Essex Senior League: Clapton manager Jon Fowell is still trying to catch leaders Barking

PUBLISHED: 16:00 22 December 2016

A Clapton player looks to attack (pic Tim Edwards)

A Clapton player looks to attack (pic Tim Edwards)


Tons boss has a lot of respect for Mayesbrook Park club after watching his team close gap on Blues with win at FC Romania

If Clapton can’t achieve promotion from the Essex Senior League this season, boss Jon Fowell would be happy to see local rivals Barking go up.

The Tons 2-1 win at FC Romania last night moved them up to third in the table, though they still trail the Blues by eight points.

Barking, managed by Glen Golby and Steve Willis, also have two games in hand on Clapton and Fowell praised the Mayesbrook Park club.

He said: “I spoke to their chairman Rob O’Brien and (former manager) Mick O’Shea and they said they’re going for promotion.

“Everyone over there is doing a fantastic job and if we don’t go up, I’d love for them to do it because they are a big club and have great foundations.

“Rob and Mick put a lot of hard work and time into Barking and that’s what I’m looking to do at Clapton.

“I want us to do a Concord Rangers and beat that. Whether or not I can is another thing, but I will try to take us to the next level.”

Last night’s victory at Theobalds Lane kept Clapton in the upper echelons of the table heading into 2017.

Jay Knight’s brace gave Tons the three points and it was all the more remarkable because they did it without a recognised goalkeeper.

Fowell was quick to point the praise in the direction of assistant Andre Thomas and first-team coach Ray Bartlett.

The Clapton boss was happy to trust the advice of his backroom staff prior to the match with FC Romania.

“I thought we were way the better team. They had plenty of the ball, but didn’t know what to do with it and we could have won by more,” said Fowell.

“We were limited with our goalkeeper Richie Robins leaving and without a left-back or right-back. Andrew Lastic and Bradley Joseph came in and our captain and midfielder Jerry Jairette was fantastic in goal.

“All the credit goes to Ray and Andre because I’m new to the Essex Senior League and the reason you have a backroom staff is so they can help you out.

“With no goalkeeper or full-backs, I thought about going 3-4-3, but Andre said have a bank of four at the back and five in midfield with Jay up front.

“It worked perfectly because FC Romania had lots of the ball and were passing it around at the back, but they hardly ever troubled us.”

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