Clapton’s Thomas expecting a pair of tough tests against Ilford and FC Clacton rivals

PUBLISHED: 14:00 02 August 2017

Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas (second right) celebrating runners up trophy at the end of last season

Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas (second right) celebrating runners up trophy at the end of last season


Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas is expecting a ‘difficult’ match against Essex Senior League pacesetters Ilford this evening.

The Tons will travel away to face Ilford in their second league fixture of the new season and Thomas admits he will be making changes to the team.

“Ilford away will be another difficult fixture,” he said.

“There will be some changes, we know we need to give a big performance against Ilford.

“They’ve got a chip on their shoulder so they’ll be a dangerous outfit, but to counter that, we’re also hurt and we’re hungry to get points on the board.”

Thomas admits Ilford’s new signings Khadean Campbell and James Peagram will be their danger men.

“Ilford will have many players that can cause danger, Khadean Campbell and James Peagram will probably be top of the list,” he added.

“Khadean is a winger who can turn defence into attack easily, commit defenders, win freekicks and finish.

“However we’re wiser than believing stopping those two wins the game, as they’ll have nine more players on that pitch at that time that can do damage by having a great game.”

The club also travel to FC Clacton for an FA Cup preliminary round tie on Saturday and Thomas added: “The FA Cup against Clacton FC is billed as the phonetic derby!

“Everyone is looking forward to the day out, the trip up there but my job is to have the 90 minutes be what really makes everyone’s weekend.

“We can’t play the occasion, we need to play the game and what we do in the game can make it an enjoyable occasion.”

The Tons lost their season opener 2-0 away to Basildon United as Tommy Barton and Marcus Bowers scored a goal apiece to seal the hosts the victory.

“The opening game against Basildon was a difficult one,” admitted Thomas.

“We didn’t know what Basildon we would get regarding quality as they have a new management team resulting in new players coming in but credit to them as they had done their research on us and executed a plan they obviously worked on and unfortunately for us, it prevailed.

“The only positive was the feeling we felt after. That’s a feeling we’ll remember.”

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