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Assistant boss Thomas has praise for Clapton’s FA Cup efforts as they seal progress

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 August 2017

Clapton will face Isthmian North outfit Norwich United in the FA Cup later this month after a 1-0 victory at FC Clacton in the extra preliminary round on Saturday.

The Tons bagged themselves £1,500 in prize money and also got a step further in the prestigious cup competition.

They will now host Norwich on Saturday, August 19 and assistant manager Andre Thomas admits it will be a big challenge.

“It will be a very tough test against Norwich,” he said.

“They will be experienced, organised and motivated but I say, especially in the FA Cup, all teams should be.

“Hopefully the Old Spotted Dog will be rocking as we try and get into the next round.”

The assistant also admitted it was a ‘big deal’ for the club to progress into the next round of the cup.

“It was a big deal for us to win, but to be honest our motivation wasn’t the funds,” he added.

“For some players like Lanre Vigo it was a debut in the FA Cup, so it was all about getting people to reach personal goals as we all aim for a collective goal.”

Thomas was delighted with his side’s performance against Clacton in a ‘cagey’ clash.

“The team played well, we showed our quality,” he said.

“I felt we could have done more but it was the FA Cup against a determined Clacton side, so it was always going to be cagey. Overall, I’m happy with the result.”

Striker Anton Stephenson struck the only goal at the Rush Green Bowl, after the home keeper fumbled the ball, to secure his side’s 1-0 victory.

Stephenson was then forced off with an injury and replaced by Craig Heskey, with Thomas adding: “I believe confidence is the air a striker needs to be able to breathe easy, so getting a goal and it to turn out to be the winner will only help.

“Craig Heskey came close as well, as he was denied by the bar. It would have been great if they had both got off the mark.”

Emmanuel Olajide made a brave save at the feet of a FC Clacton striker when clean through on goal to help his side hold onto their victory and Thomas had nothing but praise for the keeper.

“Emmanuel got the clean sheet he deserved, he gives the whole team confidence, talks well, Encourages, motivates,” he said.

“When he plays the way he does, we always believe we can score a goal and go forward.”

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