Essex Senior League: Jon Fowell challenges Clapton’s rivals to take points off Barking

Clapton's defence clears the ball against Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

Clapton's defence clears the ball against Barking (pic Terry Gilbert) - Credit: Archant

Tons boss wants fellow league clubs to keep their title chances alive by beating leaders

Barking's Petrit Elbi on the attack against Clapton (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Petrit Elbi on the attack against Clapton (pic Terry Gilbert) - Credit: Archant

Clapton manager Jon Fowell has challenged other Essex Senior League clubs to beat leaders Barking in the coming weeks.

The Tons defeated their local rivals 4-2 on Saturday after a thrilling encounter at the Old Spotted Dog.

Fowell praised the way Barking took the loss, although hopes it will spur other teams on to try and take points off the Blues.

He said: “If we had lost on Saturday then it would have been over, but now we need other teams to do us a favour.

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“Barking still have to play Southend Manor twice so if they can take points off them it will help us.

“Realistically we need maximum points from our last 11 games to have a chance, so 33 points from 33.

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“If we can’t do that then I’ll be the first to wish Barking all the best in the Ryman North because I’m sure they’ll do well.”

While Clapton have a chance of claiming the title, Fowell won’t give up and hailed the performance of his team on Saturday.

Petrit Elbi opened the scoring after four minutes to give Blues the lead, but a brace of Jay Knight penalties turned the game on its head at half time.

Ryan Reed added a third for Tons after the break before James Peagram reduced the deficit midway through the second period.

Knight had the final say, however, by heading home to complete his hat-trick and seal an impressive 4-2 success.

Fowell added: “The result was a mixture of everything. The players were really up for it and training on Thursday was really good.

“We had one coach working on each set of players, so one on the forwards, one on the midfielders and another on the defence.

“The key was to keep James Peagram quiet and Dylan (Ebengo) at the back was superb, but they all played well.”

Clapton’s manager went on to hail the other members of his squad before revealing that Barking were gracious in defeat.

The Tons boss, who has praised the Mayesbrook Park club several times in the past, added: “I don’t think Barking could handle our pace and power.

“Ryan and Johnny Ashman were fantastic and so was Nathan Cook. All over the pitch we dominated and I was so proud of the boys, especially considering our previous results against them.

“Glen (Golby) came up to me at full-time and said well done and I got a text from Rob (O’Brien) their chairman as well, so that was a nice touch. They’ve got a lot of good guys over at that club.”

Clapton are one point behind Barking in third, but the leaders have four games in hand over their local rivals.

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