More than 1,100 fans gathered at Clapton Community FC’s Old Spotted Dog Ground in east London last weekend to see both their men’s and women’s sides compete against fellow fan-owned FC United of Manchester in two preseason friendlies.
The trophies on offer – the FSA Trophy and the Supporters Direct Shield – are competed for each pre-season in games between supporter-owned clubs, to champion the work that the FSA (and formerly Supporters Direct) do in that area of the game, and to bring together those with an interest in supporter ownership.
FC United supporter Nick Duckett gives us a flavour of the day…
“FC United’s men’s team enjoyed an entertaining 3-1 victory over Clapton CFC, after FC’s women’s team had been beaten by the same score earlier that day.
“On a day that was as much about making friends as it was about the football on the pitch, the matches were nevertheless competitive.
“A fairly one-sided women’s game saw Clapton go 3-0 up in the first half, courtesy of a brace from Larissa Vieira and a third from Juliet Jacques, before the Reds, fielding something of a scratch team bagged a late consolation goal that their hard work deserved.
“The men’s game finished with a victory for FC United. Though Clapton’s men’s team gave a good account of themselves, and equalised through Noah Adejokun, FC looked to have the edge throughout.
“FC United led 2-1 at half time after midfielder Luke Griffiths executed a lovely chip from distance on 37 minutes.
“‘The Reds’ – actually playing in yellow – dominated the latter stages of the game; with the Clapton goalkeeper forced into several good saves, but United finally killed off the game with 10 minutes to go.
“Substitute Chiekh Thiam, who looked very lively in an inside right position, did well to beat his man. His low cross evaded Francis at the near post, leaving Thiam’s well-positioned fellow substitute Demarlio Brown-Sterling with a tap in from close range.
“An enjoyable day was rounded off with young FC and Clapton fans enjoying a kickabout on the pitch. Those of a legal drinking age, meanwhile, continued to enjoy the beer, music and chat in and around the clubhouse.”