Thomas: Tons have extra motivation to win trophy
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 March 2016
Clapton travel to Barking before playing Stansted in big final on Monday
Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas has called on his players to win the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy on Bank Holiday Monday for team-mate Bradley Joseph.
The Tons defender collapsed during their derby with Sporting Bengal United in the Essex Senior League on Saturday and required medical attention on the pitch.
Fortunately, Joseph left hospital on Monday after undergoing tests to discover what led to the incident at Mile End Stadium.
Michael Walther’s men won the match 6-1 to back up the 2-1 success they achieved against Wadham Lodge in the semi-finals of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy last Tuesday.
The other last-four clash was set played between Stansted and Hullbridge on Tuesday with the Airportmen winning 2-1 to reach final at Burnham’s Leslie Field.
Clapton were beaten 4-2 by Barking in the final last year and are determined to go one better this time around.
“Saturday’s performance on top of Tuesday’s semi win has got the place buzzing,” said Thomas.
“We’ve got a cup final on Easter Monday now and some of the boys are already doing suit shopping!
“Obviously, we definitely want to go one step further and win it this time. We won’t take anything for granted and will show respect to our fellow finalists.
“I feel like we need to do it for the fans and make up for last season’s final, but now the boys have that extra drive as we all now want to do it for Bradley as well. There is nothing better than a winner’s medal.”
Before the big final, Clapton will travel to local rivals Barking on Saturday for a league clash.
Even though everybody is looking forward to Monday, Thomas insists his side want to beat the Blues and keep up their good form.
He added: “A local derby is always good and we have a decent record in them this year, so we will want to continue that.”
Clapton demonstrated their impressive form against London clubs by beating Bengal and Lodge over the past week.
Goals from Miles Hunter and Warren Mfula helped Tons to a 2-1 win at home last Tuesday.
And on Saturday, strikes from Sherwin Stanley and Roddy Lemba put Clapton 2-0 up at half time against Bengal, before Joseph collapsed at the interval.
The match continued after a long delay and the hosts pulled one back in the 48th minute.
Stanley went on to complete his hat-trick with Lemba adding another and Idu Bogdan also scored in a 6-1 successs.
“A lot of the boys were very worried and scared,” said Thomas. “They only continued once they were reassured that Bradley was breathing whilst on the pitch and when with the paramedics.
“They wanted to finish it because they believed it’s what Bradley would have wanted.”
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