Clapton claim east London derby spoils over Sporting Bengal United at Old Spotted Dog
PUBLISHED: 10:30 23 November 2016
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026
Essex Senior League: Clapton 2 Sporting Bengal United 1
Clapton rose to fourth place in the Essex Senior League table following a dominant victory against bottom side Sporting Bengal United last night.
Goals from captain Jerry Jairette and the returning Fahad Nyanja were enough for the Tons to take all three points against a lacklustre visiting side, but the gloss of the victory was rubbed away as tensions between the fans and club hierarchy reached fever point.
Without warning, ticket prices were raised by a pound to make them seven pounds for an adult and private security was placed at the entrance before the match, to the dismay of the Ultras.
The usually vocal fans refused to sing for the first half in protest against the changes and when they resumed, the majority of the chants were against chief executive Vince McBean.
Despite the eerie atmosphere and the absence for the second match in a row of boss Johnny Fowell, Clapton went about their business in a professional manner in the first half.
Perhaps buoyed on by their last-gasp win at Enfield, the Tons almost took the lead in the opening minutes, as Johnny Ashman played through Siao Blackwood, but his effort was saved well.
It would only take five minutes for Clapton to unlock a Bengal defence that appeared to still be at their office desks.
A brilliant crossfield ball allowed Ashman in behind the full-back, with the winger then producing an accurate cross to the onrushing Jairette who stroked home to give the Tons the lead.
Clapton continued to probe at the Bengal defence, with runs from Blackwood and Nyanja continually unlocking the backline.
The Tons frontmen had many opportunities to double the lead, with both squandering one-on-one chances, which on another day they would surely have slotted home.
All that changed on 26 minutes, though, with the tenacity of Nyanja on full display as the forward leapt highest to win a header and then latched on to a brilliant return pass from Nathan Cook and buried the chance past the despairing Dwayne Esprit.
Centre-back Jamie Lyndon almost got in on the act as well, striking the post after his first effort hit the keeper, and it seemed only a matter of time before a third was added.
But Clapton’s complacency proved their undoing and, on 42 minutes, Bengal struck on the counter attack as Ashaan Siddik played a through ball to Codey Cameron, who beat the offside trap and flicked the ball around the keeper, before finishing into the empty net.
Sporting Bengal were handed a lifeline and had a way back into the game following their suckerpunch.
But as the second half progressed it seemed Bengal, who are now without a win in seven games, were not up for the fight.
Manager Imrul Gazi tried a range of formations and attacking substitutions, but the Clapton backline stayed resilient and saw out time to take the three points to move into the top four.
Tons captain Jairette said: “We started really well, we were straight on to them but the downfall was our finishing. We held out well at the end.”
As for the team’s move up to fourth place, he added: “I’m over the moon. I have been at Clapton 10 years now, so I was here when we was getting smashed every week.
“It’s nice to see Clapton progress. I want to hang my boots up when we are in the Ryman League.”
Next up for Clapton is a trip to Redbridge on Saturday, while Sporting Bengal visit Stansted.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.