Penalty pain for Clapton

Jerome Martelli of Clapton (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Jerome Martelli of Clapton (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

FA Cup: Bowers 3 Clapton 3 (aet, 4-3 on pens)

Clapton crashed out of the FA Cup after a penalty shoot-out at the Len Salmon Stadium last night.

Tons had come from behind at the Old Spotted Dog on Saturday to earn a 1-1 draw and force a replay.

And they showed their fighting spirit once again to take the extra preliminary round tie the full distance against their Essex Senior League rivals.

Clapton took the lead in the first half, having created several good chances, as Jerome Martelli fired home from 18 yards.


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But Bowers missed some clear opportunities after the restart.

Tons were only seven minutes away from a place in the next round when Rob Whitnell levelled from the penalty spot for the hosts.

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Whitnell then put his side in front, slamming home when a free-kick fell kindly to him, but Tons were back on terms almost immediately after some poor defending from Bowers allowed Ibe Neuriba to score and force extra time.

Clapton’s joy was shortlived as the hosts were awarded another penalty and, when Pape Diagne saved Whitnell’s spot-kick, Aaron Russell followed up to net the rebound and make it 3-2 to Bowers.

Martelli produced a wonderful solo effort just before the end of the first period of extra time to square matters again and force a shoot-out.

And Tons took the early initiative as they netted first, before Bowers missed their opening spot-kick.

But the visitors failed to convert two of their next three penalties and saw their cup dream fade as Bowers banked the £1,500 prize money and booked a home meeting with Colney Heath.

Clapton return to Essex Senior League action at the weekend with a derby at Tower Hamlets.

Clapton: Diagne, Camacho, Kanjor, Mfula, Coulson, Bogdan, Jarrette, Aggio, Nyanja, Martelli, Djibril. Subs: Briggs, Ohejora, Neuriba, Lewis, Stevens.

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