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Clapton are keen to set the tone for cup semi-final with West Essex in league clash

PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 March 2019

Clapton winger Giovanni Palmer races clear (pic Steve Dutton)

Clapton winger Giovanni Palmer races clear (pic Steve Dutton)

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Clapton manager Jonny Fowell says this weekend's Essex Senior League clash with West Essex is about setting the benchmark for when the two sides meet again in a cup semi-final.

Action from Clapton v Barkingside (pic Steve Dutton)Action from Clapton v Barkingside (pic Steve Dutton)

The Tons are set to welcome the Mayesbrook Park-based outfit to The Old Spotted Dog on Saturday as they look to make it three consecutive wins in the league.

But boss Fowell is also keen to send a message ahead of their Errington Challenge Cup tie on March 16.

Fowell said: “It’s a rehearsal for the semi-final of the Errington Challenge Cup so we need to set a benchmark.

“We’ve already beaten them once at their place and I think we should have won by more.

“They’ve overtaken us in the league table and I think we’ve got two games in hand on them still.”

Clapton are currently sitting in 14th place in the table, one spot behind their opponents, with two games in hand on them.

The last time the two sides met the Tons won 3-2 at Mayesbrook Park but Fowell knows both sides have changed a lot since that encounter back in November.

“If you look at the two teams, we’ve changed our team a lot through the season, and they’ve changed personnel a bit as well,” he added. “They’ve got Michael Mignot, who I tried to sign from Barking, and they’re a good little outfit.

“They’re dangerous and you saw that against Sporting Bengal. Amin Levett and Dom went over there. They said they could have been four or five up in the first half, but in the second half they could have lost by four or five.

“It was very much a game of two halves. We’ve just got to try winning the game and play well.”

The Tons head into the match on the back of a 2-1 win over strugglers Barkingside at The Old Spotted Dog last weekend.

Goals from Giovanni Palmer and Andy Greenslade sealed the three points, despite an opener from Side’s Dan Jones from the penalty spot.

“To grind out a result and not play well, that was the main focus,” said Fowell.

“They got a penalty and went 1-0 up, then wasted time, but we got a goal pretty quickly from Giovanni Palmer and nicked it at the end thanks to Andy.

“I thought Emannuel Olajide made a great save at 1-1 and that was the turning point for me.

“He made an absolute peach of a save to keep us in it.”

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