Clapton CFC men’s first team reach the play-offs

The Clapton CFC men’s first team have qualified for the end-of-season play-offs in the Eastern Counties League Division One South – despite losing the final game at home to Harlow Town.

It was a straight tussle between ourselves and Cannons Wood for the fourth final play-off berth going into the final day, with CCFC ahead by a point. In the end both teams lost their final games of the season.

It’s a huge achievement earned over the course of a long 42-game season – our first at Step 6 having been promoted twice since the club was founded.

The play-off semi-finals take place on Saturday, April 27 and the final on Saturday, May 4. They are all one legs. The highest finishers get home advantage, which means we travel to Wormley Rovers.

The other tie is Hutton vs Dunmow Town – which should be at Hutton but they’ve been forced to give up home advantage due to their usual groundshare at Billericay Town being unavailable.

You may wonder why Harlow – who finished third in the table – aren’t in the play-offs. That’s because FA rules say they cannot be promoted as a result of withdrawing from the football pyramid midway through last season due to pitch problems.

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 play-off winners will be promoted and 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 IlfordWest EssexSporting 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.