Clapton and Bari chase some FA Cup magic

The 2015/16 Fly Emirates FA Cup (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA)

The 2015/16 Fly Emirates FA Cup (pic: Andrew Matthews/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Michael Walther’s men preparing to welcome old foes to the Old Spotted Dog

The FA Cup was only won three months ago, but Newham’s non-league teams will be battling it out this weekend to progress and earn vital funds in the oldest association football competition in the world.

Essex Senior League rivals Clapton and London Bari are both in action and could earn £1,500 each if they win their respective extra preliminary round ties.

The Tons and their Old Spotted Dog tenants will come up against tough Thurlow Nunn teams.

Michael Walther’s side will host Stanway Rovers, while Bari are preparing to go to Long Melford.

Clapton could be forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu following the draw, having also been drawn against Rovers in the Essex Senior Cup second round last season and exiting that competition following a dramatic clash.

They faced the same opposition in the FA Cup two years ago too, but won 1-0 on that occasion.

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And Walther discussed the clash between the two teams last season, saying: “When we played Stanway Rovers, I think it ended up kicking off at 9 o’clock at night because we had to travel to them and there was an accident on the A12.

“We had Fahad Nyanja, our forward, in goal for the first 20 minutes and started with nine.

“They won the game 1-0 and only scored in the 89th minute so we did well considering everything that happened on that night.”

Walther believes Essex Senior League teams can struggle against Thurlow Nunn sides because they can’t deal with their physicality.

But Clapton should provide a tough test for Stanway on Saturday.

“I think we are going to be much more organised this season, rather than being freestyle like we were last year,” added Walther.

“We are following the route of Barking in trying to be organised and well drilled so you’re less likely to see so much flair from us.”

Unfortunately Clapton’s league campaign started with defeat at the weekend as they lost 2-1 at Basildon despite Freddie Morris converting a penalty for the east Londoners, but London Bari were able to pick up a point after a stalemate with Eton Manor at the Dog.

Tons were able to bounce back and give themselves a confidence boost ahead of the FA Cup tie when they beat Eton Manor 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Bari, meanwhile, made the short trip to local rivals Ilford on Wednesday, but suffered a 1-0 defeat.

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