Last night's match at the Old Spotted Dog was such an interesting spectacle that I felt compelled to write about it rather than wait until the weekend.
Let's get the game out of the way. Clapton were beaten by a better side and the difference in confidence between the two teams was there for all to see. That is not to say that the Clapton players, as usual, gave of their best but, unfortunately, it was not to be their night. Well done Basildon.
Following this defeat, I am sure that there will be references on social media to the successive run of losses and the fact that we are in freefall in the Essex Senior League table but those issues are not of primary relevance to me.
In the past couple of years, the supporters/ultras/scaffold brigada have breathed new life into Clapton FC. Unfortunately, their support has not been appreciated by Vincent McBean, his only communications normally being the imposition of ground rules, gate searches and moaning about how he/the club are being fined by the League. However, last night, Vince upped the ante to the point of idiocy when arranging for some camera crew to perform a stunt on the pitch, in front of the Ultras in the Scaffold.
My understanding is that they were going to ask the Ultras to sing for them in order to record it for an ITV pilot show. I have spoken with quite a few of the lads and lassies in the Scaffold for some time, and only a person with the IQ of a potted plant would think that such an idea would go down well.
The upshot was that, one of my favourite players, James Briggs, acquired himself Clapton cult status, by bowling over the orange cupboard that was perched on the halfway line and was the focal point of the 'event'. How everyone laughed.
Whilst, to an extent, I did feel a little sorry for the blokes who were trying to do their job, I did think why on earth they decided to try their arm with this sort of prank at Clapton? Clearly the publicity the Ultras have been getting through the media might have sparked someone to think that this was a perfect venue for them. However, they must have arranged this with Vincent McBean who would have given them the go-ahead on behalf of the fans and, undoubtedly, the would have paid a fee for the privilege.
One would not normally imagine that any decent person would actually think that the Ultras would go along with this farce. But this is Vincent McBean. This is the chap who said, in a web post, that the crowd were 'Singing the Clapton Anthem'. Forever the fantasist, so my money is that he was happy to facilitate this without anyone's knowledge or agreement.
The whole farce is indicative of his opportunism, in ripping these poor idiots off and, at the same time, demonstrating his disdain and lack of respect for Clapton supporters by thinking they would blindly take part in it. Clapton supporters are not mugs, so don't treat us as such.
Roll on Saturday and the visit of Wadham Lodge. That should be fun.