the OSD – since signing from Basildon Town earlier in the season. Manager Lee Scott – who took over from Alec Salmon when he moved up to Enfield in the Isthmian League in September – also still plays in midfield.

Form guide

Benfleet are an unbelievable run of form, having won 16 and drawn 1 of the 18 games since we met in November. That’s meant they have surged up to top spot in the table to fight it out with Wormley Rovers for the one automatic promotion place.


It’s £6, £4 concessions, £2 children. There’s hot food and drinks in the kiosk, and a bar serving alcohol.


Benfleet station is 3.4 miles from the ground, a walk of around 1 hour 15 minutes. There is a taxi rank at the back of the station and a bus service from the front of the station. You can use the number 22 or 27 bus to be dropped directly outside Park Lane.

There is plenty of parking outside the ground.