Essex Senior League: Clapton boss Jon Fowell urges players to stay focused

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 February 2017

Barking's Steve Willis is denied by the Clapton defence (pic Terry Gilbert)

Barking's Steve Willis is denied by the Clapton defence (pic Terry Gilbert)


The Tons host struggling Waltham Forest this weekend looking to build on their 4-2 success over Barking last Saturday

Clapton boss Jon Fowell has warned his squad not to get complacent after beating Essex Senior League leaders Barking on Saturday.

The Tons produced a sensational performance to down their local rivals 4-2 at the Old Spotted Dog in front of 418 supporters.

Clapton, third in the table, host struggling Waltham Forest this weekend and Fowell is determined to see his players kick on again.

“What we need to do now is make sure the squad don’t lose focus and we want to get 33 points from our remaining 11 games,” he said.

“Our challenge is to keep the performance levels of the players consistent and we have another home match this weekend.

“I’m hoping we can get the fans back in again because for me we have the best supporters in non-league. We had 418 on Saturday and they were great, so how good would it be to have that every week?

“I really want to push the club forward and I’d love to take us into the Ryman Premier or National League South eventually.

“Vince McBean (Clapton’s chief executive) and I were speaking recently about looking at a 3G pitch and starting up the academy, so we are both working hard behind the scenes to improve the club.”

The immediate focus is on trying to push Barking all the way in the title race despite the Blues being the overwhelming favourites.

Petrit Elbi put the leaders in front on Saturday, but a brace of penalties from Jay Knight ensured Clapton were ahead at half time.

Ryan Reed added a third soon after the restart with Tons dominant, but Barking hit back through James Peagram to set up a tense finale.

Knight had the final say when he headed home late on to complete his hat-trick and earn Clapton a first win over Barking since October 2015.

“The fans were fantastic and it was great to have over 400 shouting for us and up for it,” added Fowell. “They were right behind the players and we just have to keep this momentum going.

“I’ve made it clear I want to win the league. I know it’s going to be difficult and if we can’t do it then I’d love Barking to and then maybe we could emulate them next season, but we won’t stop until it is mathematically impossible.”

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