Essex Senior League: Clapton boss Jon Fowell praises title rivals Barking

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 February 2017

Clapton's defence clears the ball against Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)

Clapton's defence clears the ball against Barking (pic Terry Gilbert)


The Blues have built up a healthy advantage at the top of the table since Tons last played on February 4

Clapton manager Jon Fowell has paid tribute to Essex Senior League title rivals Barking having watched them build up an eight point lead at the top of the table in recent weeks.

The Tons were last in action on February 4 when they defeated Waltham Forest 1-0 to leapfrog Blues and take over at the summit.

But Barking have played three times since and won every game to put some breathing space between themselves and Clapton.

Fowell said: “They have done really well and you have got to give them credit for grinding out the results.

“You don’t win leagues by beating the top teams, you do it by winning at the mid-table sides and the clubs near the bottom.

“That is what Barking have done as they have seen off Takeley, Basildon United and Sporting Bengal recently.”

Clapton remain second in the table, although Southend Manor could go ahead of them this evening if they win at West Essex.

The Old Spotted Dog outfit are relying on the seaside club to potentially do them a favour later in the season.

Manor and the leaders still need to do battle twice and Fowell believes the outcome of the two games could be crucial.

He added: “Barking are eight points ahead of us and all we can do is carry on winning because they still have to play Southend Manor twice.

“Hopefully Barking can lose both because I think if they win one of those games then they are champions. I don’t like to admit that, but we really need Manor to take points off them in both matches.”

With Clapton not in action last Saturday, Fowell was happy to see most of the results go their way except for Barking’s.

The Blues claimed a 5-3 win at Sporting Bengal United with the hosts backed by some of the Tons Ultras.

“It’s been 50/50 for us recently because Barking have been winning, but the results of the other teams have gone our way,” said Fowell.

“Stansted and Sawbridgeworth Town took points off each other and so did Manor and Basildon United, which was good.

“We need to win at Barkingside on Friday now to try and put some pressure back on the leaders.

“I don’t think we should worry about the teams below us right now, we need to just focus on Barking.”

Clapton have 10 games left this season and Fowell wants his players to try and win every one.

If they did it would see them finish on an impressive 97 points, which would have been enough to win the title last year.

Fowell added: “We have Barkingside on Friday and they beat us before, so they can definitely do it again.

“We need to go there and grind out a result and ideally we need 30 points from our final 10 games this season.

“If we do that it will mean we finish on 97 points and it should give us a chance of beating Barking to the title.”

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