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Depleted Clapton looking to cause an upset against top of the table Great Wakering

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 October 2017

Action from the match between Hackney Wick and Clapton (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the match between Hackney Wick and Clapton (pic Tim Edwards)

Archant

Injury-hit Clapton are set to face their toughest challenge of the season against Essex Senior League table toppers Great Wakering Rovers this weekend.

Clapton score their first goal against Hackney Wick (pic Tim Edwards) Clapton score their first goal against Hackney Wick (pic Tim Edwards)

The Tons host the Southend-based club at the Old Spotted Dog on Saturday (3pm) in hope of causing an upset and winning their third straight match, after derby success against Hackney Wick last weekend.

Clapton go into the clash without the likes of Steven Sardinha, Nathan Cook and Lee Slavin, who are currently sidelined, and Dylan Ebengo who is serving a suspension

“We’re down to our bare bones. We had to bring in two lads from Wingate & Finchley for last weekend’s game who have never played for us before,” said boss Jon Fowell.

“We’re struggling and Jerry (Jairette) is injured again, but hopefully he can get himself fit.

“I don’t know what team I’m going to have out on Saturday as my options are limited.”

Fowell remains positive depsite his side’s injury crisis and is confident of a strong season still.

“On the bright side we’re just seven points behind the leaders and we’ve not been able to put the same side out all season,” he said.

“If other teams – even the top sides – had eight players out of their first team how would they be getting on? Probably not great.

“Once we get all the boys back fit, I don’t see why we can’t be challenging for the league.”

The manager is under no illusions of the task they face but believes his side are up for the challenge, adding: “Great Wakering is going to be a tough test, they’re top of the league and are a very good side.

“We’re up for it and they’re coming to our place so they won’t be getting an easy game.”

The Tons could be boosted by the return of Emmanuel Olajide, Ryan Reed and Akin Obamakin who have all been out injured in the past few weeks.

“Emmanuel might be back for us, Ryan should be back and fit enough to play, hopefully Jerry (Jairette) can play and Akin could be available as well,” said Fowell.

“We still have lots of injuries and we’re struggling with that, we’ve had no news on Steven (Sardinha), no update on Nathan (Cook) and even some players playing aren’t fully fit.

“We’ve had four or five keepers this season in about ten games. It’s absolutely crazy really.”

Clapton travel to face Sporting Bengal on Wednesday.

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