Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Recent History Lesson

Two wins in the last three games, against teams who were higher than us in the league table, were a welcome relief, despite the fact these victories were interspersed by the home defeat by Sawbridgeworth.

Nonetheless there were some issues to be happy about, notably the emergence of Abe,who looks to be a decent player.  However, I am amazed that James Briggs, our most influential player, is regularly being left on the bench.  So imagine my delight when our very own 'Jan Molby look-alike' came off the bench to send us on our way to victory against Wadham Lodge.

It was obvious that the Wadham game was to have a bit of 'edge' about it.  The away match was won for them by an inept Clapton second half performance and a couple of disputed penalties, and this obviously rankled with many Clapton supporters.  There was also the added 'spice' involving the return of former Tons' Assistant Manager Neil Day to the Dog who, undoubtedly, wanted to guide his new club to victory in a local derby.

But it was Clapton who won the day and gained a very welcome three points.  The post match celebrations in the scaffold were, as always, a great bit of football theatre that is unique to the Dog.

Following the game I have seen a couple of references to the game, such as  'In your face Neil Day' which I hope were in jest but are, at the very least, uncharitable and possibly posted by those with only a recent, or selective, recollection of elements that have contributed to the re-emergence of Clapton FC.

Neil Day was Chris Wood's assistant before being sacked by Vince McBean.  Those who were around at the time will recall that the real reason for the sacking was that Day was too close to the Friends of Clapton supporters group.  I particularly remember an altercation that took place at Great Wakering Rovers between Neil and Marc Nurse, in which the latter, who at the time was very much Vince's ears and eyes in the dressing room, confirmed, with some delight, that this was the case.

Vince did issue a statement subsequently (which I cannot find on the internet anymore) that denied this but, his credibility, when it comes to the recounting the truth, is shot in any event.

Neil Day had worked tirelessly at Clapton alongside Chris Wood, and continually tried to promote the club and encourage people to come to matches.  Those who follow him on Twitter will know that he appears to have now got the ball rolling at Wadham Lodge and it was good to see a decent gathering of visiting supporters at last Saturday's game.

Undoubtedly, Neil was shoddily treated by Vince McBean and therefore it is understandable that he wants to do well when opposing Clapton. I can't blame him for this but, unfortunately for him last Saturday, the Tons prevailed.

After Saturday's game, as per normal, the Clapton victory celebrations rang around the ground.  A scaffold full of Clapton fans (oldies and newbies) joined in the singing with the players and team management, whilst others like me, looked on, enjoying the fun. This scene, which we all enjoy, originated during the tenure of Wood and Day.  It was Neil and Chris, and their players, who were the first ones to chant 'lololololo' back to the fans in the Scaffold and help establish something that has become a Clapton post-match trademark which the newbies (or those with memory lapse) whether they are fans, players or team management, now enjoy.

Let us not forget that.

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