Promotion permutations for the Clapton CFC men’s first team with two games to go

As we enter the last couple of weeks of the season, the Clapton CFC men’s first team are still in the mix for a play-off place. An amazing achievement in itself, in our first season at this level, but what do we need to seal a play-off place, and what happens next?

In our division, the Eastern Counties League Division One South, the top team gets automatically promoted and the next four enter play-offs for one additional spot.

That should be simple enough. However, this season has been complicated in that Harlow Town are barred from promotion as a result of withdrawing from football last season. That means the next team down would take their place. So if Harlow finish in the top five, as seems almost certain, the sixth placed team would take their place in the play-offs instead.

Removing Harlow from the equation and looking at the teams with the best points per game records, that makes the promotion race look like this:

TeamPPtsPts/gamePossible Points
Play-offsWormley Rovers39882.2697
Play-offsClapton Community40691.7375
Play-offsDunmow Town39671.7276
Cannons Wood40681.7074
Hackney Wick40631.5869

There is a lot of football to be played, and there are eight teams who can still make the play-offs.

Clapton CFC can no longer grab top spot which is a two-horse race between Benfleet and Wormley Rovers. Benfleet need just 4 points from 4 games to seal it.

We can secure a play-off place if we win both of our remaining games – away to Burnham Ramblers. and home against Harlow Town.

Otherwise we’ll be hoping that Cannons Wood, Dunmow Town, Hackney Wick and Brimsdown drop points in their remaining games.

The remaining fixtures for the play-off chasers are…

  • Clapton CFC vs Burnham Ramblers (a) and Harlow Town (h).
  • Dunmow Town vs Tower Hamlets (h), Newbury Forest (a) and Barkingside (a).
  • Cannons Wood vs Clapton FC (h) and Enfield Borough (a).
  • Hackney Wick vs Enfield Borough (h), Benfleet (a).
  • Brimsdown vs Benfleet (a), Hoddesdon Town (h), Benfleet (h), Hutton (h), Newbury Forest (a), Tower Hamlets (h).

It’s now been confirmed the play-off semi-finals will take place on Saturday, April 27 and the final on Saturday, May 4.

In the play-offs, the second-placed team takes on fifth, and third takes on fourth, then the winners play each other in the final.

All ties are held at the home ground of the highest finishing side of the two. That means we can’t get a home semi-final now as the top two in the play-offs will be Benfleet/Wormley Rovers and Hutton.

Unlike our promotion last season, the ground grading for the next level up would need to be attained by the end of March 2025 – ie after promotion – not the season before.

The champions and the play-off winners will be allocated by the FA in the most appropriate geographical division.

For CCFC, that would most likely be the Essex Senior League, where local teams like Ilford, West Essex, Sporting Bengal United and Athletic Newham play.

But boundaries are always subject to change depending on who goes up and down, and it’s possible we’d be in the Spartan South Midlands, where you will find the likes of Cockfosters and FC Romania.