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Clapton assistant calls for focus ahead of semi-final

PUBLISHED: 15:30 28 April 2015

Clapton assistant manager Marc Nurse (pic: Keely Moore).

Clapton assistant manager Marc Nurse (pic: Keely Moore).

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Tons number two wants players to focus on last four game and nothing else

The Clapton fans celebrate after Stansted game (pic: Keely Moore)The Clapton fans celebrate after Stansted game (pic: Keely Moore)

Clapton assistant manager Marc Nurse has told his players to forget about the final of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy and instead focus on their last four clash with Barking in the Essex Senior League cup this evening.

The two teams do battle tonight before facing each other again on Saturday for the final at Burnham Leslie Field.

But Tons number two has warned his team must focus on giving the club and their supporters another big day by beating Blues at Mayesbrook Park this evening, and nothing else.

“It has been mentioned that we are playing them on the Tuesday and Saturday, but players need to think about one game,” said Nurse.

Barking beat Clapton 1-0 when the sides met at Mayesbrook Park in January (pic: Terry Gilbert)Barking beat Clapton 1-0 when the sides met at Mayesbrook Park in January (pic: Terry Gilbert)

“They need to get through the semi-final and then think about the final - forget about it at the moment, though, and concentrate on getting through to another final.

“I would say the semi-final won’t have any psychological effect on the final. Football is football and it changes all the time.

“They are both completely different games. It all depends on who is available, who turns up on the day and things like that.”

In the two league meets this year only one goal was scored and it was from the penalty spot. That suggests it will be a close fixture tonight.

Honours finished even when Clapton and Barking met at the Old Spotted Dog back in September (pic: Terry Gilbert)Honours finished even when Clapton and Barking met at the Old Spotted Dog back in September (pic: Terry Gilbert)

Ben Turner’s spot kick earned Barking a 1-0 win on January 31 on a Mayesbrook Park pitch that had been heavily affected by huge rain fall.

Nurse expects the surface to be better this evening and believes his team have a great chance of reaching another final.

He added: “It was only 1-0 before and they scored from a penalty in the first half that we gave away from our mistake.

“After that it was fairly even, they had one or two chances so they could have maybe won by another goal.

“I expect a different game this time. I hope if we have a decent playing surface we can do well, and if we don’t I still expect us to do well.”

Clapton’s assistant also revealed an inspired performance from James Briggs in last week’s clash with London Bari could have earned him a starting role tonight.

Nurse had said prior to the ‘Old Spotted Dog derby’ that the Tons management team had an idea of what side they would put out against Barking.

But Briggs impressed in the 2-1 success against Bari - scoring the winning goal - and has put himself in contention for a start.

“James Briggs was star of the show against London Bari,” added Nurse. “He was solid, he came back into the team and he hasn’t played many games this season, but he was one of the only players to stand out.

“When we played London Bari in March we only drew 1-1, but this time it was 2-1 with Briggs scoring the winner.

“I am not saying he will definitely start, but he has worked himself back into consideration now and he is peaking at just the right time.”

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