Another bad night for Clapton as protests continue

PUBLISHED: 17:30 14 December 2016

Action from a Clapton match at the Old Spotted Dog in November (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from a Clapton match at the Old Spotted Dog in November (pic Tim Edwards)


Tons exit third cup competition

Clapton exited another cup competition as they bowed out of the London Senior Cup at the hands of Ryman South side Greenwich Borough last night.

Once again, the game was played in front of empty terracing as the Clapton Ultras continued their boycott of home games, in defiance at the increase in ticket prices and overall leadership of the club by chief executive Vince McBean.

Prior to and during the match there was a police riot van overlooking as, according to reports on social media, a group threatened violence against the anti-fascist Ultras, who continued their protest outside the ground.

Three security guards with metal detectors were also on hand as the group of around 30 spectators made their way to the turnstiles.

Captain Jamie Lyndon said: “The atmosphere at the club has changed (since the boycott), but realistically every other team in the league struggles for fans and certain teams manage to go out and win most weeks.

“If we want to progress we can’t let it affect us.”

Clapton were looking to avoid being knocked out of a third cup competition in just two weeks, following losses to Barking in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy and Hullbridge Sports in the League Challenge cup.

But their opponents, Greenwich Borough, are a club on the rise having been promoted from the Southern Counties Premier League last year and currently lying third in the Ryman South.

Tons began the game well against a Greenwich side littered with ex-professionals, including FA cup finalist Peter Sweeney, who played for Millwall against Manchester United in the 2004 showpiece in Cardiff.

The visitors soon settled into the game and came close to taking the lead early on from a corner, as Lanre Vigo was forced to clear a Michael Power header off the line.

Power was not to be denied on 11 minutes, though, as he was given space 25 yards out and promptly hit a screamer into the bottom corner to give Greenwich the lead.

The hosts got back into the contest on 23 minutes in fortuitous circumstances when Ryan Reed’s initial shot across the keeper was saved and the ball fell to defender Gary Alexander, whose clearance was blocked by Ajani Domingo-Carrington and the ball rebounded into the net.

Greenwich’s second goal came after a nervy first touch from Clapton centre-back Jamie Lyndon allowed Power to pick his pocket and charge into the box.

Lyndon, in his attempts to make amends, dived in rashly and brought the attacker down, conceding a penalty, which Power stepped up to convert and restore Greenwich’s lead on 31 minutes.

Moments later it was 3-1 for the visitors as Billy Dunn fired home just inside the box, after a cross was only half cleared.

The second half could not have started any worse for the Tons as midfielder Siao Blackwood was sent off on 49 minutes following an off-the-ball incident.

With the home side down to 10 men, Greenwich got a fourth as Dunn rounded Richie Robins after his first effort bounced back to him and calmly struck home.

Mo Eisa lashed home on 85 minutes to make it 5-1, before Nathan Cook got a consolation goal for Clapton, who can now concentrate fully on their efforts to get promoted from the Essex Senior League.

Lyndon added: “The first 20 minutes we matched them, and we had a decent work rate.

“The penalty killed us a bit and once we were down to 10 we picked it up a bit and to get that late goal showed we didn’t give up.”

Fourth-placed Clapton host Takeley, who are third, in their next league match on Saturday.

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