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Clapton assistant Bartlett is expecting another tough tie against local rivals Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 November 2018

Action from the Essex Senior League match between Clapton and Stansted at the Old Spotted Dog ground earlier this season (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the Essex Senior League match between Clapton and Stansted at the Old Spotted Dog ground earlier this season (pic Tim Edwards)

Archant

Clapton assistant manager Ray Bartlett is expecting another close clash when they take on local rivals Tower Hamlets this weekend.

The Tons will make the short trip to the Mile End Stadium on Friday evening (7.45pm) to play in front of what both sides are hoping will be a bumper crowd.

The last time the two sides met Clapton came out 1-0 winners on the opening day of the Essex Senior League season at the Old Spotted Dog.

“It’s a very big game on Friday, they’ve got a very good young side as well,” said Bartlett.

“I watched the game at the beginning of the season and it was a close match and I’m expecting the same this time round.”

Bartlett admits he doesn’t know too much about the new-look Hamlets side but says he has been told to look out for Luke With and Darnel Coker.

“With a few changes to their team I haven’t had the chance to see them lately and league positions can lie sometimes, considering they have beaten the likes of Stansted and Sawbridgeworth Town recently,” he added.

“From what I’ve been told we will probably keep an eye on Darnel and Luke With, who have both scored a few goals in recent weeks.”

The former Wadham Lodge manager is a big fan of the Friday night matches and is hoping for a big crowd.

“I think the Friday night game is a great idea – bigger crowd, better atmosphere to the game.”

Clapton currently sit 11th in the table after 16 matches and Bartlett insists they must now get on a winning run to take advantage of their games in hand on the teams above them in the table.

“We have a few games in hand on other teams so getting a win Friday is massive for us to catch up,” he said.

“Winning our two or three games in hand on the teams around us could push us up into the top eight.”

Tons go into the match on the back of a 3-2 victory against West Essex last weekend.

Goals from Jacob Kromann, Giovanni Palmer and Ali Al-Nashi sealed the three points for the Tons at Mayesbrook Park.

“It was a win that we needed to get us back on track and hopefully we can now go on a good run until Christmas,” said Bartlett.

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