Clapton boss ‘baffled’ by Barkingside loss
PUBLISHED: 09:20 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:20 14 November 2016
Fowell: We could have won 7-1
Clapton manager Johnny Fowell was left exasperated after seeing his team lose 1-0 at home to Essex Senior League rivals Barkingside.
The Tons boss launched a tirade against the match officials, calling them ‘diabolical’ and claiming key decisions were not made.
He said: “Their striker deserved to be sent off. He got booked and then committed five fouls afterwards.
“I thought the officials were so poor, I’m worried about this league and now I know why other managers have had complaints. They were diabolical.”
A 47th-minute goal from David Laird goal was enough for Barkingside to take all three points against a dominant Clapton side who had many chances to claim the win.
And Fowell, having seen his side’s three-match winning streak come to an end, added: “How did we not win that? It was just one-way traffic in the second half, they had one shot and scored and didn’t look like scoring from there.
“We were playing like it was on the training ground, it was that easy. Their keeper made two amazing saves and if we play like that every week we will have no problems at all.
“At times it was difficult and we played them at their own game a little bit, but overall I have no complaints.
“All good runs must come to an end, but what pleased me the most was how good the fans were. They were fantastic. They are seeing the effort we are putting in and it’s great.”
Fowell has had something of a tumultuous relationship with the Clapton fans since taking charge, especially on social media.
But he admitted things were improving, adding: “My relationship with them is better now. I’ve said some things on Twitter that was wrong, I’ve tried to explain to them, some are happy, others are not, but I love the fans.
“Without them we wouldn’t be as good a club and doing as well as we are, We had almost 500 in and the atmosphere was electric.”
On the pitch, Fowell still sees a bright future for Clapton, despite this setback.
He said: “Our new centre-back partnership is firing well. We have conceded one goal in the past four games and Basildon are a high-scoring side, so the clean sheet against them was a great effort.
“I had a chat with some of the Barkingside players who played here before and they said to me it’s the best Clapton side they have ever seen.
“We could have won 7-1, but that’s football and we go again.”
Next up for Clapton is a trip to Enfield next Saturday, before a Tuesday night game at the Old Spotted Dog against east London rivals Sporting Bengal on November 22.
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