Clapton claim win in 2017 opener
PUBLISHED: 08:25 04 January 2017
Clapton 4 Basildon United 0
Clapton got the new year off to a superb start with a comfortable Essex Senior League victory over Basildon at the Old Spotted Dog last night.
Tons had gone into the Christmas break on the back of a fine 2-1 success at FC Romania and picked up from where they left off to close the gap on second-placed Southend Manor to a point, with a game in hand.
Basildon saw an early chance fly wide of the far post as they made a bright start, but Tons then tested Joe Robbins with two efforts on target and the second of them was superbly tipped over.
Reece Tranter curled a shot straight at the Tons keeper, before Robbins was called into action again at the other end after a slip by one of his defenders.
And Robbins then kept out a Clapton penalty, having conceded the spot-kick himself, before Nathan Dewberry surged into the home box and saw a shot blocked.
Both sides had further chances, with Tons flashing a shot wide and the Bees almost bundling the ball over the line from a corner, before the hosts had shouts for another penalty turned down.
The deadlock was broken just before half time, though, as Dylan Ebengo gave Clapton the lead with a low shot under the body of Robbins.
And Jon Fowell’s men doubled their lead eight minutes after the restart after being awarded their second penalty of the night, which was converted by Jay Knight.
The hosts thought they had been given another spot-kick soon after, but after some deliberation by the match official, play continued.
And after seeing other chances go to waste, Tons went 3-0 up when Ike Nzuruba finished off a good move with a low finish with 14 minutes remaining.
Nzuruba netted again just four minutes later, tapping into an inviting goal after Robbins had saved an initial shot.
And there could have been more goals at both ends before the final whistle, as Clapton deservedly banked the three points despite another boycott from supporters, which saw the official attendance announced as just 43.
Assistant manager Andre Thomas tweeted: “Good start to 2017. Top performance from the boys, played some brilliant football. Now off to Stansted to be welcomed by an old face.”
Tons travel to former boss Michael Walther’s Stansted on Saturday, before returning home to host Haringey & Waltham next Tuesday (January 10).
Clapton: Ashman, Awoderu, Cook, Ebengo, Jairette, Knight, lastic, Nzuruba, Olajide, Reed, Vigo. Subs: Joseph, Nielsen, Rene, Sardinha.