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Assistant Nurse keen to go compare Tons at big boys

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 March 2015

Latest news from Essex Senior League

Latest news from Essex Senior League

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Clapton number two Marc Nurse praises supporters and previews this weekend's clash with Bowers & Pitsea

Clapton assistant manager Marc Nurse is excited about facing Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday to see what is required to make sure his side can challenge for the Essex Senior League title next season.

Tons travel to the Len Salmon Stadium this weekend to face a team that haven’t been beaten in the league since November 8.

Bowers are pushing Barking and Haringey Borough for the title, but Nurse believes Clapton will be in the mix next year too.

“It will be a good test to see where we are and what we need to do for next season when we want to win the league,” Nurse said.

“I expect Bowers will be challenging next season and Barking, because I think Haringey have got it in the bag this year.

“We are trying to compete with these sides, get a better team and get a stronger team bond for next season.”

Bowers and Clapton have faced each other three times already this year.

The two league rivals played out a stalemate in the FA Cup before Tons exited the competition on penalties in a replay.

But they beat Bowers 1-0 back in September, so a close contest is expected again on Saturday.

Nurse added: “We played them before in the FA Cup and in the league too.

“We drew 0-0 with them in the first match and then they knocked us out. I think our full strength team against there’s would have a good chance.”

Tons entertained Enfield in the quarter-finals of the Gordan Brasted Memorial Trophy last night (Tuesday) and thrashed them 5-0.

Geoff Ocran opened the scoring after 15 minutes at the Old Spotted Dog before Warren Mfula and Luke Kanjor extended their lead before the break.

And further efforts from Eamon Payne and Idu Bogdan ensured they progressed to the semi-final’s of the competition.

It means Tons have scored nine times in their last two matches after their seven-goal thriller with Basildon last weekend.

Jamie Lyndon, Shomari Barnwell and Fahad Nyanja’s brace helped Clapton to a 4-3 victory.

Although Nurse couldn’t attend because his partner was having a baby scan, he heard all about the day and praised the fans – with 331 people at the Old Spotted Dog.

He added: “The attendance was absolutely amazing, especially at this level of football.

“It is more than most Ryman Premier teams are getting and that makes us so proud as a team.

“I have seen some lovely pictures on Twitter and everyone had a good time so that is brilliant.

“The Clapton Ultras have been fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for what they do.”

Nurse went on to pay tribute to Tons blossoming fan base and admitted it is helping the club bring in players of better quality.

He added: “The supporters have been brilliant. They are getting new people to come all the time and they are coming back.

“When they are singing and cheering the players on in the games it gives them an extra boost and it is helping us get better players to the football club.”

Last weekend’s clash was also a Football v Homophobia event.

Clapton’s Ultras arranged for the iniative to take place on Saturday and a donation was made to the ‘Paris’ group, the only support for Newham LGBT Youth.

Nurse added: “The Ultras organised it and they wanted to do it for that weekend and the weather was good so I am really pleased and proud of the work they’re doing.”

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